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Developing Great Writers!

Challenge Center

Challenge Center School, (Sioux Falls, SD). The Challenge Center offers an accelerated, enriched curriculum to high ability students in grades two through five. In English language arts, the school focuses on three writing genres: personal/fictional narratives, opinion, and informative. Each day, students have multiple opportunities to write. For example, students share their rough drafts, poems, reflections, and feelings in a writing journal. During the narrative unit, the focus is on writing hooks to get the reader’s attention, transition words, introductory sentences, concluding sentences, beginning, middle, and end. During the opinion unit, students learn to state their opinion in a creative way, adding flair to capture and maintain a reader’s attention, and include supporting evidence to clearly communicate reasoning. Additionally, the Challenge Center incorporates the six traits of writing (ideas, organization, voice, sentence fluency, word choice, conventions) through the different genres. The school stresses the importance of writing sentences that include capitalization, punctuation, and complete thoughts to ensure students clearly communicate their thoughts and information. Students celebrate writing at the end of the year with a school-wide Author’s Celebration.