Strand 4 writing grades 9 12 sesssion

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  • Think about what we’ve discussed from Test Better Teach Better. How does this fit into the data team process? The action research process? Are they part of the process you use to evaluate your hypotheses? Collect data? Etc.


  • 1. Strand 4 WritingGrades 9 - 12
    Linda Vanderford and Barbara Wolfe
  • 2. Writing
    Maple HS2010-1110th Grade
  • 3. Use the Writing Scoring Guide to…
    Assess student writing
    Establish a common language in the classroom
    Teach students to self-assess their own writing
    Determine lessons to teach
  • 4.
  • 5. Ideas and Content
    The writing is clear, focused and interesting. It holds the
    reader’s attention. Main ideas stand out and are
    developed by supporting details suitable to audience and
    purpose. The writing is characterized by
    • clarity, focus, and control.
    • main idea(s) that stand out.
    • supporting, relevant, carefully selected details; when appropriate, use of resources provides strong, accurate, credible support.
    • a thorough, balanced explanation/exploration of the topic; the writing makes connections and shares insights.
    • content and selected details that are well-suited to audience and purpose.
  • 6. Organization
    The organization enhances the central idea(s) and its
    development. The order and structure are strong and
    move the reader through the text. The writing is
    characterized by
    • effective sequencing and paragraph breaks; the organizational structure fits the topic, and the writing is easy to follow.
    • an inviting beginning that draws the reader in and a satisfying sense of resolution or closure.
    • smooth, effective transitions among all elements (sentences, paragraphs, ideas).
    • details that fit where placed.
  • 7. Voice
    The writer has chosen a voice appropriate for the topic,
    purpose, and audience. The writer demonstrates commitment
    to the topic, and there is a sense of “writing to be read.” The
    writing is expressive, engaging, or sincere. The writing is
    characterized by
    • an appropriate level of closeness to or distance from the audience (e.g., a narrative should have a strong personal voice, while an expository piece may require extensive use of outside resources and a more academic voice; nevertheless, both should be engaging, lively, or interesting. Technical writing may require greater distance.)
    • a strong sense of audience; the writer seems to be aware of the reader and of how to communicate the message most effectively. The reader may discern the writer behind the words and feel a sense of interaction.
    • a sense that the topic has come to life; when appropriate, the writing may show originality, liveliness, honesty, conviction, excitement, humor, or suspense.
  • 8. Word Choice
    Words convey the intended message in an interesting,
    precise, and natural way appropriate to audience and
    purpose. The writer employs a broad range of words which
    have been carefully chosen and thoughtfully placed for
    impact. The writing is characterized by
    • accurate, specific words; word choices energize the writing.
    • fresh, vivid expression; slang, if used, seems purposeful and is effective.
    • vocabulary that may be striking and varied, but that is natural and not overdone.
    • ordinary words used in an unusual way.
    • words that evoke clear images; figurative language may be used.
  • 9. Sentence Fluency
    The writing has an easy flow and rhythm. Sentences are
    carefully crafted, with strong and varied structure that
    makes expressive oral reading easy and enjoyable. The
    writing is characterized by
    • a natural, fluent sound; it glides along with one sentence flowing into the next.
    • variation in sentence structure, length, and beginnings that add interest to the text.
    • sentence structure that enhances meaning.
    • control over sentence structure; fragments, if used at all, work well.
    • stylistic control; dialogue, if used, sounds natural.
  • 10. Conventions
    The writing demonstrates strong control of standard writing
    conventions (e.g., punctuation, spelling, capitalization,
    grammar and usage) and uses them effectively to enhance
    communication. Errors are few and minor. Conventions
    support readability. The writing is characterized by
    • strong control of conventions.
    • effective use of punctuation that guides the reader through the text.
    • correct spelling, even of more difficult words.
    • correct capitalization; errors, if any, are minor.
    • correct grammar and usage that contribute to clarity and style.
    • skill in using a wide range of conventions in a sufficiently long and complex piece.
    • little need for editing.
  • 11. “We can’t expect students to produce excellent, complicated, effective writing if they’re receiving little instruction in it”.
    (Jones, 1995, p. 22)
  • 12. Eleven Elements of Effective Adolescent Writing Instruction:
    Writing Strategies
    Collaborative Writing
    Specific Product Goals
    Word Processing
    Sentence Combining
    Inquiry Activities
    Writing Process
    Study of Models
    Writing for Content Learning
    Writing Next, 2007
  • 13. Study of Models – Anchor Papers
    Clackamas ESD
    O.P.E.N. Practice Scoring
  • 14. The Write WayQuestions for Table Discussion
    What is the degree of emphasis on non-fiction writing is your school/district?
    What are the roadblocks and/or promising practices in your school/district?
    Based on this article, what changes in practice do you recommend for your school/district?
  • 15. Sentence Combining
    Two Activities
  • 16. [T]he preponderance of writing instruction research shows that systematic practice in combining and expanding sentences may increase students’ repertoire of syntactic structures and may also improve the quality of their sentences, when stylistic effects are discussed as well. Thus, sentence combining and expansion are viewed as a primary (and accepted) writing instructional approach, one that has emerged from research findings holding that a sentence combining approach is far superior to traditional grammar instruction.
    (Carolyn Carter, The Absolute Minimum Any Educator should Know & Teach Students About the Sentence, iUniverse, 2003)
  • 17. Sentence Manipulation
    Alphabet Soup
  • 18. Explicit Instruction
    Describe/explain – reason for use
    Demonstrate or model
    Use exemplars
    Guided practice with specific feedback
    Independent practice with reteaching
    What similarities do you see between Explicit Instruction and Self-Regulated Strategies?
  • 19. Word Processing and Writing Instruction
  • 20. Sentence Combining Resources
     Introduction to Sentence Combining, by Richard Nordquist 
    Combining Sentences, by Tony Cimasko
  • 21. Sentence Combining Resources
    Sentence Combining: Teaching Rules of Sentence Structure by Doing
    Enhance Writing Skill with Sentence Combining: Writing Exercises Don’t Have to Be Boring by Terrie Leigh Reif
  • 22. Sentence Combining Resources
    Also check,, and simply “googling” sentence combining to find other resources.
  • 23. Your Thoughts on this Session…
    Exit Ticket