The Write Tools Overview of the presentation to the Hollidaysburg Area School District on October 4 & 5, 2012
The Write Tools (TWT) presents strategies in a three-tiered model, deliberately addressing different levels of writing proficiency rather than grade level. • There are three essential components to improve writing skills. Students must: - receive direct instruction from trained teachers - write every day using a variety of text structures and hearing a common language and terminology - receive feedback on strengths and on what to do next • Level 1 = most basic • Level 2 and 3 = students who are becoming increasingly more proficient writers. Students are learning to enjoy writing and take risks. • TWT makes a deliberate connection to the 6 + 1 Traits ( ideas, organization, word choice, voice, sentence fluency, conventions, presentation). These traits are the foundation of many state and district writing rubrics used to assess student writing. THE WRITE GOALS - philosophy All teachers must share a common goal and a common language for student success. Too often students move from classroom to classroom with teachers using different terminology for the same idea.
Common vision - consistent formative and summative assessment by the classroom teacher provides valuable information for planning • Writing has a direct connection to improving reading comprehension. Organized thinking often forms the text structure around which information text is built. COMMON STRATEGIES COMMON LANGUAGE COMMON VISION CONSISTENT, SYSTEMATIC, EXPLICIT INSTRUCTION = SUCCESS Compatible with Common Core Standards • The English Language Arts Standards emphasize three genres of writing: informative, opinion-persuasive, and narrative. • English teachers should use all of the traits; content-area teachers should use these three: ideas, organization, and word choice (content vocabulary). RECIPE FOR SUCCESS! The classroom teacher is the most important person in the success of this program.
Step 1 – Select a compelling piece of text to read aloud. Read the story ahead of time and make five or six places where you’ll stop for students to write a response. • Step 2 – Read the selection aloud. When you come to a marked place, say “Please respond.” They may write complete sentences, single words or phrases, or draw a picture. • Step 3 – Warn students you will not wait for everyone to finish. A partial response will help them remember what they’re thinking. • Step 4 – When reading and responding cycles are complete, ask students to briefly review their notes. Give students a few minutes to talk to neighbors and discuss their ideas. EXAMPLES OF SAMPLE QUESTIONS: • How did this author give us clues about the setting? • How does one of the characters remind you of someone you know? • What predictions did you make? • How did your predictions compare with what the author had to say? EXAMPLES OF FEELING WORDS FOR FREE RESPONSE: Afraid, angry, confused, delighted, discouraged, disgusted, doubted, embarrassed, happy, sad, surprised, wondering, etc. RESPONDING TO READING: Free Response
Use on the 1st day of school. • Start with small group then whole group. • Don’t grade. • Use one or two a week for awhile. • Co-teaching classes should read aloud immediately after writing to encourage others • Use in contents classes as well. • Students can reread response notes and create a chart of the general categories to “think about their reading.” • CONNECTION TO 6 + 1 TRAITS: • Ideas that have meaning are based on a combination of the author’s words and the reader’s prior knowledge • Sentence fluency • Voice FREE RESPONSES: Purpose and Tips
TWT says: “If we start teaching the writing of longer pieces with students who still are not writing in complete sentences, both students and teachers will continued to be frustrated.” • Sentence writing activities: • Improve fluency • Create more precise and accurate word choice • Increase writing time • Motive students to move from 3-star writing to 4-star • Use generic terms like WHO, ACTION, HOW then move to NOUN, VERB, ADVERB • Use word banks for students with limited vocabulary • Practice sorting words into categories with index cards • Secondary - add phrases and clauses to increase fluency • Helps to lead into talking about conventions BUILDING BETTER SENTENCES
NUMBER NOTES: • List your topic at the top of the plan. • Rule of 5 - five words or less for each entry • Linear - easy to read • Will help with planning for multi-paragraph writing • See handout T-CHART: • Use printed form; later on, students can fold their papers and draw lines • Use a web (quick assessment); have it visible while they’re creating the T-chart • Reorganize aloud • Practice on a variety of topics • Work it backwards – create t-charts from paragraphs • See handout INTRODUCTION TO NEW METHODS OF PLANNING Start with a “quick assessment” like a web. Next, reorganize the same information into Number Notes or a T-chart.
Use a variety of paper products (post-it notes, chart paper, index cards , or transparencies). • Practice, practice, practice. • Students don’t always have to proceed to a paragraph. • After lots of practice, have student write a short paragraph examining his or her preference of Number Notes or T-charts. CONNECTION TO 6 + 1 Traits: • Organization • Ideas • Word Choice • See handouts on color-coding and level 1, 2, and 3 paragraphs PREWRITING ORGANIZER TIPS
The CORE 4: Simple Declarative Number Statement Question Situation, Stance ( 2-parts) • NO’S FOR TOPIC SENTENCES: Hello, my name is _____. I am going to tell you about______. In this paragraph I am going to tell you about _____. I am going to write about _____. There are _____. Here are _____. • USE TAK: Topic, Audience, and Key Word (see handout) • ALTERNATIVES FOR “THERE ARE”: Use who, how, what, where, and when See page 57 handout. TOPIC SENTENCES
Broadly introduces the topic with a dependent clause • Clearly states viewpoint on the topic with an independent clause • Sample: “Although teaching is a challenging profession, it is still very rewarding.” • Highlight or circle the two parts in different colors. • Circle the comma. • Emphasize that it is always the second part that clearly states what the paragraph will be about. • Start small – only use a few starter words. • “Writing it out loud!” Practice creating a lot of these sentences out loud so students can hear as well as see them. • Show an incorrect sentence: “Although my mother’s name is Cathy, I am fourteen years old.” • For more mature writers, use pg. 15 & 16 for multi-paragraphs. (see handout) • CONNECTION TO 6 + 1 TRAITS: • Organization • Fluency • Conventions – introduces the complex sentence TOPIC SENTENCE: Situation, Stance
Is a list of transition words or expressions readily available to the students in your classroom? • See handouts. • CONNECTION TO 6 + 1 TRAITS: • fluency – can the student rearrange the transitions in the sentence? • organization – transitions are markers for the READER! CONCLUSIONS: • Summarize the information in the body • Restate the topic but use different words • Encourages reflection or to take a past action • Students must learn to avoid: “Now you know…” and “That is all I have to say.” • Students can use one of the Core 4 that they didn’t use for a topic sentence. • Some conclusion words: actually, as a result, certainly, consequently, definitely, in fact, obviously, in fact, surely, truly • See handouts • CONNECTION TO 6 + 1 TRAITS: • organization – conclusions are an expected part of a paragraph • word choice – students create synonyms for key words BODY SENTENCES , TRANSITIONS, and CONCLUSIONS Transitions connect ideas together. Teach how to avoid the deadly trio: first, second, third. Teach a variety of words to use for a conclusion.
Use colored pencils. • Check for clarity and word choice. • On chart paper, make a list of kinds of revisions that good writers might make and keep this list posted. • Students should always reread to improve quality of work. • Students should be taught how to be a Peer Revision Partner. • See Paragraph Analysis Forms • See handouts • CONNECTION TO 6 + 1 TRAITS: • Word choice - heading • Fluency – where are the transitions place in the sentences? • Conventions – capitalization and end marks are important in revision • Revision resources: • Ruther Heller’s books about parts of speech • Barry Lane’s book Reviser’s Toolbox • Scholastic has tapes of authors talking about the writing process. REVISION
The editing process provides detailed feedback focused on conventions. • The teacher should recognize ONE strength and ONE next step for the student rather a long list of errors. • See handouts – there are feedback forms for the three levels of writing • Use CUPS – capitalization, usage, punctuation, spelling • The Final Copy – • If handwritten, it should be in pencil, with the best handwriting, and be consistent in style. • Older students should sometimes use cursive. According to TWT: Although printing is becoming more acceptable in the adult world, students still need to know how to read it! • If typed, the paper should have a legible font in black ink no larger than 14. • Correct all mistakes in the final edit. TEACHER CONFERENCING
Copy form two-sided (see handouts) • Students must be trained in peer conferencing. • Two students should volunteer to conduct a peer conference in front of the class with teachers observing and commenting. • Teach students to use the language of the 6 + 1 traits. • The students should work quietly, and the sessions should be short. • The writer fills out the form; the responder gives feedback orally. • Students should keep track in notebooks of peer advice to avoid the same issues over and over. • Students don’t need to always use the paragraph analysis form. Turn a piece of paper sideways and fold it into 4, 6, or 8 parts. Keep the paper turned sideways, and write the heading above the red margin line. PEER REVISION PARTNER
In a retell, the student is asked to convey all the big ideas from the selection, we well as many, many details. • A response to literature should include: • A short summary paragraph • Personal connections (text to self, world, or other text) • Author’s message or lesson, including a personal comment • A summary should: • Be significantly shorter than the original text • Contain significant paraphrasing rather than directly copied words/phrases/sentences • Include big ideas in sequential order • Eliminate most details (especially insignificant ones) • Exclude personal opinion • Leave out outside information not in the selection SUMMARY and RETELL and A RESPONSE TO LITERATURE Definitions
Step 1: Create a three-part summary topic sentence. • Step 2: Use jot dots to paraphrase and list big ideas (critical skills for later lesson note-taking) • Step 3: Turn to a neighbor and “Write It Out Loud.” • Step 4: Put the planner on the corner of your desk. • Step 5: Get out a clean sheet of paper. Begin writing your actual summary. • Recopy topic sentence to begin the summary. • Stretch the jot dots into complete sentences. • Check off each item on the plan as it is included in the summary. • List of verbs for summaries: STEPS for SUMMARIES
Start with fiction books that you read aloud. Why? You’re teaching the strategy first. Don’t overload with instruction from a complicated story. Practice with anything they’ve read, watched, or listened to. • Give students many opportunities to practice three-part topic sentences before adding jot dots. Do lots on chart paper, one sentence per sheet. Then, pull out the chart papers with just the three-part topic sentences on them and add the jot dots to each selection when students are ready for that step. Provide the topic sentence and have students add jot dots. • Summary writing gives students a natural opportunity to show their comprehension of what they’ve read. • Practice paraphrasing. • First dot: important event from beginning • Middle dot: important events in sequential order • Last dot: ending of story • CONNECTION TO 6 + 1 TRAITS: • Ideas • Organization • Word Choice • Sentence Fluency WRITING A SUMMARY Model, model, and model some more!
Show students samples of strong, real-life writing. • Have students color code with green, yellow, and pink. • Show students how certain sentences remain the same no matter how long the piece. • A multiparagraph paper begins with an introductoryparagraph (an introductory or thesis paragraph). • NOTE: The instructor said that the phrase “thesis statement” does not appear anywhere in the CCSS. • Introductory Paragraph - Topic Sentence - Preview Statement • Body Paragraph 1 • Body Paragraph 2 • Body Paragraph 3 • Concluding Paragraph - Summarize - Restate - Think/Do Quick Overview of Multiparagraph Writing – part 1
New paragraphs start when there is a change in T Time S Scene S Subject SSpeaker • Background Sentences (“the hook”) See handouts • Anecdotes • Humor • Dialogue • History • Startling fact/statement • Question • Quote • CONNECTION TO 6 + 1 TRAITS: • Ideas • Word Choice • Sentence Fluency • Organization • Voice • Conventions • Presentation Quick Overview of Multiparagraph Writing – part 2