If your eyes are following these words, then you have likely completed Steps 1- 3 and are well on your way to creating an effective writing portfolio for your child. Congratulations! This is work that is worthwhile.
Step 4: Collect and Direct
Now that you have administered a writing assignment, you will collect the work, hold a "Portfolio Meeting" and direct your young writer to focus on new skills to practice.
For example, my fourth grader has written on the prompt I provided in Step 3. Writing Portfolios - Step 3 I have reviewed his writing and made some comments. We are ready to meet.
In our meeting, I first want to compliment my writer. I will tell him I enjoyed his title and that he clearly addressed a beginning, middle, and end. His great penmanship should be complimented as well. Expressing some positive findings will empower your writer.
As you determine the most important "fixes" or improvements needed, limit yourself to sharing no more than three on which to focus. Too many errors will produce an overwhelming and defeatist reaction.
I use the meeting time to make comments on my writer's "Portfolio Record Sheet".(Please email me a request if you'd like a copy.)
In my case, we are working to fine tune a "big idea" into a "small idea". Students typically write too little about too many things. The opposite makes for a better personal narrative: describe much about one detail. For example, instead of "My Day at the Zoo" wouldn't you rather read "The Giraffe Who Stole my Lunch"?
So, my young writer now has some instruction and a new direction as he revises his work.
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