Brief Constructed Response

What is a Brief Constructed Response (BCR)? It’s a well-written paragraph. Many schools rightly put a lot of emphasis on this in the 3rd – 5th grades.

The idea behind a BCR is that a child will write an opening sentence, supply three supporting details, and write a closing sentence. Children are taught to take the prompt and turn it into their opening sentence.
The children I teach and tutor run into some predictable, easy to fix, problems:
  1. They open with a sentence that is too specific,
  2. They supply details that sort of support what they opened with – but not really,
  3. They close with a sentence that has nothing to do with the opening sentence.
I’ll give you an example of a successful and unsuccessful BCR now. In the next few posts, I’ll give samples of poorly written BCR’s, along with ways to practice and solve the problems. (Why all the emphasis on the BCR? Because, once your child has this perfected, it’s easy to move from the BCR to a 3-paragraph essay.)
EXAMPLE of a Successful BCR
Prompt: What is your favorite book series?
My favorite book series is “Frog and Toad” for many reasons. The series tells about two friends I really like. Their adventures are always funny. The books are just the right reading level for me. I love the “Frog and Toad” series.
EXAMPLE of an Unsuccessful BCR
Prompt: What is your favorite book series?
My favorite book series is “Frog and Toad” because they are funny. Once they ate ice cream. I like ice cream. Ice cream is my favorite food.

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