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Taking it to Writing. January 10, 2014 Weber School District. Housekeeping. Be sure to sign roll Cell phones turned off and put away Sitting with team from school Write down ideas to share during discussion times 20 minute break at 9:50. National Commission on Writing (2003).

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taking it to writing

Taking it to Writing

January 10, 2014

Weber School District


Be sure to sign roll

Cell phones turned off and put away

Sitting with team from school

Write down ideas to share during discussion times

20 minute break at 9:50

national commission on writing 2003
National Commission on Writing (2003)

“Writing today is not a frill for the few, but an essential skill for the many.”

writing is difficult
Writing is Difficult

Writing is the most difficult of all language skills.

It is acquired the latest, mastered by the fewest, and learned with the most effort over the longest period of time.

(D. Johnson & H. Myklebust, 1967)

teaching elementary school students to be effective writers
Teaching Elementary School Students to be Effective Writers

Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Dept. of Ed, 2012

http://ies.ed.gov/ncee and http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/ wwc/publications_reviews.aspx#pubsearch.

writing process
Writing Process

Writing well involves more than simply documenting ideas as they come to mind. It is a process that requires that the writer think carefully about the purpose for writing, plan what to say, plan how to say it, and understand what the reader needs to know.

Teachers can help students become effective writers by teaching a variety of strategies for carrying out each component of the writing process and by supporting students in applying the strategies until they are able to do so independently.

planning involves
Planning Involves

Generating Ideas – what do I have to say?

Setting goals – for what purpose am I writing?

Organizing ideas – in what form will I express my thoughts?

Louisa Moats (2013)

generating ideas
Generating Ideas
  • Develop goals and generate ideas
  • Gather information from reading, prior knowledge, and discussions with others
  • Organize ideas for writing based on the purpose of the text
  • Write these goals and ideas down in order to refer and modify them throughout the writing process
  • 6 Traits Connection: Ideas
  • Strategies:
    • POW (Pick ideas, Organize their notes, Write and say more)
    • Ordering Ideas/Outlining
  • Create a preliminary version of a text
  • Select words and construct sentences to accurately convey ideas
  • Skills such as spelling, handwriting, and capitalization and punctuation are important when drafting but should not be the focus of students’ effort at this stage
  • 6 Traits Connection: all traits except conventions and presentation
  • Strategies:
    • Imitation (models of exemplary text)
    • Sentence Generation
revision did i say what i wanted to say
Revision- Did I say what I wanted to say?
  • Make content changes to clarify or enhance meaning
  • Reorganize
  • Add or remove sections
  • Refine word choice and sentence structure
  • Word processing can make this easier for many students
  • 6 Traits Connection: Organization, voice, sentence fluency
  • Strategies:
    • Peer revising (?, ^)
review and revision involve
Review and Revision Involve:

Reading from the reader’s perspective: Is the message complete, logical, written with conventional symbols and grammar?

Revising, editing: Did I say what I wanted to say? Did I reach my audience? Are the conventions respected? What will add interest?

  • Make changes to conventions of written English
  • Make the text readable for audience and intended meaning clearer
    • Spelling
    • Grammar
    • 6 Traits Connection: Word Choice, Conventions
    • Strategies:
      • COPS (Capitalize, Overall appearance, Punctuation, Spelling)
  • Occurs at the end of the writing process
  • Purpose is to share publicly in written form or oral form, or both
  • Not all student writing needs to be published but students should be given opportunities to publish their writing and celebrate their accomplishments
  • 6 Trait Connection: Presentation
  • Strategies:
    • Peer Sharing (in pairs, listen and read along as the author reads aloud)
    • Authentic audience(s)
foundational skills
Foundational Skills

Critical skills for our grade level

oral language
Oral Language
  • Before a student can be expected to write formally, they must be able to speak formally.
  • Ways to support this:
    • Require students to use formal language to answer questions asked in lessons
    • Require students to restate part of question in responding
    • Use sentence framing to support writing formally
foundational skills1
Foundational Skills

Writing places multiple simultaneous demands on the writer. Mastering the foundational skills of good writing, including handwriting, spelling, sentence construction, and typing, allows students to devote more of their attention to composing written texts by utilizing the strategies and techniques associated with the writing process.

utah core standards
Utah Core Standards
  • Utah Core Standards (added components)
    • Manuscript Handwriting (K-2)
    • Cursive Writing (3-5)
    • Reading cursive writing (3-5)
Why do we need to teach handwriting? Isn’t keyboarding the skill needed in the 21st century classroom..?

“Self-generated action,

in the form of handwriting, is a crucial component in setting up brain systems for reading acquisition.”

Karin Harman James, 2011

Indiana University

handwriting instruction is important
Handwriting Instruction ISImportant
  • Students still need to know how to write by hand.
  • Good handwriting makes a good impression.
  • Handwriting is a foundational skill for literacy.
  • Teaching handwriting boosts writing and reading proficiency.
  • Students with good handwriting score better on tests.

(Handwriting Research: Impact On the Brain and Literacy Development, Zaner-Bloser, 2012)

handwriting is literacy
Handwriting IS Literacy
  • Handwriting instruction…
    • Supports early reading and writing development through print awareness and improved letter recognition
    • Strengthens students’ ability to self-regulate all of their written work
    • Reduces the need for handwriting-related intervention
    • Leads to more effective, fluent, and confident communication
handwriting a basic building block of literacy
Handwriting: A Basic Building Block of Literacy

“How legibly and quickly students write letters influences their success in school.”

Dr. Steve Graham

…Most school work is still done by hand.


When kindergarten students are learning to write letters, teachers should have them begin on a vertical surface.


Using Interactive Whiteboard Technology

Can Enhance Gross-to-Fine

Motor Skill Development

what impacts legible handwriting
What IMPACTs Legible Handwriting?
  • Posture
  • Pencil grip
  • Paper position

Schwellnus, et al., 2012

American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 2012


DO Model and Teach correct grip, hand preference and helping hand.

Very young students can’t be expected to write well-formed letters or to accurately size or space them.

“Tip, Flip, Grip”

ball in hand

short (golf) pencils, “Pip Squeaks”

take time to teach how to hold the pencil
Take Time to TeachHow to Hold the Pencil

Early on, children may successfully change a poor pencil grip.

Poor pencil position can cause fatigue and discomfort.

Model and reinforce a good pencil grip.

letter reversals are common
Letter Reversals are Common
  • Frequently reversed letters are b, d, f, q, j, p, and s.
  • Reversals are a developmental issue and will improve.
  • Reversing some letters is a normal stage and is not a sign of dyslexia or another learning disability.
avoid programs and interventions that make handwriting more complicated
Avoid programs and interventions that make handwriting more “complicated.”

Stroke Descriptions

“Another” program

Simple is better.



Use “Apps” for Guided Independent Practice

Zaner-Bloser Handwriting - iOS Apps

Spanish Manuscript

Spanish Cursive

English Manuscript

English Cursive

There Are 4 Zaner-Bloser HW iTunes Apps

handwriting paper
Handwriting Paper

Using appropriate handwriting paper enables supportive scaffolding and gradual release of responsibility

prior to learning cursive students should demonstrate
Prior to Learning Cursive Students Should Demonstrate:

Near grade (2nd/3rd) level reading proficiency

The ability to write legibly in manuscript

The ability to recognize cursive letters

encourage and monitor self evaluation
Encourage and Monitor Self-Evaluation

NO MOREThan15 Minutes of InstructionPER DAY


5 Minutes of Direct Instruction10 minutes of Guided and/or Independent PracticeSelf-evaluationAutomaticity and FluencyAcademic Success!!

support at home
Support at Home…