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Cape Gazette
Lewes, Delaware
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May 1, 1998     Cape Gazette
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May 1, 1998

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40 - CAPE GAZETI, Friday, May I - May 7, 1998 SCH(.)L & EDUCATIO? F Arbor Day an out-q00f-the-classroom experience Arbor Day was celebrated in all Cape Region communities last week. Above, Rehoboth Beach Mayor Sam Cooper plants one of 43 crepe myrtles in The Grove Park, while Parks and Shade Tree Commission members (l-r) Priscilla Smith, Jane Wyatt and John Brown look on. (Missing are members Jeanne Booth and Ross Alexander.) Smith noted that memorial benches as well as memorial trees may now be purchased from the city, with the first four dedicated during the ceremo- ny on April 24. Below, The Sussex Gardeners Club donated a tree to be planted by the students of H.O. Brittingham School on Friday, April 24. Shown with students planting the weeping crabap- pie tree are (l-r) Marie Potter of the Sussex Gardeners Club; Sussex Gardener Elva Davidson, who also serves as Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs president; Chairman of Youth Activities Doris Lewis; and Janet Brandt, the principal of H.O. Brittingham. Above, students at Shields Elementary School from Judi Walls' third-grade class help mem- bers of the Sussex Gardeners plant trees. On hand are (l-r) Elva Davidson, school Principal Peg Horton, Mary Lee Smith, Doris Lewis and Carol Buck. Below, Lewes officials and students from the Sussex Consortium celebrate Arbor Day with the planting of four river birches in Blockhouse Pond Park. The river birches were chosen because of their disease-resistance and "because they like wet feet," said Lewes Parks and Recreation Chairman Mary Vessels. Shown during the planting of one of the river birches are (l-r) Jack Schulz, Blockhouse Pond Park coordinator for Lewes Parks and Recreation Commission; Councilman Ed Zygmonski; Coun- cilman Jim Ford; George Cleaver, who works frequently with the commission; Paul DeVilbiss; Mary Vessels; Mayor George Smith; Sussex Consortium students Thomas Mills, Josh Boyer, Antwine Daniels and Michael Coyle; Arbor Day enthusiast Walt Rosen; and Sussex Consortium teacler Karen McMahon and paraprofessional John Edgar. . . ..... ....  iii ::: ":%i ::::i. ....  ii Explaining the five stages in the writing process Spring means testing time for Delaware's third, fifth, eighth, and 10th graders. Parents seem espe- cially confused by tests given today. Things are different today than when we were in school. Remember bubbling in answers? Gone are the multiple choice tests that really may have been multiple guess. Students are actually asked tO write to a prompt. The writing is judged by real live people. Things have changed, for the better. There are different kinds of writing: descriptive, expository, persuasive, poetry. There are dif- ferent purposes for writing: to inform, to entertain, to enlighten. In today's worldthere is a tremen- dous need to know how to write. Gaining entrance to the Internet involves writing in the form of keyboarding: Letters are now mes-  sages sent at lightning speed via electronic mail or e-mail. The SCHOOL JOURNAL Diane Albanese need for good writing skills is more urgent than ever. As parents we often read to our children, but how often do we read their writing or evaluate it? Try this at home. Ask your child to write to a prompt. Good prompts include information about the task, the intended audience and the purpose of the writing. Lan- guage arts teachers call this TAP, for task, audience and purpose. A sample prompt may be the following: Pretend that you have just gotten a new pet. You want to tell your classmates what it looks like and how it acts. Write a piece that describes your new pet and give enough information about the pet that the students would be able to draw it. This type of prompt is similar to those used in state test- ing. There are five stages in the writ- ing process; prewrite, draft, revise, edit and publish. Students should be able to take a piece that they have written through these stages at home and in a testing situation. Parents can help but I advise cau- tion in the early stage of the first draft. The first draft is meant for them to get their ideas on paper. This is the time that the structure of the writing takes place. To revise a draft, the writer and reader should look at the content. Does this pece say what she wants it to say? Does the writing answer the prompt question? Does the piece make sense? Generally, this is not the time to address the spelling or grammar errors. Stu- dents should rewrite using these guidelines to strengthen the con- tent of the piece. This is a good time to look at the parts sepa- ratelybeginning, middle, end. In the editing stage a piece is read for mechanics, spelling and grammar. Students can and should self-edit. They reread the piece and circle all the words that they feel are incorrectly spelled. Then a parent can help and get it right. It's important that students evaluate their own writing before well- intentioned adults become involved. The purpose is to create thoughtful writers who recognize their own misspellings. The stu- dents may not know how to spell the word correctly, but realizing that is incorrect is really half the battle. Publishing means to get the writing into final form ready to be read. This usually involves rewrit- ing the piece and including 'a cov- er. If writing is being done on a Continued on page 41