Creating Writers Thinking about curriculum, instruction, and assessment
OUTCOMES • Teachers will consider the relationship between writing, creativity, and learning • They will assess the quality of their writing curricula, instructional practices, and assessments and determine their needs • They will investigate a variety of materials and resources that support the best practices that might help them address their needs • They will use what is learned from this work to enrich their writing curricula, instructional practices, and/or unit assessments
Thinking about WRITING CURRICULA • WHAT VALUES, BEHAVIORS, SOCIAL SKILLS, HABITS, DISPOSITIONS DO YOU HOPE TO CULTIVATE?
Thinking about WRITING INSTRUCTION • Most writing workshop days look a little like this: • Mini-lessons (5-15 minutes) • Independent Writing (20-30 minutes) • Conferring (during independent writing) • Celebration (5-10 minutes) • TOTAL WRITING WORKSHOP TIME: 30-55 minutes
GREAT MINI-LESSONS • Are BRIEF • Arm writers with one SPECIFIC and PRACTICAL strategy that helps them establish routines, develop craft, process, or dispositions • Make wide and varied use of rich, interesting mentor texts • Uncover pathways for learners to “write like” these beloved authors • Enable learners to see the teacher as a writer, view their works in progress, and listen to their very real stories of struggle and triumph over writing challenges • Often result in the creation of anchor charts, which contain the learning of the lesson over time • Are often designed in response to needs that emerge from student writing as they draft and confer with teachers
THINKING ABOUT ASSESSMENT TYPES AND PURPOSES Assessment FOR Learning Assessment OF Learning Final copies of written works across different modes/genres Culminating tasks—final revisions Timed, on-demand writing tasks Benchmarks NYS Assessments • Drafts of written works across different modes/genres • Notebook tinkering • Reflections on learning, growth, problems confronted and solved, dispositions • Drafting, feedback, revision, editing, and publishing skills • Digital writing and learning skills
WHAT MATTERS MOST WHEN IT COMES TO IMPROVING WRITING PERFORMANCE? • Clear targets: standards/craft/process/dispositions • Multiple models and mentor texts that define quality • Practice • Immediate, criteria-specific feedback that aligns to target • Strategy coaching, aligned to target • Multiple revisions
shaping Your Writing Framework and nurturing your Professional Practice
What is good writing? What does it mean to become a writer?
How does learning happen? Photo by Silvia Tolisano
WE REFLECT ON WHERE WE’VE BEEN, WHERE WE ARE GOING, AND HOW WE PLAN TO GET THERE
WE TRY TO DEVELOP BETTER AND BETTER AND BETTER STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING OUR OWN WORK AND HELPING OTHERS
TAKING A TEST http://www.flickr.com/photos/sean002/2510540027/
Which would YOU choose? http://www.flickr.com/photos/somemixedstuff/2403249501/
WHICH DO YOU CHOOSE?
THE MOST IMPORTANT WRITING INSTRUMENT TO PUT IN THEIR HANDS?
BALANCE BUILDS BETTER WRITERS
Writing is a Process THE WRITING PROCESS Prewriting Drafting Peer-Review Editing Publication Which parts of the process show up most in your classroom? Least?
Considering MODES and PURPOSE COMMON PURPOSES FOR WRITING To Entertain To Inform To Describe To Advocate To Think To Connect/Collaborate To Build Collective Intelligence COMMON TEXT TYPES (MODES) Narrative Text Informational Text Persuasive Text Claims Procedural Text Poetic Functional Hybrid
PREWRITING Strategies for Support: Prompts Artifacts Pictures Music Video Movement Equations RAFTS Conversation Web Tools
Traits to Focus on During Pre-Writing: IDEAS VOICE
IDEAS Invite or inspire pre-writing activities. Come from our experiences, our connections, and our previous understandings. May be generated from artifacts, photographs, movement, music, conversation, guided brainstorming and more….. Require good writers to select appropriate MODES and to define their PURPOSES. Move readers from general to more refined topics. Inspire careful observation. Require independent use of higher level thought.
VOICE The “sound” of the writer or the speaker. Tone that is appropriate to the task. Commitment to the piece—involvement. Attention to the topic.
Voice Requires that writers shift the way they speak in response to MODE and PURPOSE. Invites diversity and complexity. Built when students take RISKS. Thrives in a comfortable atmosphere. Suffers when we overemphasize formulaic processes or models.
Drafting The importance of understanding MODES and the power of MENTOR TEXT. Approaching topics from varied angles. Writing beside them.
Traits to Focus On As We Draft • IDEAS • VOICE • ORGANIZATION
Organization http://blog.wired.com/geekdad/books/index.html “Organization is what you do before you do something so that when you do it it’s not all mixed up.” Winnie the Pooh
Organization Requires that writers develop an INVITING lead for that provokes questioning and curiosity. Inspires a body of work that attends to these questions and curiosities in a logical manner. Relies upon smooth transitions and the articulation of turning points and resolutions. Requires a conclusion that satisfies the questions and curiosities provoked by the lead and may inspire new ones. It does not, however, introduce new information.
ORGANIZATION WHAT IT IS…. A lead that “hooks” reader and provokes questions. A core that provides details in a logical manner and transitions between them smoothly. An ending that satisfies the questions raised within the work. HOW WE SUPPORT IT… Models and mentor texts Story boards Graphic organizers
Beyond Peer-Conferencing: Peer Review Processes Modeling With Fishbowl Coaching With Push/Pause Assessment Evaluation
Traits to Focus On During Peer-Review • IDEAS • VOICE • ORGANIZATION • WORD CHOICE • SENTENCE FLUENCY
WORD CHOICE “The race in writing is not to the swift, but to the original.” ----William Zinsser
Word Choice Original words Precise words Engaging words Varied words Attention to dialect and formality
Sentence fluency Fluent sentences appeal to the ear and the eye. They vary in length and structure. They convey character, emotion, and reveal voice. Rhythm, rhyme, and repetition of vowel and consonant sounds effect fluency.