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Finding the Middle Ground: Collins Writing Part 2 for Grades 2-3. Erin Monn March 16, 2012 In-Service New Bloomfield Elementary. Purposes for Today. Review Collins Writing Program and where it fits in the schedule Introduce and explain Types 3, 4, 5 Type 3 (Edit for FCAs-one draft)

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finding the middle ground collins writing part 2 for grades 2 3

Finding the Middle Ground: Collins Writing Part 2 for Grades 2-3

Erin Monn

March 16, 2012 In-Service

New Bloomfield Elementary

purposes for today
Purposes for Today
  • Review Collins Writing Program and where it fits in the schedule
  • Introduce and explain Types 3, 4, 5
    • Type 3 (Edit for FCAs-one draft)
    • Type 4 (Peer Edit for FCAs-two drafts)
    • Type 5 (Publish-multiple drafts)
  • Discuss grading of writing using FCAs
please do now
Please Do Now!

Think about how you have used a Type 1 or Type 2 writing in your classroom. Record benefits and/or drawbacks to your experience. If you have not used a Type 1 or Type 2 writing yet, write about how you could use one in your classroom.

Please share with a neighbor.

remember
Remember….
  • Type 1=
    • Brainstorming
    • Thinking on paper
    • Assesses background knowledge
    • Time limit
    • Requires specific number of items/lines
    • No correct answer
    • Did it or did not do it
    • One draft
  • Type 2=
    • Shows writer knows something about content
    • Checks for understanding
    • Needs a correct response
    • Grade for content not how expressed
    • Can give time limit and required number of lines/items
    • One draft
what is collins writing
What is Collins Writing?
  • “…A model for a writing-across-the- curriculum/writing-to-learn program that explains exactly how to “write more-grade less” by defining five types of writing assignments and the outcomes expected for each.”

(Collins, page vii)

  • Emphasizes frequency, focus, and feedback
  • Includes informal writing and formal writing
  • Encourages students to “think on paper”
  • Utilizes Focus Correction Areas (FCAs)
    • Selective approach to correcting student writing
    • Become focus for instruction, modeling, practice, assessment
how does it fit in our schedule
How Does it Fit in Our Schedule?
  • Type 1 and Type 2 writing (Quick writes; Content focused)
    • Perfect for content areas
  • Types 3, 4, 5 (Longer writes; writing and content focused)
    • Use during writing period in schedule
    • Can expand on content area Type 1 and Type 2 writings
type 3 writing characteristics self editing
Type 3 WritingCharacteristics (Self-editing)
  • Objectives
    • Move students from recording ideas to refining them
    • Students create a draft, read it aloud, and review draft for following criteria:
      • Did I complete the assignment?
      • Does the composition sound right? Is it easy to read?
      • Do I have problems with the focus correction areas? (FCAs)
    • Provide a structured editing process for drafts
  • Form
    • Any form (essay, letter, story, diary entry, etc.)
  • Audience
    • Student (reads aloud to him/herself)
    • Teacher (reads and evaluates based on FCAs)
type 3 writing characteristics cont
Type 3 WritingCharacteristics (cont.)
  • Evaluation Criterion
    • Did I complete the assignment?
    • Does the composition sound right? Is it easy to read?
    • Do I have problems with the FCAs?
    • If answer is “NO” to first two questions, paper is returned and student completes assignment
    • If answer is “Yes” to first two questions, paper is scored based on FCAs.
  • Paper Format
    • FCAs listed on left hand side
    • Name and date listed on right hand side
    • Number paper
    • Skip lines (ease of editing/revising)
type 3 writing advantages and disadvantages
Type 3 WritingAdvantages and Disadvantages
  • Advantages
    • While more time consuming than Types 1 and 2, very efficient
    • Relatively easy to evaluate and grade
    • Improves writing skills (reading aloud, frequent practice, FCAs)
    • Helps students organize and understand content knowledge
    • Allows you to differentiate instruction and assignments
  • Disadvantage
    • Student does not receive feedback on errors other than FCAs
what does the process look like
What Does the Process Look Like?
  • How do I start a Type 3 writing?
    • Use a Type 1 or Type 2 piece
    • Start from scratch
  • Teach FCAs and inform students of FCAs
  • Student writes draft
  • Student reads piece out loud to him/herself and asks:
    • Did I complete the assignment?
    • Does the composition sound right? Is it easy to read?
    • Do I have problems with the focus corrections areas?
  • Student makes revisions based on answers to three questions listed above
what are the benefits to having students read their writing out loud
What are the Benefits to Having Students Read Their Writing Out Loud?
  • Single most effective way to help students revise/edit their work
  • “Voice, after meaning, is the most important element in effective writing.” (Donald Murray)
  • “Read your work aloud. This will slow you down enough to catch errors that would be difficult to see during silent reading.” (Anne Ruggles Gere)
what are the benefits to having students read their writing out loud cont
What are the Benefits to Having Students Read Their Writing Out Loud? (cont.)
  • “When we read the text over, we find ourselves mentally filling in explanations that aren’t actually included in the writing. We imagine transitions where none exist, and unless we read aloud, it’s easy to skip over clunky phrasing. These things happen because we read with our brains, not our eyes, and brains fill in what should be on the page and ignore the things that shouldn’t be there.” (Anne RugglesGere)
what are focus correction areas fcas
What are Focus Correction Areas (FCAs)?
  • Selective approach to correcting student writing
  • Choose 1, 2 or 3 critical problem areas
  • Will change over time
  • Focuses students and teacher on few clearly specified criteria
  • Can use the skills in Harcourt
how do i choose the fcas
How Do I Choose the FCAs?
  • Content=the what of writing
    • Quality of information or ideas
    • Details used to support ideas
  • Organization=the order of writing
    • Unity, coherence, emphasis
    • Logical order or sequence
    • Reader knows where he/she is going
    • Easy to summarize
  • Convention=the appearance of writing
    • Legibility, spelling, neatness, usage
    • Can kill a piece of writing
  • Style=the personality of writing
    • Word choice, Sentence structure, variety, voice

***They are skills you have taught.***

guidelines for creating fcas
Guidelines for Creating FCAs
  • Guideline One-Write specific FCAs
    • Three examples from text vs. sufficient support
    • At least one simple sentence and one complex sentence vs. sentence variety
    • Three vivid verbs underlined vs. word usage
  • Guideline Two-FCAs are best when mixed for content, organization, style and mechanics.
    • Good writing is more than conventions
    • Requires students to examine paper from more than one perspective
guidelines for creating fcas cont
Guidelines for Creating FCAs (cont.)
  • Guideline Three-Avoid subjective FCAs
    • Example-10 pts for originality
  • Guideline Four-FCAs should be quantifiable (If looking for 3 facts, make the points worth number divisible by three)
    • If FCAs are done right, grade should be self-explanatory
example fcas by category
Example FCAs by Category
  • Content (These get the most points)
    • Explains the three steps involved in solving this problem
    • Includes two or three facts about….
    • Contains the five parts of a friendly letter
  • Organization
    • Includes an attention-getting beginning
    • Includes at least four transition words
example fcas by category cont
Example FCAs by Category(cont.)
  • Conventions
    • Contains at least five complete sentences
    • Contains no more than three spelling errors
    • Contains at least three pieces of dialogue with correct usage of quotation marks
  • Style
    • Contains at least three sentences with different beginnings
    • Contains at least one metaphor and one simile
    • Contains three underlined action verbs
your turn
Your turn…
  • Choose a writing assignment you will be doing with your kiddos in the future
  • Write 2 or 3 FCAs for that writing assignment.
tip a way to speed up correcting papers
TIP- A way to speed up correcting papers
  • Students code their papers for FCAs
    • Circling (vivid verbs, adjectives, vocabulary, etc.)
    • Underlining (varied sentence beginnings, figurative language, etc.)
    • Brackets (interesting beginnings, strong conclusions)
    • Number items in margin
how do i introduce a fca
How do I Introduce a FCA?
  • Focus Teaching
    • Give a Type 1 assignment and ask students to define it and give an example of FCA
      • Example: What do you think a complete sentence is and give an example of one.
      • Allows you to assess prior knowledge of students
      • Allows you to see if they have the same understanding you have about FCA
    • Teach the meaning of the FCA by using mentor texts or through teacher modeling
how do i introduce a fca cont
How Do I Introduce a FCA? (cont.)
  • Focus Practice
    • Students edit past papers for FCA
  • Focus Assigning (Type 3 or 4)
    • After students
      • Have a common understanding of FCA
      • Have seen FCA modeled
      • Have applied FCA to their past writing
  • Focus Correcting
    • Allows teacher to see:
      • Effectiveness of instruction
      • Which students need more practice
    • Allows students to see:
      • How successful they were at applying FCA to own writing
tip model and practice editing revising for fcas
TIP-Model and practice editing/revising for FCAs
  • Examples of student work (scanned/transparencies)
  • Sample 1-Lead class through evaluation based on FCAs
    • Discuss strengths and areas of improvement
    • Teach how to solve writing problems
  • Sample 2-Students partner up and evaluate based on FCAs
    • Volunteers share results and teacher shares as well
  • Sample 3-Individual students evaluate based on FCAs
tips for successful type 3 writing
Tips for Successful Type 3 Writing
  • MODEL, MODEL, MODEL
    • Model writing a Type 3 piece of writing
      • From a Type 1 or 2
      • From scratch
    • Model reading pieces of writing out loud slowly and accurately
  • Give Feedback
    • Listen to students as they read to themselves and make sure reading slowly and accurately
tips for successful type 3 writing cont
Tips for Successful Type 3 Writing (cont.)
  • Avoid “Stopping to Fix”
    • Interrupts flow of reading
    • Instead, have students place checkmark where they hear or see something that needs attention
    • After students are done reading aloud, then go back and fix areas that needed addressed
    • Can set a quota of checkmarks-Everyone needs at least ____ checkmarks.
type 4 writing characteristics peer editing
Type 4 WritingCharacteristics (Peer editing)
  • Objectives
    • Boomerang papers
      • Type 3 writing that has been read aloud and critiqued by another (SPREE)
        • Two students sit together, take turns reading papers aloud to each other
        • Swap papers and edit/revise for FCAs
        • Have peer editor sign paper
        • Students rewrite papers based on peer editor suggestions
    • Type of writing that is closest to real life
type 4 writing characteristics
Type 4 WritingCharacteristics
  • Form
    • Any form (just like Type 3)
  • Audience
    • Student author, peer editor, teacher
  • Evaluation
    • FCAs
type 4 writing advantages and disadvantages
Type 4 WritingAdvantages and Disadvantages
  • Advantages
    • Produces fair and objective evaluations
    • Promotes sharing and exchange of ideas
    • Creates a community of learners
    • Produces the most improvement in writing and thinking skills
  • Disadvantage
    • Time consuming
type 5 writing characteristics
Type 5 WritingCharacteristics

Historically

  • Grand expectations that foster writing students can perfect:
    • short, limited, basic words and sentences
    • No risk
  • Teachers’ comments focus on mechanics

Characteristics

  • Objectives
    • Writing that goes public beyond the classroom
    • Great content with no technical flaws
    • Perfect writing for authentic reasons
type 5 writing characteristics publishable writing
Type 5 WritingCharacteristics (Publishable writing)
  • Form
    • Any form (like Types 3 and 4)
  • Audience
    • Outside the classroom (writing contests, letter to editor, school board, etc.)
  • Evaluation
    • All aspects of writing (content, organization, style, mechanics
type 5 writing advantages and disadvantages
Type 5 WritingAdvantages and Disadvantages
  • Advantages
    • Results in final product everyone can appreciate
    • Provides opportunity to use all skills and talents to fullest
  • Disadvantages
    • Time consuming for all
    • Demanding for teacher (final editor)
    • Evaluation is difficult because final product should be of publishable quality
resources
Resources

Collins, J.J. Ed.D. (2007). The Collins Writing Program: Improving student writing and thinking across the curriculum. Massachusetts: Collins Education Associates.

Hines, Debra. “PLN Course 1: Critical Reading and Writing in Support of Secondary Learning”. Capital Area Intermediate Unit, Summerdale, PA. 7 December 2010. Lecture.

Ruddle, Karen. “Collins Writing.” Capital Area Intermediate Unit, Summerdale, PA. 8 August 2011. Lecture.