How to Teach Basic Writing Skills with Hochman's Strategies
Writing is one of the most important and challenging skills that students need to master in school and beyond. However, many students struggle with writing, especially with expository writing, which explains or informs. How can teachers help students develop their expository writing skills in a systematic and effective way?
One possible answer is to use the strategies and activities from Judith Hochman's Teaching Basic Writing Skills, a guide for teachers who want to provide direct, explicit instruction in expository writing. Hochman's program is flexible, affordable, and easy-to-use, and can be adapted for students of all grades and abilities, across all content areas. The program focuses on teaching students the fundamental elements of writing, such as sentences, paragraphs, and essays, through a methodical progression that shows them how and has them practice repeatedly until they become fluent.
One of the key features of Hochman's program is the use of sentence expansion exercises, such as "But, Because, So", which ask students to take a short independent clause and expand upon it using each of these three conjunctions. For example, starting with "A solid melts to form a liquid", students might write:
A solid melts to form a liquid, but it can also sometimes sublimate to form a gas.
A solid melts to form a liquid because heat or pressure causes the ordering of molecules to break down.
A solid melts to form a liquid so a glacier is really water waiting to happen.
Sentence expansion exercises help students think about different ways they might develop the same idea, get familiar and fluid with syntactical forms they will use often, and apply their knowledge of the content they are learning in class. For example, using "But, Because, So" with "Lincoln's Gettysburg address was just 272 words long" can be a great way to review and assess students' understanding of American history.
Hochman's program also includes other types of activities that help students improve their expository writing skills, such as sentence combining, sentence manipulation, paragraph modeling, outlining, summarizing, and essay writing. All these activities are designed to help students learn how to organize their thoughts, use transitions and connectors, support their claims with evidence and reasoning, and write with clarity and coherence.
If you are interested in learning more about Hochman's program and how to implement it in your classroom, you can download a free PDF of Teaching Basic Writing Skills from this link[^1^]. You can also visit Hochman's website[^2^] for more resources and information.
One of the benefits of using Hochman's program is that it can help students improve not only their writing skills, but also their reading and thinking skills. Hochman argues that writing is the most rigorous and complex form of communication, and that by teaching students how to write well, we are also teaching them how to read critically, analyze information, synthesize ideas, and express themselves clearly and persuasively. Writing is also a powerful tool for learning, as it helps students process and retain the information they encounter in different subjects.
Another benefit of using Hochman's program is that it can help teachers save time and energy in planning and grading their writing assignments. Hochman provides teachers with a detailed step-by-step instruction manual that explains how to teach each activity and skill, along with examples and rubrics. Teachers can easily follow the manual or adapt it to their own needs and preferences. Teachers can also use the activities as formative assessments to monitor students' progress and provide feedback. By using Hochman's program, teachers can ensure that they are providing consistent and coherent instruction in expository writing across the grades and content areas.
In conclusion, Hochman's program is a valuable resource for teachers who want to help their students develop their expository writing skills in a systematic and effective way. The program teaches students the fundamental elements of writing, such as sentences, paragraphs, and essays, through a variety of activities that help them expand, combine, manipulate, model, outline, summarize, and write. The program also helps students improve their reading and thinking skills, as well as their content knowledge. The program is flexible, affordable, and easy-to-use, and can be used with students of all grades and abilities, across all content areas. If you want to learn more about Hochman's program and how to implement it in your classroom, you can download a free PDF of Teaching Basic Writing Skills from this link. You can also visit Hochman's website for more resources and information. a474f39169