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RIGOROUS WRITING through VERTICAL ALIGNMENT Day 1: Forsyth. How does Vertical Alignment work with GPS? Why should students Write? How do school leaders articulate a vertically aligned writing program? How do teachers ensure that writing assignments are rigorous and relevant?

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RIGOROUS WRITING through VERTICAL ALIGNMENT Day 1: Forsyth

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RIGOROUS WRITING through VERTICAL ALIGNMENTDay 1: Forsyth

How does Vertical Alignment work with GPS?

Why should students Write?

How do school leaders articulate a vertically aligned writing program?

How do teachers ensure that writing assignments are rigorous and relevant?

Kathy Cox: “We Will Lead the Nation in Improving Student Achievement.”


Bookkeeping issues

  • 8 am-3:30 pm

  • Break at 9:30 (10 minutes)

  • Lunch from 11:30 until 12:45

  • Break at 2:15 (10 minutes)

  • Dismissal at 3:30

  • Please feel free to stretch, go to the restroom, etc. when you wish.

  • Also, please turn off your cell phones.

  • Kathy Cox: “We will Lead the Nation in Improving Student Achievement.”


Activity 1: What Do I Know?

  • Receive a bingo card.

  • Listen closely to the term.

  • Volunteer a comment regarding the term (i.e., What does the term mean to you as an educator?)

  • Shout out when you achieve “Bingo.”

  • Receive your prize!!!

  • Kathy Cox: “We will Lead the Nation in Improving Student Achievement.”


Begin a year with the end in mind…


Why Vertical Alignment?

Curriculum focus during planning time

Focus on students’ academic growth

Vertical “connectedness” conversations lead to awareness of complete Standards process

Collaboration leads to developmental K-12 program

Impact of vertical alignment on assessment

Data analysis across grade levels

Kathy Cox: “We will Lead the Nation in Improving Student Achievement.”


Vertical Teaming and Alignment of Standards

  • Rigor

  • Relevance

  • Relationships

  • Kathy Cox: “We will Lead the Nation in Improving Student Achievement.”


Rigorous and Relevant Learning

Reasons

  • A changing world

  • A need to motivate students

  • An emphasis on essential skills and knowledge

  • A shift focus from teaching to learning

  • A reduction in the overloaded curriculum

  • A unified perspective and focus

  • A preparation for state tests

  • Kathy Cox: “We will Lead the Nation in Improving Student Achievement.”


Statistical Facts Continued

  • One third of college freshmen are remedial students

    (NCES, 2004; AEE, 2006a)

  • Freshmen are unprepared for rigors of college (ACT, 2007)

  • Evaluation of ELA/GPS

  • 70% of high school students graduate on time

  • 34% of graduates are ready for college

    (Education Week, 2007; Greene & Winters, 2005)

    Kathy Cox: “We will Lead the Nation in Improving Student Achievement.”


Original Terms New Terms

  • Evaluation

  • Synthesis

  • Analysis

  • Application

  • Comprehension

  • Knowledge

  • Creating

  • Evaluating

  • Analyzing

  • Applying

  • Understanding

  • Remembering

(Based on Pohl, 2000, Learning to Think, Thinking to Learn, p. 8)


BLOOM’S REVISED TAXONOMYCreatingGenerating new ideas, products, or ways of viewing thingsDesigning, constructing, planning, producing, inventing.EvaluatingJustifying a decision or course of actionChecking, hypothesizing, critiquing, experimenting, judgingAnalyzingBreaking information into parts to explore understandings and relationshipsComparing, organizing, deconstructing, interrogating, findingApplyingUsing information in another familiar situationImplementing, carrying out, using, executingUnderstandingExplaining ideas or conceptsInterpreting, summarizing, paraphrasing, classifying, explainingRememberingRecalling informationRecognizing, listing, describing, retrieving, naming, finding

Higher-order thinking


Activity 2: Putting the standards/elements in order

  • Get in pairs

  • Review the set of standards and elements

  • Label the grade level associated with each standard and the set of elements

  • Highlight key words that show level of thinking

  • Highlight key words that show progression of skills/knowledge

  • Discussion

  • Kathy Cox: “We will Lead the Nation in Improving Student Achievement.”


Activity 3: Recognizing Rigor

  • Please pair with another member of the group

  • Receive two different writing samples

  • Receive two “Rigor and Relevance” rubrics

  • Evaluate your samples

  • Discuss why you rated as you did

  • General discussion with the group

  • Kathy Cox: “We will Lead the Nation in Improving Student Achievement.”


Activity 4: Examination of tasks

  • Read and highlight key words (What must the student do? What skills must the student have? What standards are evident?)

  • Discussion

  • Kathy Cox: “We will Lead the Nation in Improving Student Achievement.”


What Does ELA Vertical Alignment Look Like in Georgia?

Please refer to the following handouts of vertically-aligned GPS examples developed by the ELA team

Kathy Cox: “We will Lead the Nation in Improving Student Achievement.”


Handout #1

Writing


Handout #2

Conventions


For early writers—Be consistent

Emphasize the reading and writing connection

Provide daily opportunities to organize, transcribe, and edit

Offer a variety of writing assignments appropriate to abilities

Build skills of letter formation, spelling, and sentence generation

Compose in stages: generating and organizing ideas, producing a draft, sharing with others to get feedback, revising, editing, proofreading, and publishing

What are the foundations of early writing?Kathy Cox: “We will Lead the Nation in Improving Student Achievement.”


Writing strategies

Summarization

Collaborative writing

Specific product goals

Word processing

Sentence combining

Prewriting

Inquiry activities

Process writing approach

Study of models

Writing for content learning

Reading/writing connection

What are the elements of effective adolescent writing instruction?Source: A Report to Carnegie Corporation of New York, Writing Next: Effective Strategies to Improve Writing of Adolescents in Middle and High Schools. (2007).


Activity 5: Developing a strong writing program

  • List 5 components you feel are absolute “non-negotiables” for a strong writing program.

  • Share ideas

  • From the list, choose the 5 that are necessary for Forsyth (Where do we begin?)

  • Kathy Cox: “We will Lead the Nation in Improving Student Achievement.”


Some ideas for a “strong writing” program

  • Triple Vision (Know what comes before you, what you are suppose to address, and what comes after you).

  • LOTS—(Language of the Standards)

  • Anchor Papers

  • Minimum expectations from each grade level

  • Avoiding an “abundance of redundancy”

  • Understanding and demanding rigor

  • Writing to Learn, Writing to Demonstrate, Authentic (Real World) Writing

  • Reading and Writing Connection

  • Kathy Cox: “We will Lead the Nation in Improving Student Achievement.”


Activity 6: What do you want for Forsyth?

  • Model how to vertically align (Persuasive)—Use the handout from earlier.

  • Groups: 2 elementary teachers, 2 middle school teachers, 2 high school teachers

  • Chart what types of assignments you would want in each area—elementary, middle, and high—for each genre.

  • Each group will share.

  • Kathy Cox: “We will Lead the Nation in Improving Student Achievement.”


Advantages to Vertical Teaming and Alignment

  • Sense of belonging for both teachers and students

  • Maximum use of teachers’ strengths

  • Development of rigor in tasks

  • Decrease in repetition

    Kathy Cox: “We will Lead the Nation in Improving Student Achievement.”


Next Steps for Forsyth

  • Groups need to align all the writing standards (Choose a format that is easy to follow and that highlights the elements).

  • Decide what specific assignments might be required at each grade; you may create a list.

  • Find anchor papers for each genre so your teachers have a guide.

  • Monitor the writing as a school and as a department.

    Kathy Cox: “We will Lead the Nation in Improving Student Achievement.”


“The research is crystal clear: schools that do well insist that their students write every day and [are] provided regular and timely feedback” (National Commission on Writing)


Final Thought

  • Successful Vertical Alignment Has Graduation As Its Mission and Vision

=


We are here to help!!!

  • Mary Stout, ELA Program Manager, mstout@doe.k12.ga.us

  • Kim Jeffcoat, ELA Program Specialist, kjeffcoat@doe.k12.ga.us

    Kathy Cox: “We will Lead the Nation in Improving Student Achievement.”


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