Writing Across the Curriculum DeKalb High/Middle School
Objectives• To examine the Common Core State Standards and their focus on writing• To discuss Writing Across the Curriculum—what it is and its benefits• To create writing activities that will help our students learn and improve their writing skills
Common Core Standards• Standards developed for K-12 in Math and English Language Arts (ELA)• Forty-five states have adopted these standards• Missouri has adopted; plan to implement 2014-2015 school year (National Governors Assoc. for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010)
Common Core Standards• ELA standards include – Literature & informational text – Foundational skills – Writing skills – Speaking & Listening Skills – Language Skills (National Governors Assoc. for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010)
A Writing ELA Standard (National Governors Assoc. for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010)
Common Core Standards• ELA standards also include literacy in – Science – Social Studies – History – Technical Subjects (National Governors Assoc. for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010)
Example:SocialStudies/History/Science/Tech Subj.(National GovernorsAssoc. for Best Practices& Council of Chief StateSchool Officers, 2010)
Comparison of Two StandardsEnglish Writing History/Science/Tech• “Write arguments to • “Write arguments support claims in an focused on discipline- analysis…” specific content.”• “Introduce claims…” • “Introduce claims…”• “Develop • “Develop claims/counterclaims…” claims/counterclaims…”• “Use words, phrases, and • “Use words, phrases, and clauses to link…” clauses to link…”• “Establish and maintain a • “Establish and maintain a formal style and formal style and objective tone…” objective tone…”• “Providing a concluding • “Providing a concluding statement…” statement…” (NGABP & CCSS, 2010)
The Only Difference…• “Write arguments to • “Write arguments support claims in an focused on analysis of discipline-specific substantive topics or content.” texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.” Not much difference! (NGABP & CCSS, 2010)
Let’s Evaluate 5-10 minutes:Look through the ELA standards and see how many standards ask for students to write or use processes that can involve writing.
Share What are some of thestandards that ask students to write or use processes that involve writing?
So…why are we looking at theCommon Core Standards?
To see what writingskills our students areexpected to have in ALL classes, not just English class.
How can we improve ourstudents’ writing skills and prepare them for the Common Core?
What is WAC?• Writing to Learn – Using writing to learn new material• Learning to Write – Working on writing skills In ALL disciplines (McLeod, 1987; McLeod & Maimon, 2000)
Benefits of WAC• Provides students with writing practice• Great learning tool for students• Works on students’ critical thinking skills• Shows students’ learning, thought- processes, and misunderstandings (McLeod, 1987; McLeod & Maimon, 2000)
Fears vs. Solutions Fears Solutions • Lack of expertise • Dont focus on grammar • Write along with students • Take time away from • Collaborate with own content to teach teachers writing • Stagger big writing assignments • More grading • Small writing assignments just as beneficial as big • Evaluation processes ones • Evaluate only one-two elements of writing(Borchers, 2001; Fincke, 1982; Graham,Gillespie, & McKeown, 2012; Graves, • Don’t grade everything!1995; Gribbin, 1991; Kinloch, 2009)
Some Strategies• Journals/Diaries/Logs• Write for a Real Audience• Write Daily• Freewriting/Focused Freewriting• (See Handout for More) (Jacobs, 2002; Moss 1991)
Your Turn to Share• What are 1-2 writing activities you currently use in your classroom?• How do these help your students learn material and/or work on their writing skills?
Create Writing Activities 15-20 minutes: As a group, come up with some activities that teachers (either discipline-specific or across theboard) can use in their classroomsthat will help students to learn and practice their writing skills.
Share Ideas• What activities did you come up with?• How do they help students learn?• How do they work on students’ writing skills?• Can they relate back to any of the CCSS standards?
Something to RememberFor writing activities to be effective,teachers should:• Model Writing• Provide Expectations Clearly• Provide Feedback/Conference• Focus Less on Conventions (Borchers, 2001; Fincke, 1982; Graham, Gillespie, & McKeown, 2012; Graves, 1995; Gribbin, 1991; Kinloch, 2009; Moss, 1991)
Overview• Our students need the opportunity to write, not only to improve these skills but to also prepare them for the CCSS• Writing Across the Curriculum provides students with the opportunity to write often to practice those skills• WAC also provides students with writing as a tool for learning
BibliographyBorchers, D. L. (2001). Writing across the curriculum: A simple approach to correcting. New England Reading Association Journal, 37(2), 11-13.Fincke, G. (1982). Writing across the curriculum in high school. The Clearing House, 56(2), 71-73.Graham, S., Gillespie, A., & McKeown, D. (2012). Writing: importance, development, and instruction. Reading and Writing, 26(1), 1-15.Graves, D. H. (1995). Be a better writing teacher. Education Digest, 60(9), 57-60.Gribbin, W. G. (1991). Writing across the curriculum: Assignments and evaluations. The Clearning House, 64(6), 365-368.Jacobs, V. A. (2002). Reading, writing, and understanding. Educational Leadership, 60(3), 58-61.
BibliographyKinloch, V. (2009). Innovative writing instruction. The English Journal, 98(5), 103-107.Maimon, S. M. (2000). Clearing the air: WAC myths and realities. College English, 62(5), 573-583.McLeod, S. (1987). Defining writing across the curriculum. WPA: Writing Program Administration, 11(1-2), 19-24.Moss, B. (1991). Promoting reading and writing in the middle- grade content-area classroom. The Clearing House, 65(1), 11-13.National Governors Association for Best Practices, C. o. (2010). Common core standards. Washington, D.C.: National Governors Association Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers. Retrieved from Common core state standards initiative.