6-Trait Writing Instruction An Overview…. Lakenheath Elementary School October 11, 2013. Isn’t reading student writing fun?.
6-Trait Writing InstructionAn Overview…
Lakenheath Elementary School
October 11, 2013
I always did well on essay tests. Just put everything you know on there, maybe you’ll hit it. And then you get the paper back from the teacher and she’s written just one word across the top of the page, “vague.” I thought “vague” was kind of vague. I’d write underneath it “unclear,” and send it back. She’d return it to me, “ambiguous.” I’d send it back to her, “cloudy.” We’re still corresponding to this day . . . “hazy” . . . “muddy” . . .
~Jerry Seinfeld, SeinLanguage
“Nothing frustrates a young writer – or an older writer – more than looking at a finished piece and knowing it isn’t very good, but not knowing what to do about it.”
~ Tommy Thomason
“ My Trip To The River”
“When I was in school I thought details were just extra words to add in a story to make it better. I thought detail was decoration or wallpaper . . . Details are not wallpaper; they are walls.”
“Good prose is architecture.”
“We must teach ourselves to recognize our own voice. We want to write in a way that is natural for us, that grows out of the way we think, the way we see, the way we care. But to make that voice effective we must develop it, extending our natural voice through the experience of writing on different subjects for different audiences, of using our voice as we perform many writing tasks.”
~Donald Murray, Write to Learn
~Ruth Culham, 6+1 Traits of Writing
~ adapted from http://6traits.cyberspace.net/strat6.html
“The difference between the almost-right word and the right word is really a large matter—it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”
“Don’t say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream!”
“Editing is easy, all you have to do is cross out the wrong words.”
Design writing tasks that mirror real life. Involve students in creating classroom newspapers, pamphlets, websites, books of their own, brochures, newsletters, and flyers.
Have students create works for a variety of audiences. Ask them to explain how the presentation changes depending on the audience.
Ask students to present their work, especially research projects. Include lessons using technology and other presentation tools to allow them to share their ideas with others.
These suggestions use higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy; they are also meaningful and engaging.
“The writing process is a means to an end and not an end in itself.”
Sounds right = Prewriting, Drafting Revising
Looks right = Editing and presentation
“Good assessment always begins with a vision of success.”
Student-Centered Classroom Assessment
“We must constantly remind ourselves that the ultimate purpose of evaluation is to enable students to evaluate themselves.”
“Assessment is not the private property of teachers. Kids can learn to evaluate their own writing. They must take part in this . . . it is central to the growth of writing. Even before they write, they need to know about what makes writing strong or effective. And they need to know the criteria by which their own writing will be judged.”
~ Marjorie Frank
CSI is a process not a product. LES is in the “process” of fully integrating 6+1 as an intervention strategy for a CSI goal.
Advertise 6+1 to your stakeholders. Ensure your students know the traits. (posters, newsletters home, etc.)
Teachers and students use the language of the traits.
Link the traits to literature and writing.
Share your successes with each other.
Engage your students in scoring when possible.
Where – from here…
“Think of how many teachers you had who actually helped you with your writing. Most people can name one or two. I say to teachers, ‘Be that one teacher for a child.’”