Julie No Fail Sixth Grade WritingPresentation Transcript
No-Fail Sixth Grade Writing Program Julie S-R WMWP Summer Institute 2007 Inquiry Project
Have you always wanted to prepare the perfect writing program for your sixth graders? Use this simple recipe and you will meet with success every time with every student.
20 introductions: interview partner, make poster, share with class (WMWP)
40 grammatically incorrect letters to students, used to teach grammar in context (Jodi)
personal narrative (Astrid)
local and national news features
profiles of people of interest
editorials and op-eds
letters to the editor
persuasive essay or letter
screenplay (Molly) to YouTube or to next year’s sixth graders
1 response group for regular opportunities to talk about writing (WMWP)
6 guided responses for students to choose from (Elbow)
Lots of time to write (WMWP)
12 opportunities for reflection (Martha)
Clear criteria for assessment, generated by teacher and students (Lorraine + Candice)
Follow these steps:
Introduce the targeted genre.
Read several examples of each genre to students.
After each selection is read, have class work collectively or in pairs or groups to analyze the linguistic and structural features of the genre to develop an understanding of the purposes for such features (Morgan 2006).
Write genre characteristics on chart paper.
Discuss with students their purpose for writing (persuade, inform, process, entertain) and the intended audience for each genre.
Work jointly with students to construct a text of the target genre.
Collaborate with students to develop assessment criteria for the finished piece.
8.Have students meet with response groups to discuss what they want to write about and then pre-write: freewrite, plan, organize, list. 9. Students write first draft. 10. Meet with response groups for feedback; have each student identify the specific response desired from group. 11. Revise writing using feedback from response group. 12. Revise writing using explicit strategies from “Interior Design: Revision as Focus” (Smede 2000): sentence beginnings, sentence length, and verbs. Also introduction and conclusion, color, nouns, sensory details. 13. Type up revised pieces and then collaboratively edit each piece in response groups. 14. Make editing corrections and print final draft.
15. Have each student reflect on their piece of writing. 16. Share piece with intended audience and enjoy success as a writer! 17. Once each quarter, meet with every student to reflect together on their writing. Examine student writing for characteristics of the targeted genre and for application of writing conventions. Discuss and set individual goals for each student.
Original question: What are the components of a writing program that will lead to success* for a group of sixth graders with diverse abilities? *success: students love writing more than when they entered sixth grade, they write more, and they are more capable writers in more genres than they were before Bibliography: Isaacson, Stephen. “Instruction That Helps Students Meet State Standards in Writing,” Exceptionality , 12(I): Recent reviews of research on writing instruction have suggested that pupil achievement in writing is linked to teaching practices such as frequent opportunities to write, focusing on the writing process (including strategies for planning and revision), making clear to students the specific criteria for successful writing, and taking a balanced approach that includes methods for ensuring both mechanical correctness and development of effective rhetoric. In addition, for students with learning problems, explicit instruction is essential. Explicit means that the teacher (a) teaches step-by-step strategies; (b) explains concepts and procedures in clear, simple language; (c) continually draws attention to the critical features of the genre using multiple examples; (d) demonstrates each step of a procedure to students; (e) prompts students in their initial writing attempts using consistent, repetitious language; and (f) gives specific language. Morgan, Martha. “Empowering Students to Write: Looking Beyond Phonics and Whole Language Approaches,” December 2006. Smede, Shelly D. “Interior Design: Revision as Focus,” English Journal , September 2000.