Do you know of good educational software to help my first grader with sentence writing?
My son is having problems writing sentences and I was wondering if anybody had any ideas on what I could do to get through to him? He is in the first grade. He got a 1.5 on his report card in that area. He doesn't understand how to start a question, and I try to explain this to him and he just does not understand and gets frustrated. He forgets to put in the words "is" and "are" a lot when he is writing his sentences. He gets so frustrated and I feel so bad for him. Does anyone know of any good educational software I could get for him?
Hi Darleen,<br />
I'm sorry to hear that your son is struggling. That's got to be so heart breaking and frustrating at the same time. There are a few things you may want to take a look at.<br />
Reader Rabbit 1st Grade Workbook - is a great little workbook that introduces sentence structure to first graders. It's not software, but is a simple fun workbook.<br />
Leapfrog (www.leapfrog.com) has some great software that is fun to use and award winning.<br />
You may also want to check out this article here on education.com for some ideas. http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Phonics_Whole/<br />
Let us know how he's doing!<br />
Community Team<br />
Here are a couple of techniques we used at home when one of the kids had similar problems. We found (at OfficeMax) these paper wristbands, kind of like the ID bands used at water parks, that you can write notes on. We could write reminders on them. You could use one every now and then and write the beginning of a sentence type (like a question) - your son would see it and at least one pattern could be memorized.<br />
Another was small flash cards with words on them that he could arrange on a table into sentences. We actually start that with a set of words on tiny refrigerator magnets, directly on the refrigerator.<br />
Personally, that your son is writing sentences in first grade is a very good thing and the fact that they're fractured in some way I wouldn't be too concerned about. Of course, that wasn't my viewpoint back then!<br />
Does he use sentences, statement or questions, properly when speaking? If so, maybe you could record him and have him write down what is on the recording for practice? I never tried that one, but it could appeal to a certain modality of learning.<br />
Hi Darleen. My son is also in first grade. He has trouble writing sentences but tries harder when he writes about something he is interested in. I keep a small notepad and pencil in my pocket at all times and when he has a question I ask him to write it down for me. If he doesn't want to write, I will, and he usually watches me and sometimes wants to finish.<br />
Have him dictate some sentences to you. Write these for him to copy. Perhaps he would like to write a story using dictation. Get him a blank notebook and some crayons so he can illustrate the story. Have him copy one or two sentences on each page.<br />
Kim Allsup<br />
a Waldorf teacher<br />
Is he struggling in his reading as well? Usually children need to first focus on their reading skills. When these get strong and stable then the writing follows. It is impossible for a child to develop any writing skills without strong reading skills first. In first grade you want to develop creative writing skills before anything to technical. This could be journal writing or pictures with stories. You can always start the story .... "when I grow up...." and let him finish the story and top it off with a picture. There is a very good educational software you can try called kidspiration. They offer a 30 day free trial so you can first try it out. Also when a child is writing creatively - let him finish the whole thing without correcting him. Then have him read it back to you. He'll notice he left out the little words like "is" and "are' when it doesn't make sense. He can add those in with an up arrow. This way HE is correcting his own mistakes.
I highly suggest getting your son tested. I don't like to diagnose, but it sounds like symptoms of dyslexia or auditory processing There is no reason he should have to struggle so much. The school should do complete testing for you and this could prove to be very helpful and give you some possible avenues for getting him the right assistance. I wish you all the best.
I'm really amazed by this. Do kids these days actually write sentences in first grade? I wonder if I could...I only have two small suggestions. 1) Don't worry over one thing. Outflank it. Talk about other skills. Study science, etc. Wait a few weeks. 2) Make sure he is learning to read with phonics. Otherwise, see link.
Also, keep in mind that one of the fads used these days is Invented Spelling and Process Writing, where teachers tell little kids: just start writing, any old way. I'm sure this is nuts for many kids. It's like telling an adult: go play tennis. Might work for some; others need to study basics and take lessons and evolve somewhat. Our elite educators hate the teaching of foundational skills and knowledge; my suspicion is that most of us need a lot of that.
(You might also enjoy Googling my "28: Tips for Helping Your Child Do Better In School.")
I am not sure how old is your son. You can go to this website www.readingeggs.com. It will help his writing and reading. It is the best fun program. You can try it out and your son will love it. I hope this will help him improve his writing. The reading eggs program have everything that he need. Please try it out. Hope you will see improvement in him. It helps my children alot too.
I highly recommend ERB Learning for you son. ERB Learning will help him
in practicing his writing through a Writing Achievement program in which
it will asses your son's writing skills and help him improve in those areas.
The great thing about this program is that its on a computer and it provides
the students with the opportunity to practice his writing online at his
own pace. As he goes through the modules he will get instant scoring and
online tutorials and reviews.