Thursday, 3 December 2020

Mathemafix's writing for year 3-4 students

03 Dec

Students are now taking a rest after the OC test. It's a good time to keep students warm by asking them to do some low level activity and let them relax. Students should read for relaxation and enjoyment. They should read a variety of novels and things that they enjoy. They should also watch a lot of TV shows for entertainment. It's best to select those that has cultural values and educational content. All this will give kids ideas for creative writing.

Selective and scholarship writing

In the Selective School test and all scholarship tests, it is safe to assume that students are only asked to write narrative texts. The narrative format is used by 99% of all selective and scholarship tests. Even when they give a persuasive prompt, they often also allow students to write a narrative with that prompt.

Why is creative writing so difficult?

Creative writing is difficult as it requires so many different areas of skills and knowledge: grammar, spelling, English vocab, punctuation, knowledge of narrative structure, literary techniques and, more importantly, creative thinking. This is why parents should get kids to start early practising simple skills while accumulating good ideas through entertainment (reading and watching TV shows and movies). 

Support for writing on Mathemafix website

Mathemafix provides a lot of writing resources.
  • Familiarisation with Creative Writing Workbook: This is a gentle introduction to narrative (story) writing that asks students to read a story, identify the elements of narrative text and then rewrite it.
  • Writing Workshop: This online module is aimed at year 5-8. However, there are some great videos suitable for kids at year 3-4 to watch and learn about English sentence structure and narrative text structure. Kids at year 3-4 can learn to identify the elements of narrative texts so they can analyse stories and then write with the correct structure.
  • Writing Tools Kit : This is the most basic set of templates, guides and scaffolds to help students write a variety of text types.

Simple steps to learn how to write narrative texts (stories)

Year 3-4 students should start with informal simple steps as described here. Later, they can learn how to write narratives in a formal way once they get to year 5.

Step 1: Watch the videos in the Writing Workshop (inside More ...)

The following videos should be watch:

Grammar and English skills: Adjectives | Adverbs | Participles as verbs and adjectives | Phrases | Adjectival and adverbial clauses | Conjunctions | Use conjunctions to make flowing sentences | Sentence improvement | Sentence construction | Common errors in writing

Text composition skills:  Settings | Character | Theme and More Theme | Create a Plot | Writing with the senses | Show NOT Tell

Step 2: Use the workbook  Familiarisation with Creative Writing Workbook and the knowledge about narrative text from step 1 to analyse and see the elements of a narrative text in each of the stories. Then rewrite each story to become familiar with how to write stories.

Step 3: Use the story planning worksheets in the Writing Tools Kit to plan and write small stories under 300 words and within 30 minutes.

Students should also the module punctuation in More ... to improve their punctuation skills. There is also a guide on punctuation for dialogues. These should be used frequently to support correct punctuation.

More advanced narrative writing and preparation for selective and scholarship test writing

Mathemafix provides a lot of e-writing modules in the section More ... to help kids write narrative and persuasive texts. All of these modules are collected into a big module called Selective Writing. Access to this module is free to Mathemafix members but the marking of student writing tasks is not free. We provide a marking-on-demand service for a fee per marking request. Mathemafix also provides online writing workshops in both Google class (with recorded video lessons) and live ZOOM live classes. The Google class can be enrolled at any time. The live ZOOM online classes are only offered once per year with a maximum of 6 students per class.

For more information, see the following:

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