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BANGKOK 22 July 2019 16:33
hydraides

Correcting students stories, how would you approach? it?

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So I am getting the mattahyom students I am teaching to write fairy tales.

 

Many of the stories barely make any sense and the sentence structure is awful. If I make changes they will be big changes.

 

I want to hang the stories on the wall/ maybe make them record them and put them on the online facebook page.

 

If I change around their story too much/make suggestions on how to make it sound better........ they might take offense.....Feel like it was pointless writing it in the first place.

 

What would you do?

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How do you expect them to get any better if you don't show them the errors? All of the errors.

Yes, that will require big changes, but if it shows, when they see the two, one perfect and one crap, they can at least recognise their mistakes. Being human we are supposed to learn from such, no?

Leaving them as they are will only see the same mistakes made ad infinitum, which serves no practical purpose.

Harsh as it may be to shred someones efforts, (and you don't have to be brutal in how you do it), doing other is wasting your time and theirs. Give praise for the little they did get right, and even more when they improve. Good luck!

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The English language is a wonderful thing and all we need as teachers, is a few words to know what the student is trying to say. 

 

So, re-do the story in correct English after congratulating the student on the idea of their story as it took great imagination to come up with it.

 

Then post the best ones with the corrected version alongside their efforts. They enjoy their stories getting put up on the wall and they also get to compare the corrected one to theirs.

 

Be sure to reassure them and maybe don't even feature their names on their effort. That way they see it up and can either claim it or learn from it.

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 Try reading work by "Truscott" and "Ferris".

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Because I worked at the same schools for many years, I had the opportunity to do some teaching of the same students when they were younger (I taught G 2 for several years).   I had the same students for G. 7 and then G. 9 and filled in for a time for the same students later.  Teaching students to write well, or coherently, is difficult.   First, they need to do a lot of reading.   They need to read stories and books (if possible).   I always stressed reading and we did a fair amount of it.   As far as writing, I started them with a few weeks of writing coherent, meaningful sentences.   "In one sentence describe what you see in this picture?"   Describe what you like or don't like about something, etc.    Once they are fairly good at sentences, then move on to paragraph.   Focus on writing a complete, self-contained paragraph, etc.  

 

Writing a fairy tale would be a fairly complex undertaking and a lot of work for a teachers.  

 

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If the sentence structure is so bad then I would imagine they have used Google translate.

 

Ask them to do the work again using only their talents and a dictionary. Ask them to start in the class. See how many write in the same way.

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It’s a fine line to walk between improving outcomes for students versus demoralising them.

 

I’d try to pick out some positives and focus on those first of all. The language you use to communicate ways of improving the work can also be crucial (if they understand what you are saying).

 

When giving feedback to students I tend to go along the lines of, ‘This was great... I like the way you did that... your work would be even better if...’

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As already mentioned, many student's are using Google translate for whole chapters, and the outcome is what you might have seen in your students' work.

  I always give positive feedback to students who didn't copy from another classmate or were using their parents, brothers, sisters, or often even any foreigners they meet somewhere.

 

 The only way to control that is when they have to write an assignment under your supervision. 

 

  I say things like: " Fantastic work, you did well, but when we make a little change from xxx to yyy, it will look/sound much better."  


Many students easily give up when you criticize them a lot.

 

The loss of face is always something that you should consider when working with students. Have a great time with your students !!

 

  

 

   

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Posted (edited)

One of my fondest memories from elementary school was of a teacher verbally reading what I had written and verbally suggesting improvements. I realize that verbally going over a writing assignment with every student may not be feasible, so another approach might be to select the most creative or interesting story even if it is poorly written, photocopy it for everyone to have a copy, print the story on the blackboard, and then have everyone contribute ideas on how to rewrite the story to improve it, with suggestions offered by you when necessary to keep the momentum going, and the revised story going up on the blackboard as it is written. That way the student whose story is selected receives the praise of having written the most interesting story, and the rewriting process is a group learning activity. To complete the process, you could then have all the other students rewrite their stories, applying the ideas they learned from the group rewrite activity.

Edited by Gecko123
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On 6/19/2019 at 6:40 PM, darksidedog said:

How do you expect them to get any better if you don't show them the errors? All of the errors.

Yes, that will require big changes, but if it shows, when they see the two, one perfect and one crap, they can at least recognise their mistakes. Being human we are supposed to learn from such, no?

Leaving them as they are will only see the same mistakes made ad infinitum, which serves no practical purpose.

Harsh as it may be to shred someones efforts, (and you don't have to be brutal in how you do it), doing other is wasting your time and theirs. Give praise for the little they did get right, and even more when they improve. Good luck!

HAve you tried 'I think this is what your trying to say......' along with a friendly invitation to talk a bit further and gain an understanding of what the student is trying to say, then a maybe say 'well you could start by suggesting a first sentence, and the student walks away with the first sentence written on paper. 

 

Done the above with my bachelor students many times, seems to help. 

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17 minutes ago, Gecko123 said:

One of my fondest memories from elementary school was of a teacher verbally reading what I had written and verbally suggesting improvements. I realize that verbally going over a writing assignment with every student may not be feasible, so another approach might be to select the most creative or interesting story even if it is poorly written, photocopy it for everyone to have a copy, print the story on the blackboard, and then have everyone contribute ideas on how to rewrite the story to improve it, with suggestions offered by you when necessary to keep the momentum going, and the revised story going up on the blackboard as it is written. That way the student whose story is selected receives the praise of having written the most interesting story, and the rewriting process is a group learning activity. To complete the process, you could then have all the other students rewrite their stories, applying the ideas they learned from the group rewrite activity.

Agree but with no mention of the name of the original writer...

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Make the corrections and then ask them to retype the work with the corrections. This will force students to reflect on the mistakes they made. Start with sentences, then paragraphs, then longer stories. In the latter part, teach about how to structure stories. There's nothing worse than reading a 30 line paragraph of random ideas. 

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best bet is to do a youtube video ! They're never of the net so might work better

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Mmm, I never had your issue as the one class I asked to do this was excellent. Still, I was very surprised at the stuff one girl came up with. Murder, ghosts and necrophilia. Wow! 

 

I try to motivate them and show appreciation even for poor work. 

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