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Write to Learn
Write to Learn
Write to Learn
Write to Learn
Write to Learn
Write to Learn
Write to Learn
Write to Learn
Write to Learn
Write to Learn
Write to Learn
Write to Learn
Write to Learn
Write to Learn
Write to Learn
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Write to Learn


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  • 2. Anchor Lines
    • Choose a quote from any table
    • Write it at the top of your paper
    • Now, for 2 minutes, respond to the quote:
      • Why you chose it
      • What you believe it means
      • What it reminds you of
      • How it relates to you/your classroom
    • When time is up, rotate papers, read and add to the response with your own thoughts or comments on previous author’s thoughts
    • Label your comments with your initials.
  • 3. Learning Targets
    • I can explain the concept of “Write to Learn”—what it is, what it is not.
    • I can list ways to use Write to Learn activities in my classroom.
  • 4. Disclaimer 
    • Staff Development Format:
    • IDEAL: Problem – Solution
    • NOT IDEAL: Solution – Problem
    • NOT IDEAL: One-size fits all
    • HAPPY MEDIUM: differentiate
    • HAPPY MEDIUM: common reasons why or situations in which WTL is used
  • 5. Why use Write to Learn activities?
    • In order for learners to understand & remember ideas, they must act upon them
    • Requires students to put new learning in their own words (unlike some note-taking or fill-in-the blank activities)
    • Pushes students to think beyond factual recall (from lower to higher level thinking)
    • To assess students’ grasp of key concepts (an assessment FOR learning)
  • 6. Why use Write to Learn activities?
    • To give students practice—writing skills atrophy when not used
    • To ground students in our discipline and increase their sophistication of learning
    • To prepare students for college and future
    • To show how writing is used specifically in our disciplines
    • (WAC Clearinghouse, 2007)
  • 7. Writing & Intellectual Development
    • Writing activities promote learning better than activities involving only studying or reading.
    • Different kinds of writing activities lead students to focus on different kinds of information.
    • (Langer & Applebee 1987 pp. 135–136)
    • Primary function of [writing to learn] is to connect experience to our own understanding.
    • Writing becomes a tool for discovering, for shaping meaning, and for reaching understanding.
    • (Fulwiler, Young)
  • 8. Revisiting what we know about WTL
    • WTL typically takes no more than 5-10 minutes
    • Emphasis less on quality of writing and more on quality of thinking
    • WTL comes in many forms, but they are usually:
      • Short
      • Spontaneous
      • Exploratory
      • Informal
      • Personal
      • One draft
      • Unedited, ungraded—but can be used to give feedback
      • Daniels, Zemelman, Steineke 2007, p. 20-25
  • 9. Examples of Write to Learn Activities
    • Exit/Entrance Slips*
    • Writing Break*
    • Brainstorming
    • Drawing and Illustrating
    • Clustering
    • Mapping
    • Anchor Lines*
    • Probable Passage*
    • Double-Entry Journal*
    • Write-Around
    • Carousel Brainstorming*
    • Nonstop Write
    • Reflective Write
    • KWL
    • Teacher-Student Correspondence
    * WTL with stars are those we will try today.
  • 10. Writing Break
    • How often does the average North View student write and/or read in a school day?
    • How often do students in your class read/write on a weekly basis?
    • Are you satisfied with these numbers?
    • Other thoughts you have so far about Write to Learn
    • (*this reflection will not be collected)
  • 11. Pre-Reading: Probable Passage
  • 12. During-Reading: Double-Entry Journal
    • Column 1
    • Problems
    • Reasons For
    • Opinion
    • Quote from Text
    • Notes
    • Observations
    • Words
    • Facts
    • Advantages
    • Column 2
    • Solutions
    • Reasons Against
    • Proof
    • Explain, Connect, Discuss
    • Interpretations
    • Inferences
    • Images
    • Feelings
    • Disadvantages
  • 13. Post-Reading: Carousel Brainstorming
    • Each group begins with a particular color marker and a poster/piece of chart paper.
    • After a few minutes of collaborative response, rotate
    • Groups travel with their color marker and add to other posters on a rotation
    • Can be a pre-reading activity to activate background knowledge
    • Can be a post-reading/learning activity to synthesize
  • 14.
    • “ Through writing you can come to know your students—what they are thinking, learning, and not learning.”
    Kelly Gallagher, Teaching Adolescent Writers
  • 15. Exit Slip
    • Give at least one specific example of a WTL activity and how you can use it in your classroom.
    • Rate your understanding of how to use WTL
    • “ I can use the writing break during longer lectures, like the one on persuasive devices. I feel like I talk a lot and want to give students a chance to process throughout the lecture.”