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Writing with Young adolescents and the Common Core. Dr. Holly Thornton AMLE/Appalachian State University. Young Adolescents’ Needs. Identity Belongingness Decision-Making/Power Concrete to Abstract Thinking Competency Connection/Relevancy.

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writing with young adolescents and the common core

Writing with Young adolescents and the Common Core

Dr. Holly Thornton

AMLE/Appalachian State University

young adolescents needs
Young Adolescents’ Needs
  • Identity
  • Belongingness
  • Decision-Making/Power
  • Concrete to Abstract Thinking
  • Competency
  • Connection/Relevancy
what type of thinking does the common core require
What type of thinking does the Common Core Require

What are the new distinctions in these Standards?

  • More advance conceptual understanding
  • Higher level thinking
  • Real World Context
  • 21st century skills (3 C-s)

For example:

  • ELA Standards demand a greater balance between reading informational and literary texts, and stress the use of text-based evidence to support argumentation in writing and speaking.
  • The Mathematics Standards accentuate the focus on a smaller set of conceptually larger ideas that spiral across the grades (as opposed to simply “covering” numerous skills) with an emphasis on meaningful application using the Practices.
outcomes not curriculum
Outcomes not Curriculum
  • The Standards define what all students are expected to know and be able to do, not how teachers should teach.
  • Educators must translate the Standards into an engaging and effective curriculum.

Broad Categories

1) Long term Transfer Goals

2) Overarching Understandings

3)Overarching Essential Questions

4) Cornerstone Tasks

From Common Core Standards to Curriculum:Five Big Ideas

Jay McTighe and GrantWiggins



Transfer Goals: identifies the effective uses of content understanding, knowledge, and skill that we seek in the long run; i.e., what we want students to be able to do when they confront new challenges – both in and outside of school.

  • Understandings: state what skilled performers will need in order to effectively transfer their learning to new situations, while explorations of the Essential Questions engage learners in making meaning and deepening their understandings
  • Cornerstone Tasks: are curriculum-embedded tasks that are intended to engage students in applying their knowledge and skills in an authentic and relevant context
    • Anchor the curriculum around the most important performances that we want learners to be able to do
    • Realistic contexts
    • Integrate the 21st century skills (e.g.,creativity, technology use, teamwork) with subject area content knowledge and skills
    • Recur across the grades, progressing from simpler to more sophisticated; scaffolded to autonomous performance
    • Track performance
think pair share in writing
Think pair share: In writing…..

What do you see as transfer goals?

What do you see as understandings?

What do you see as cornerstone tasks?

common core and middle grades writing
Common Core and Middle Grades Writing

Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence

  • Introduce claim(s), acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.
  • Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
  • Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
  • Establish and maintain a formal style.
  • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

  • Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
  • Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
  • Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
  • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
  • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.

Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.

  • Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
  • Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
  • Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence, signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another, and show the relationships among experiences and events.
  • Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.
  • Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.
writing for c c in other content areas
Writing for C.C. in other content areas

Extended Constructed-Response Items

Extended constructed-response items allow educators to measure skills that are difficult to assess with traditional multiple-choice items. This could include writing an essay or answering an open-ended question in English language arts or mathematics.

student motivation
Student Motivation
  • Ownership
  • Engagement
  • Relevancy
  • Power & Voice
  • Success
  • Enjoyment
scaffolding revision activities
Scaffolding Revision: Activities
  • Writing Development Sheet= Word choice, detail, senses, structure
  • Paragraph Revision= Coherence, sequence, transition, audience, closure, perspective
  • Mini- lessons
  • Peer revision
  • Technology and revision
share y our ideas and experiences
Share Your Ideas and Experiences
  • How do you motivate young adolescent students to write?
  • How do you work toward quality writing in a Language Arts classroom? Across the curriculum?
  • What connections do you see between writing instruction and the Common Core?
  • Questions?