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Outcomes. Achieve an understanding of the writing “current reality” Build a district-wide writing philosophy (beliefs) Build an understanding of the writing process Develop resources that will be of benefit in delivering writing instruction

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  • Achieve an understanding of the writing “current reality”

  • Build a district-wide writing philosophy (beliefs)

  • Build an understanding of the writing process

  • Develop resources that will be of benefit in delivering writing instruction

  • Create school and district capacity for translating the above elements into staff development opportunities for teachers at the school level

Current reality historical perspective
Current Reality: Historical Perspective

Historical Perspective: 11-33 years

  • Up to ten years ago there was little curriculum direction for schools

  • Few resources were available

  • Focus was on conventions, sentence structure, penmanship

  • Writing was not formally assessed

Current reality historical perspective1
Current Reality: Historical Perspective

Historical Perspective: 1-10 years

  • Pretty much the same as now

  • Parents are confused as to how the writing process works and what a grade in writing means

  • There is some confusion on the part of teachers

Current reality data
Current Reality: Data

  • Citrus County Schools is below the state average in writing in all areas and at all levels.

  • We range from 33rd to 57th in the state

  • Good News: Closing the gap may not be as difficult because the disparity is not great between districts.

  • For example: Top district for 4th grade at 3.5 is 82. Citrus is 74.

Strengths and needs
Strengths and Needs

Elementary Strengths

  • Writing rubrics provide guidelines for support

  • Clear scope and sequence related to expository and narrative writing

Strengths and needs1
Strengths and Needs

Elementary Needs

  • Focus needs to be on writing from K up.

  • Need more time for daily writing

  • Need consistent curriculum throughout the district

  • Need more consistency between grade levels

  • More collaborative time

  • Consistent vocabulary

  • Discussion and decision on grading

Strengths and needs2
Strengths and Needs

Secondary Strengths

  • District training is solid

  • Prewriting process

    Secondary Needs

  • Need a prewriting strategy that will be mastered by all students

  • Cross curricular writing

  • Split language arts into reading and writing up through 8th grade level

  • Clear expectations at each grade level

Perspectives from tara and charla
Perspectives from Tara and Charla

  • Vocabulary is inconsistent

  • There is a tendency to teach the product, not the process of writing.

  • Study groups or learning communities have had a major impact on creating focus and consistency on the writing process.

  • The study of student writing samples is helpful.

An understanding of the writing process
An Understanding of the Writing Process

  • Smith’s Myths: Implications for beliefs

  • Lessons Learned: Implications for best practices

  • Both can serve as valuable staff development resources.

Core beliefs
Core Beliefs


  • Writing should not always be graded.

  • There should be enjoyment of the topic (exigence)

  • Writing should be done across the curriculum

  • Writing should be modeled

  • Writing is more than an academic task. It is a life skill.

  • Student writing should be used for writing instruction

  • Reading and writing should be connected

Core beliefs1
Core Beliefs

  • Students should be able to answer the question, why am I writing?

  • Students should have choice

  • Writing should be personally meaningful

  • Teacher enthusiasm and confidence is important

  • Writing is a collaborative activity

  • Writing needs to be shared

  • Students should write for a variety of situations

Core beliefs2
Core Beliefs

  • Students should receive continuous feedback

  • Students should be stimulated by the right (write) brain activities

  • Writing instruction should be differentiated

  • Establishing an appropriate writing environment important is important

  • Students should have access to multiple resources

Core beliefs3
Core Beliefs

  • Can be taught in pieces and assembled like a puzzle

  • Students need to be provided with a context

  • Experiences shape your writing

  • Prompts should be student generated

  • There are multiple learning styles

  • Convention instruction should be in the context of writing

Core beliefs4
Core Beliefs

  • Time should be provided to write, edit and share

What is the big picture
What is the big picture?

  • When should the horse head to the barn?

  • What do you bring to the process?

  • Upon what should resources be built?


  • Developing contextualized prompts

  • Elements of writing

  • Modeling contexutalized responses

  • Contextualized rubrics

  • 3D Process (describe, diagnose, direct)

  • IPS Modeling

  • Reflection

Future work
Future Work


  • What teacher resources are needed (beliefs in place, rubrics?, continuum adjustments?, resource guide? Etc.)

  • What resources are needed in order for you to feel comfortable conducting school training or leading a study group/learning community. (Lesson plans, resources, PowerPoint's etc.)

  • When?