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Effective Writing

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  1. Effective Writing

  2. Why Write in the Content Areas? Isn’t That the English Teacher’s Job? • Writing: A Powerful Message • A Survey of Business Leaders • The Neglected “R” ~~From the National Commission on Writing

  3. Jigsaw and Dialectical Journal • Three groups • Within your groups, split up the article and find at least 5 key points from your section • Complete a Dialectical Journal on your section • Choose 5-10 key points to teach to the entire group and write them on a transparency • Teach the key points to your group

  4. Dialectical Journal I Saw I Thought

  5. Dialectical JournalExample From A Survey of Business Leaders I Saw I Thought “People who cannot Writing is looked upon write and communicate as an integral part of clearly will not be hired” contemporary hiring procedures

  6. OK. Time for a Reality Check

  7. Absolute All students can think, and all students can write.

  8. Absolute Consistency of program outweighs individual teacher preference.

  9. Absolute Colored Pens for Color Coding: Blue – topic & concluding sentences Red – concrete details Green – commentary

  10. Absolute “Go as fast as you can; go as slowly as you must.” Jane Fell Greene • Formula is a place to start for students who need it; some don’t need it at all. • Break the formula when students are ready.

  11. Absolute “Go as fast as you can; go as slowly as you must.” Jane Fell Greene Teaching Sequence: • Model • Shared Writing • Group Writing • Individual Writing

  12. Absolute “Go as fast as you can; go as slowly as you must.” Jane Fell Greene • Begin with the paragraph. • Move to the essay only after the paragraph has been mastered.

  13. Absolute One-on-One Conferencing

  14. Absolute Teach the three major writing types in this sequence: 1st – Response to Issue 2nd – Personal Narrative 3rd – Persuasion Don’t move to the 2nd until students have mastered the first, and so on.

  15. Absolute Use of common terminology eliminates confusion and the sense that each teacher requires something different in writing. facts support examples evidence

  16. Terminology • Topic Sentence • Concrete Detail • Commentary • Concluding Sentence • Chunk

  17. Sample Question Using a specific example, explain why Santa Clarita is a great place to live.

  18. Topic Sentence (TS) • Expresses the main idea and can be as brief as three words. • Example: Santa Clarita is a great place to live.

  19. Concrete Detail (CD) • The “what” and acts as evidence, support, facts, examples, quotations, etc. • Example: For example, test scores show that Santa Clarita school districts are above average and the community is one of the safest towns in the nation.

  20. Commentary (CM) • The “so what” acts as analysis, interpretation, opinion, inference, insight, etc. • Example: This shows that children in this town are able to focus on learning instead of keeping themselves safe.

  21. Concluding Sentence (CS) Rewrites and rephrases the main idea…DO NOT RESTATE!! Example: As a result, many new families move to Santa Clarita every year.

  22. One Chunk Paragraph Example Santa Clarita is a great place to live. For example, test scores show that Santa Clarita school districts are above average and the community is one of the safest in the nation. In addition, the city’s economy is strong and the job market is booming. This shows that children in this town are able to focus on learning instead of keeping themselves safe and more and more people do not have to commute. As a result, many new families move to Santa Clarita every year.

  23. One Chunk Paragraph Example Santa Clarita is a great place to live. For example, test scores show that Santa Clarita school districts are above average and the community is one of the safest in the nation. In addition, the city’s economy is strong and the job market is booming. This shows that children in this town are able to focus on learning instead of keeping themselves safe and more and more people do not have to commute. As a result, many new families move to Santa Clarita every year.

  24. Eliminating Sentence Starters Santa Clarita is a great place to live. Test scores show that Santa Clarita school districts are above average and the community is one of the safest in the nation. In addition, the city’s economy is strong and the job market is booming. Children in this town are able to focus on learning instead of keeping themselves safe and more and more people do not have to commute. Many new families move to Santa Clarita every year.

  25. Ratio for English / Foreign Language / Consumer Science / Fine Arts • 2 CMs : 1 CD • This is one chunk • You can have more than one chunk in a paragraph!!  One Chunk TS CD CM CM CS

  26. Ratio for Math / Science / Business One Chunk TS CD CD CD CS • 3 CDs • This is one chunk • You can have more than one chunk in a paragraph!! 

  27. Ratio for History / PE One Chunk TS CD CD CM CS • 1 CM : 2 CDs • This is one chunk • You can have more than one chunk in a paragraph!! 

  28. CD or CM • There are four categories of angles: acute, right, obtuse, and straight. • Math is very helpful in everyday life. • Math is used in several daily activities.

  29. CD or CM • The rain forest houses many rare species. • The existence of these rare species is threatened by the ravages of technology. • The rain forest is being reduced because of man’s infringement on the natural world.

  30. CD or CM • Many Native Americans were massacred at the Battle of Wounded Knee. • Native American culture is an important thread in the fabric of American life. • Several words used daily in the United States have their roots in Native American languages.

  31. CD or CM • The Matrix is the most awesome movie of the summer. • The Matrix uses highly technological special effects. • The Matrix stars Keanu Reeves.

  32. CDs vs. CMs For Art, History, Contemporary Issues • Look at the picture on the following screen and answer the questions. • This activity will help you differentiate between CDs and CMs.

  33. What is happening in the picture? Be specific. Don’t infer. Just state what you see. These are CDs.

  34. Now, what can you infer from what you see? How are these people feeling? Why are they feeling this? What do you think brought them here? These are CMs.

  35. CDs vs. CMs For Math, Business, Science, History • Look at the graph on the following screen and answer the questions. • This activity will help you differentiate between CDs and CMs.

  36. CDs vs. CMs What does the graph show? Be specific. Don’t infer. Just state what you see. These are CDs.

  37. CDs vs. CMs Now, what can you infer from what you see? How is this student doing? Why do you think there is a change for each subject? These are CMs.

  38. Writing The Topic Sentence for a One Paragraph Response Example One Prompt: Explain one way that art affects your daily life. Topic Sentence: Art affects my life every day.

  39. Writing The Topic Sentence for a One Paragraph Response Example Two Prompt: Explain what is meant by a negative number. Topic Sentence: A negative number has a specific meaning.

  40. Writing the Concluding Sentence for a One Paragraph Response • Don’t introduce anything new. • Don’t just restate the TS word for word. • Don’t give a call to action (As a society, we need to…) • DO summarize the paragraph. • DO give a result of the CDs and CMs.

  41. Writing the Concluding Sentence for a One Paragraph Response Example One Prompt: What is one way art affects your daily life? Concluding Sentence: As a result, I love art and how it has inspired me.

  42. Writing the Concluding Sentence for a One Paragraph Response Example Two Prompt: Explain what is meant by a negative number. Concluding Sentence: As a result, negative numbers are distinctly different from positive numbers.

  43. Shaping Sheets • Helps students to visualize the differences between TS, CD, CM, CS • Require for first writing assignment • Make shaping sheets available for subsequent writing • Use shaping sheets as a warm up writing assignment • Use as an exit card (What did you learn today?; What did we cover in class today?) • Revision—use sheets to identify CDs and CMs in rough drafts of essays

  44. Choose a Topic!

  45. Content Area Writings • Break into content area groups • Choose one topic from the list (or create your own) • Write a one chunk paragraph on a transparency

  46. Writing Prompts • Keep it short and simple – the goal is 1-2 sentences. • If the prompt is well written, the thesis/topic sentence writes itself – teach students to convert them. • Use the verbs discuss, comment on, analyze, interpret (not explain or describe).

  47. Writing Prompts Write a (one-chunk paragraph/two- chunk paragraph/five paragraph essay/etc) that (discusses / comments on/ analyzes)(topic).

  48. Writing Prompts • Work with content area team to develop two well constructed prompts that you can give to your students • Write a one chunk paragraph sample for each prompt on a transparency

  49. Homework • Assign one of the writing prompts you created to your students • Bring the results back to the next training date • At the next training, you will learn about grading, rubrics, revision, extending ideas, and writing the multi-paragraph essay