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Postby The Alternative Story » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:56 pm

Leanne wrote:Hello TAS

May I seek some advice from you?

My child can write well, but as he writes on, at times, he tends to forget who person A is and mixed up with B.Also, there is sequencing problem too.How can I rectify this error?I did try to ask him to jot down the main point before write on, apparently, he has his own mind set, doesnt work, he just write.Good day, he will not get lost in his own story, bad days, got penalised.

Thank you.


Best wishes,.
Leanne


Hi Leanne,

Sure, no problem. Actually, one way to address this problem is to
get him to use "I" as a main character. So if there are any other
characters, he can easily differentiate between the characters.
Usually, to keep it simple, it would be better just to have 2 main
characters ('I' and another person). When you write from your
own perspective, it is also easier to 'feel' for your character and
to describe the tension.

Example:

Looking back, I saw my younger brother running back to the
road to pick up his toy.

"Run!" I hollered with all my might as I saw the car careening
towards him.

He stood still, absolutely still. Too frightened to do anything, he
stood in the middle of the road and clutched his teddy bear.

I ran pell-mell, helter skelter towards him. I had to get him off the
road. I had to. With my heart hammering away and fear gripping
my heart, I made my way to the road.


In this example, the child would not get confused between the
characters as it just involves his younger brother and himself.

However, as an extra precaution, like what Bebe has mentioned,
it is important to get your child to check his work thoroughly
so that he does not make the mistake of switching the
characters mid-way as that would mean that his mark
range for his content would go down by at least one band.

I am not sure how his teachers mark his composition. But for
PSLE, the markers mark in bands. For example, if his content
is very good and well-developed, he would be be in the top
band - (about 17-20 marks over 20 marks). However, if
he makes a major mistake like switching characters halfway,
then he would be marked down by at least one band. So he
would go to the band below the top band (about 14-16 marks)

If he makes this mistake many times, he might be marked down
further (going to the average band-12 marks over 20 marks)

The content marks are upon 20 and the language marks are
also upon 20. The problem you described your son as
having would fall under the content.

TAS
Last edited by The Alternative Story on Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

The Alternative Story
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Postby The Alternative Story » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:21 pm

GilTang wrote:Hi TAS,

My girls are in a good school where the other girls are all quite good in their English paper 2. But for paper 1, I find that the teacher does not focus a lot on it. And while they write quite well, it is still plain and simple. They also attend another learning centre for writing but the writing is still about the same. They do read a lot as well but they do not use what they read in their writing. I was wondering how to go about helping them. Maybe you could give some advise about translating what they read to writing. My oldest at P5 reads books like Inkheart and books by Anthony Horowitz. For my middle one, she is P2 and reads Geronimo Stilton and Magic treehouse books. Could you advice on how to help them further? Thank you very much!


Hi GilTang,

For reading, you can get your daughters to have an exercise
book
with them when they read. As they read, when they come
across good phrases that they can use for their compositions, they
can put a coloured tag on that page and continue reading.
When they have finished reading the whole book, they can go back
to where the tags are and copy down the good phrases from the
storybook into their exercise book
. They would also need to
categorize these phrases. For example, if there is
a phrase that described a drowning scene, they can write it down
and put in under the heading 'Drowning'. They would need to
leave a few pages for that category (so that when they come
across more drowning phrases in the future, they can then add
them in).

You can then get them to use these phrases in their writing but they
must apply them to their writing and not copy the phrase word for
word as sometimes the phrases might not totally suit what they
are writing.

Example:
(This is taken from Hostage by Chris Ryan)


Category: Reaction to danger
Amber stared back, frozen with fear. Up close, the size of
the creature was overwhelming. With huge effort, Amber controlled
her terror. Her brain started to work again and she realized that
she was staring death in the face. A second later, her body jerked
into action. – pg 13


This phrase can be used to describe a reaction to seeing a panther
on the loose. It can also be used to describe seeing a car coming
close. For the car scene, they woud need to apply this phrase:

Application:

I stared, frozen with fear, at the car careening down the road. Up
close, the vibrations on the road as the car came closer were
overwhelming. With huge effort, I controlled my terror. My brain
started to work again and I realized I was staring death in the face.
A second later, my body jerked to action and I started running.


In order for children to apply what they have read to their writing,
a concerted effort must be made. If your child balks at the
thought of copying down these phrases, then perhaps you could
get the books from us. Our books do come with creative
writing phrases that have been extracted from the books and they
are already in categories and hence, your children can file these
phrases up and look at them when they are writing their compositions.

Example of our creative writing extracts:

Monster Republic by Ben Horton

Chase (adapted)

Rora had summoned an extra burst of speed from somewhere and
was already way ahead of him. There was no catching up with her.
– pg 33

Shouts and splashing footsteps suddenly sounded in the distance.
A searching torch beam probed the gloom. Cameron flinched at
the intrusion of the bright light. – pg 58

Late night walk home (adapted)

The journey took a dark and lonely hour, interrupted only by the
passage of a car or the footsteps of pedestrians. The wind howled
and the leaves rustled as he made his way home. –pg 62

Burglary (adapted)
Cameron took a deep breath and crept along the side of the house.
As he rounded the corner, his heart jumped into his mouth. There
was somebody in the garden! Waiting, silhouetted against the night
sky. The person stood in the shadows. Suddenly, he stood and made
his way stealthily to the Lim’s house and began to pry open the door.
A burglar. Cameron was seeing a burglary take place before him.
– pg 64

TAS

The Alternative Story
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Posts: 1855
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:46 pm
Total Likes: 2


Postby Leanne » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:44 pm

Hi TAS,

Thanks.

However, my teacher strongly discourages the usage of 'I'. The reason is that by using 'I', you cannot express the feelings of the other characters other than yourself. My teacher told me that it is best to steer clear of 'I' in picture compositions and to use 'I' only in Situational Writing. Please advice. Thank you.

Leanne's DS

The Alternative Story wrote:
Leanne wrote:Hello TAS

May I seek some advice from you?

My child can write well, but as he writes on, at times, he tends to forget who person A is and mixed up with B.Also, there is sequencing problem too.How can I rectify this error?I did try to ask him to jot down the main point before write on, apparently, he has his own mind set, doesnt work, he just write.Good day, he will not get lost in his own story, bad days, got penalised.

Thank you.


Best wishes,.
Leanne


Hi Leanne,

Sure, no problem. Actually, one way to address this problem is to
get him to use "I" as a main character. So if there are any other
characters, he can easily differentiate between the characters.
Usually, to keep it simple, it would be better just to have 2 main
characters ('I' and another person). When you write from your
own perspective, it is also easier to 'feel' for your character and
to describe the tension.

Example:

Looking back, I saw my younger brother running back to the
road to pick up his toy.

"Run!" I hollered with all my might as I saw the car careening
towards him.

He stood still, absolutely still. Too frightened to do anything, he
stood in the middle of the road and clutched his teddy bear.

I ran pell-mell, helter skelter towards him. I had to get him off the
road. I had to. With my heart hammering away and fear gripping
my heart, I made my way to the road.


In this example, the child would not get confused between the
characters as it just involves his younger brother and himself.

However, as an extra precaution, like what Bebe has mentioned,
it is important to get your child to check his work thoroughly
so that he does not make the mistake of switching the
characters mid-way as that would mean that his mark
range for his content would go down by at least one band.

I am not sure how his teachers mark his composition. But for
PSLE, the markers mark in bands. For example, if his content
is very good and well-developed, he would be be in the top
band - (about 17-20 marks over 20 marks). However, if
he makes a major mistake like switching characters halfway,
then he would be marked down by at least one band. So he
would go to the band below the top band (about 14-16 marks)

If he makes this mistake many times, he might be marked down
further (going to the average band-12 marks over 20 marks)

The content marks are upon 20 and the language marks are
also upon 20. The problem you described your son has
having would fall under the content.

TAS

Leanne
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Posts: 937
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:55 pm
Total Likes: 0


Postby The Alternative Story » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:01 pm

Leanne wrote:Hi TAS,

Thanks.

However, my teacher strongly discourages the usage of 'I'. The reason is that by using 'I', you cannot express the feelings of the other characters other than yourself. My teacher told me that it is best to steer clear of 'I' in picture compositions and to use 'I' only in Situational Writing. Please advice. Thank you.

Leanne's DS


Hi Leanne's DS,

Actually, it is alright to use "I". I know where you are coming from.
When I first joined teaching, I also heard of some comments like
that from the more experienced teachers. However, when I went
to mark the PSLE compositions, I made it a point to ask them about
this and they said there is no issue here. You can use "I"
in any composition. I have re-checked with teachers that are still
teaching in primary schools from time to time as we want to make
sure what we are teaching is still current and they all mentioned
that it is perfectly fine to use 'I'.

Perhaps, you could ask your teacher why it is discouraged and
maybe ask her nicely if she could double check with the
English HOD? (to be done only if your teacher is quite ok with you
asking about such issues) Because even though we tell you here it
is ok, your teacher will still mark your compositions and she
might mark you down when you use 'I'.

However, in the PSLE, it is totally fine to use 'I'. (checked from
numerous sources: current English HODs, teachers, markers of
PSLE compositions scripts) :lol:

Just to add on, we feel that even when you use 'I', you can still
describe the feelings of other characters. However, it is wise
to keep your main characters to just 2, at the most 3. If not
it is quite difficult to fully flesh out the characters' feelings.

TAS

The Alternative Story
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 1855
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:46 pm
Total Likes: 2


Postby Leanne » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:15 pm

Hello TAS,

Thank you for the pointers.
I will follow your advice.

P/S I love the creative writing book that you have published.

Cheers,
Leanne DS

Regards,
Leanne DS
The Alternative Story wrote:
Leanne wrote:Hi TAS,

Thanks.

However, my teacher strongly discourages the usage of 'I'. The reason is that by using 'I', you cannot express the feelings of the other characters other than yourself. My teacher told me that it is best to steer clear of 'I' in picture compositions and to use 'I' only in Situational Writing. Please advice. Thank you.

Leanne's DS


Hi Leanne's DS,

Actually, it is alright to use "I". I know where you are coming from.
When I first joined teaching, I also heard of some comments like
that from the more experienced teachers. However, when I went
to mark the PSLE compositions, I made it a point to ask them about
this and they said there is no issue here. You can use "I"
in any composition. I have re-checked with teachers that are still
teaching in primary schools from time to time as we want to make
sure what we are teaching is still current and they all mentioned
that it is perfectly fine to use 'I'.

Perhaps, you could ask your teacher why it is discouraged and
maybe ask her nicely if she could double check with the
English HOD? (to be done only if your teacher is quite ok with you
asking about such issues) Because even though we tell you here it
is ok, your teacher will still mark your compositions and she
might mark you down when you use 'I'.

However, in the PSLE, it is totally fine to use 'I'. (checked from
numerous sources: current English HODs, teachers, markers of
PSLE compositions scripts) :lol:

Just to add on, we feel that even when you use 'I', you can still
describe the feelings of other characters. However, it is wise
to keep your main characters to just 2, at the most 3. If not
it is quite difficult to fully flesh out the characters' feelings.

TAS

Leanne
BlackBelt
BlackBelt
 
Posts: 937
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:55 pm
Total Likes: 0



Postby The Alternative Story » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:06 am

Leanne wrote:Hello TAS,

Thank you for the pointers.
I will follow your advice.

P/S I love the creative writing book that you have published.

Cheers,
Leanne DS

Regards,
Leanne DS


Hi Leanne's DS,

No problem, all the best for your exams! :wink:
Glad you like the book, hope it can help you.

TAS

The Alternative Story
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 1855
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:46 pm
Total Likes: 2


Postby GilTang » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:29 am

The Alternative Story wrote:
Hi GilTang,

For reading, you can get your daughters to have an exercise
book
with them when they read. As they read, when they come
across good phrases that they can use for their compositions, they
can put a coloured tag on that page and continue reading.
When they have finished reading the whole book, they can go back
to where the tags are and copy down the good phrases from the
storybook into their exercise book
. They would also need to
categorize these phrases. For example, if there is
a phrase that described a drowning scene, they can write it down
and put in under the heading 'Drowning'. They would need to
leave a few pages for that category (so that when they come
across more drowning phrases in the future, they can then add
them in).

You can then get them to use these phrases in their writing but they
must apply them to their writing and not copy the phrase word for
word as sometimes the phrases might not totally suit what they
are writing.

Example:
(This is taken from Hostage by Chris Ryan)


Category: Reaction to danger
Amber stared back, frozen with fear. Up close, the size of
the creature was overwhelming. With huge effort, Amber controlled
her terror. Her brain started to work again and she realized that
she was staring death in the face. A second later, her body jerked
into action. – pg 13


This phrase can be used to describe a reaction to seeing a panther
on the loose. It can also be used to describe seeing a car coming
close. For the car scene, they woud need to apply this phrase:

Application:

I stared, frozen with fear, at the car careening down the road. Up
close, the vibrations on the road as the car came closer were
overwhelming. With huge effort, I controlled my terror. My brain
started to work again and I realized I was staring death in the face.
A second later, my body jerked to action and I started running.


In order for children to apply what they have read to their writing,
a concerted effort must be made. If your child balks at the
thought of copying down these phrases, then perhaps you could
get the books from us. Our books do come with creative
writing phrases that have been extracted from the books and they
are already in categories and hence, your children can file these
phrases up and look at them when they are writing their compositions.

Example of our creative writing extracts:

Monster Republic by Ben Horton

Chase (adapted)

Rora had summoned an extra burst of speed from somewhere and
was already way ahead of him. There was no catching up with her.
– pg 33

Shouts and splashing footsteps suddenly sounded in the distance.
A searching torch beam probed the gloom. Cameron flinched at
the intrusion of the bright light. – pg 58

Late night walk home (adapted)

The journey took a dark and lonely hour, interrupted only by the
passage of a car or the footsteps of pedestrians. The wind howled
and the leaves rustled as he made his way home. –pg 62

Burglary (adapted)
Cameron took a deep breath and crept along the side of the house.
As he rounded the corner, his heart jumped into his mouth. There
was somebody in the garden! Waiting, silhouetted against the night
sky. The person stood in the shadows. Suddenly, he stood and made
his way stealthily to the Lim’s house and began to pry open the door.
A burglar. Cameron was seeing a burglary take place before him.
– pg 64

TAS


Hi TAS,

I really know how to go about getting my girls to write better now, thanks!! How do I purchase these creative writing extracts from you?

GilTang
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Postby The Alternative Story » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:49 am

GilTang wrote:
Hi TAS,

I really know how to go about getting my girls to write better now, thanks!! How do I purchase these creative writing extracts from you?


Hi GilTang,

You get the creative writing extracts free when you buy our books.

Our booklist can be found at the following links:
http://www.kiasuparents.com/kiasu/forum ... c&start=20

http://www.kiasuparents.com/kiasu/forum ... c&start=10

TAS

The Alternative Story
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Pls help me with this question!

Postby lemofish » Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:57 am

John, together with his parents,____at the concert last night.

1) is 2) are 3)was 4)were

Is the answer (3) or (4)?

Thanks.

lemofish
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Re: Pls help me with this question!

Postby ppnqq » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:13 am

lemofish wrote:John, together with his parents,____at the concert last night.

1) is 2) are 3)was 4)were

Is the answer (3) or (4)?

Thanks.


It should be singular. A simple quick to remember trick - sentences like this with 2 commas in between, just ignore the sentence between the commas : "John ____ at the concert last night." HTH.

ppnqq
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