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Hoosier Writing Project a university-based site of the National Writing Project. http://hoosierwritingproject.org Herb Budden Co-director [email protected] http://budden.wikispaces.com. The AGENDA….

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Hoosier Writing Projecta university-based site of the National Writing Project

http://hoosierwritingproject.orgHerb [email protected]://budden.wikispaces.com


...will move through several flexible activities designed increase knowledge base and teaching skills--all involve reading/writing/collaborating

Goals of the Workshop

  • Teachers will:

    • Gain knowledge of the use of writing as a tool for learning (Writing to Learn)

    • Learn specific techniques/strategies for using WTL in all subjects/classes

    • Understand the differences/applicability of levels of writing

    • Be able to connect knowledge/skills to high-stakes writing (ISTEP, SAT) and the levels of writing


  • Find a quote that “speaks” to you. Stand by it. Introduce yourself to others who have selected the same quote, and discuss why you chose it. Have one person quickly introduce members of your group to the large group and say something about your quote



You’re standing in the large field minding your own business when you hear rumbling sounds in the distance. The sounds begin to intensify, and at first you wonder if it is thunder you hear approaching. Because it’s a beautiful, cloudless day you dismiss the notion.

As the rumbling sounds grow louder, you begin to see a dust cloud rising just over the ridge a few yards in front of you. Instantly, you become panicked . . .

. . . Because at that exact moment it dawns on you that the rumbling you’re hearing is the sound of hundreds of wild bulls stampeding over the ridge. There are hordes of them and they are bearing down right on top of you. They are clearly faster than you and there is not time to escape. What should you do?

Survival experts recommend only ONE of the following actions: (5)

A. Lying down and curling up, covering your head with your arms

B. Running directly at the bulls, screaming loudly and flailing your arms in an attempt to scare them in another direction

C. Turning and running like heck in the same direction the bulls are running (even though you know you can’t outrun them)

D. Standing completely still; they will see you and run around you

E. Screaming rude words at your parent(s) for insisting on a back-to-nature vacation in Wyoming

Did You Know . . .

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that today’s learner will have 10-14 jobs . . .

By the age of 38.

According to former Secretary of Education Richard Riley . . .

The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 didn’t exist in 2004.

We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist . . .(15)

Using technologies that haven’t been invented . . .

In order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.

Did you know . . .

In 2002 alone Nintendo invested more than $140 million in research and development.

The U.S. Federal Government spent less than half as much on Research and Innovation in Education.(20)

We are living in exponential times.

There are over 2.7 billion searches performed on Google each month.

To whom were these questions addressed B.G.?(Before Google)

The number of text messages sent and received every day exceeds the population of the planet.

There are about 540,000 words in the English language . . .

About 5 times as many as during Shakespeare’s time.

More than 3,000 new books are published . . .


Did you know . . .

It’s estimated that a week’s worth of New York Times . . .(30)

Contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century.

It’s estimated that 40 exabytes (that’s 4.0 x 1019) of unique new information will be generated worldwide this year.

That’s estimated to be more than in the previous 5,000 years.

The amount of new technical information is doubling every 2 years.

It’s predicted to double every 72 hours by 2010.

The Internet is the fastest growing communications media in world history. It took the Web four years to reach 50 million users. Compare this to the number of years it took radio (38), personal computers (16), and television (13) to reach that many users (Warschauer 1999)

The blogosphere is now doubling in size every six months.

It is sixty times larger than it was three years ago (Sifrey, 2006)

Today eighty percent or more of the companies in the service and finance, insurance and real estate sectors, the corporations with the greatest employment growth potential, assess writing during hiring. Half of all companies take writing into account when making promotion decisions.

(National Commission on Writing 2004)

What does it all mean?

Stampede II

We are immersed in the dawn of the Information/Knowledge Age. More than ever before in history, the ability to read and write will determine how far one will go in this world.


For the most part, people who read and write well will compete and prosper; people who read and write poorly will be left behind.

Simply put, there is a literacy stampede approaching and it is bearing down right on top of us.

What should we do?

A. Go home, curl up on the sofa, watch a lot of TV, and hope the demands of the literacy stampede will go away

  • Stare the Information/Knowledge Age in the face, screaming wildly and flail our arms, in an attempt to make it go away

  • Elevate our reading and writing abilities to the point we can run with the literacy stampede

  • Stand completely still. Pray that the literacy stampede will avoid us.

  • Scream rude words at our parent(s) for conceiving us in the shadow of a literacy stampede

Our Choice as Educators

C. Elevate our reading and writing abilities to the point we can run with the literacy stampede


  • Write about a memory you have regarding writing…


Importance of WAC

Value of an analytic writing model, such as 6 Traits

Things to remember:

  • You are probably already doing WAC!

  • If it makes teaching harder, you’re doing it wrong

  • Student achievement will improve using writing across the curriculum

An Analytic Model such as 6 Traits can help…

…BUT, there are myths to be dispelled:

  • the 6 Trait model is NOT a curriculum

  • the 6 Trait model is NOT a program

  • the 6 Trait model IS a way to empower students and teachers to communicate about the qualities of writing in a consistent, transparent manner


Why Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC)?

  • Faculty in all disciplines find that when students write in their classes, they learn material and improve their thinking about ideas in the courses.

  • Writing assigned across the curriculum helps students prepare for the typical communicative tasks they'll face on the job, no matter what the job is.

The Writing Brain

This is the part of the brain that every educator wants to activate. It is responsible for focus, reflection, decision- making, problem- solving, and most importantly the ability to be conscious of all of that activity. If a student really thinks and is aware of himself as a thinker, this section has been activated.


What types of writing are best used across the curriculum?

Writing across the curriculum has been implemented at a range of schools and universities. In those schools, writing assignments generally fall into two categories:

  • Writing to Learn

  • Writing in the Disciplines

Do teachers have to be expert in grammar to assign writing?

  • Not at all! In writing-to-learn tasks, the emphasis is upon the content, not the mechanics of the writing.

What do WTL & WID look like?

  • Activity: Text Rendering the

    Maxwell article

  • Sentence

  • Phrase

  • Word

How are the levels of writing and WAC connected?

  • WTL = Level 1

  • WID = Levels 2 and 3, depending upon the assignment

What do they mean,

Every child should be writing in every class every day??

Levels and Frequency

  • Level 1 = about 70% of all school writing

  • Level 2 = about 20% of all school writing

  • Level 3 = about 10% of all school writing

What is Writing in the Disciplines?

  • WID (LEVEL 3) assignments are typically, but not exclusively, formal papers prepared over a few days, weeks or even months.

What about writing conventions in my subject?

  • The final papers adhere to format and style guidelines typical of the subjects they are helping students learn about.

Writing & Grading

  • Remember the LEVELS of writing–

  • LEVEL 1- no scoring of content

  • LEVEL 2- scored for content only

  • LEVEL 3- scored consistently and analytically by trait across faculty (60)

Assessing Writing to Learn (WTL)

  • WTL activities are Level 1 or Level 2 type writing, depending on your purpose.

  • Level 1 assessment is based on satisfactory completion.

  • Level 2 will typically be scored for content correctness only

Giving Feedback to WTL Level 1

  • Use the work in class...e.g., begin class by having students read aloud from their response journals, etc

  • Respond in writing OCCASIONALLY, answering content with content

  • Use binary grading

Remember: use the LEVELS to determine how to assess!

  • Writing that is polished, requires revisions, and is not done ‘on demand’ is Level 3 writing and should be assessed using all or some of the 6 Traits—

Polished writing (Level 3) needs Six Traitassessment!

  • If you assign more polished pieces, especially those that adhere to conventions of your subject, then we suggest putting the burden of proofreading squarely where it belongs--on the writer, then use the 6 TRAITS assessment!

WTL vs Customary School Writing Tasks:

WTLTraditional Writing Tasks

SPONTANEOUS vs planned

SHORT vslengthy

EXPLORATORY vsauthoritative

EXPRESSIVE vstransactional

INFORMAL vs formal

PERSONAL vsaudience-centered

UNEDITED vs polished

UNGRADED vs graded

Let’s examine some

LEVEL ONE writing activities ANYONE can do!


A brief description in your own words

So What?

The significance of the item from your viewpoint

Now What?

A way you might apply this item to your teaching practice


What makes good writing?




  • VOICE (V)




Validity and Reliabilty

  • Validity answers the question: can we all agree that does this thing does what it is supposed to do?

  • Reliability answers the question: will one person’s use of the thing match up consistently with another’s use of it?

The 6+1 Traits model is ANALYTIC, not holistic; it breaks down writing performance into a manageable group of teachable and assessable skills

Uses a grading scale of 1-5

Overall score of 3 meets the standard

Moves the discussion of writing skills from subjective to objective

ISTEP vs 6 Traits

Which to use? Which is right? Which will help our kids the most?

Analytic vs. Holistic Scoring

6 Traits is ANALYTIC


ISTEP6 Traits








2 scores 6 scores (70)



Carnegie Report

Writing NEXT

All SchoolWriting Assessment Results Gr 10 Fall 2003


  • (5 PT SCALE)

    I/C O V WC SF C

    70 73 74 75 72 77

All SchoolWriting Assessment Results Gr 10 Fall 2003


    I/C O V WC SF C

    30 33 18 27 27 47

Why establish a writing policy?

  • Schools with high levels of achievement in writing have systematically implemented productive teaching and learning practices.

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