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Writing Assessment


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Are you literate when it comes to writing? Take the quiz. How has technology changed how students write?

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Writing Assessment

  1. 1. Writing Assessment A’Kena LongBenton, MA, PMC RLL 7100 10.10.11
  2. 2. “ Today’s most pressing domestic challenge is that of improving public schools…one of the greatest potential rewards lies in better writing—and improved thinking.” —The Neglected “R”: The Need for a Writing Revolution (2003)
  3. 3. Poll 3 question survey via
  4. 4. 3 Questions 1. In a standard five paragraph essay, how many main points must be supported? A. 5 B. 3 C. 1 D. All of the above E. None of the above 2. True or False Transitions should begin each body paragraph? 3. A transition is… A. Furthermore B. Similarly C. Consequently D. All of the above E. None of the above
  5. 5. MDE Mandate and National Commission on Writing Similarities <ul><li>How many of you have a professional teaching certificate? </li></ul><ul><li>July 2009 MDE reading mandate for professional certificate—3 components </li></ul><ul><li>Mandate needed, but MDE slow response time </li></ul><ul><li>Reading deficiency is an old phenomenon. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Similarities cont. <ul><li>Neglected “R” article writing course proposal </li></ul><ul><li>MEAP writing scores consistently among the lowest for decades </li></ul><ul><li>MDE response time to this proposal? </li></ul>
  7. 7. My article, by A. Trupe, (1997), Academic literacy in a wired world: What should a literate student text look like? <ul><li>Traditional grading rubric </li></ul><ul><li>Twist article—writing & technology </li></ul><ul><li>Technological writing vs. English class </li></ul><ul><li>English teachers to create multidimensional writers—interdisciplinary approach </li></ul>
  8. 8. Writing Across the Curriculum MDE & Michigan Science Teacher Association example Writing to Learn --Critical thinking (higher order thinking) skills --Analysis --Application Writing to Demonstrate Knowledge --Synthesize information --Explain concepts/ ideas --E.g., essays, letters, projects, reports, article reviews, research paper, etc.
  9. 9. Rubrics Students must understand what they will be graded on before they can adequately perform. It gives them a basis for writing successfully.
  10. 10. <ul><li>ARCS Motivation Theory, Keller (1979) Rubrics and modeling Speech Example --Student videotaped speech --I model as well --Grade me using the rubric. They love it!  William Arthur Ward said, “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” To this end, I am a superior teacher striving to be a great teacher.  </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>The Neglected “R”: The Need for a Writing Revolution article “…leaving teaching of writing to inexperienced graduate students…” Quite offended by generality Graduate student, but not inexperienced with 17 years of teaching experience </li></ul>
  12. 12. Article Redemption In-service workshops help teachers: --understand good writing --develop as writers themselves I share my writings with my students. Food for Thought: How many of us share our writings with our students? How can we expect them to perform, if we only tell them and rarely show them?
  13. 13. <ul><li>Complete writing rubric activity A Word of Caution Regarding Spell Check (Strickland & Strickland article) Paragraph Evaluate it via rubric. Summative assessment not formative Too short for formative assessment alone; not enough data to drive instruction </li></ul>
  14. 14.       Corrected Paragraph   I have a spell check , It came with my PC ; It plainly marks four my revue M istakes I cannot sea . I’ve run this paragraph threw it , I’m sure your please too no . Its letter perfect in it’s weigh, My checker tolled me sew .  
  15. 15. Writing Rubric Category 25 pts 16.5 pts 8.25 pts Capitalization Correct Minor Errors Major Errors Grammar Correct Minor Major Punctuation Correct Minor Major Spelling Correct Minor Major Rubric Key Correct: No errors Minor Problems: 1-5 errors Major Problems: 6 or more errors Total Points Earned __________   Final Grade __________
  16. 16. Assessment-Driven Improvements in Middle School Students’ Writing article Three Types of Formative Assessment --Self—ungraded --Peer—ungraded --Teacher—ungraded Anderson article—short list of goals; “zone of proximal development” (Vygotsky 1962)
  17. 17. Teacher—summative—graded I grade in green—not psychologically damaging. Green = growth Goal = ever-evolving writers
  18. 18. <ul><li>Assessment Goals Assessment must be fair and authentic. Assessment drives instruction. Students’ strengths/ weaknesses? Address their weaknesses? Reinforcing their strengths? </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Teacher Reflections Ask, “What’s working”/ “What’s not working?” Student mastery? Alternative teaching methods? Adjust to them not them adjusting always Anderson article—boxed paragraph example (visual learners) Our vast teacher toolbox vs. their limited student toolbox </li></ul>
  20. 20. Consider the following picture scenario. Tiger, a young boy, is talking to a friend about his dog, and he says, “I taught Stripe how to whistle.” His friend replies, “I don’t hear him whistling.” Tiger, with a disgusted look on his face, responds, “I said I taught him. I didn’t say he learned.”
  21. 21. <ul><li>If students are not learning from our teaching, then we are just talking. Learning and teaching are uniquely tied together. </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>Reliability Check & Grading Rubrics Same essay, different colleague Similar grade = reliability has been achieved Evaluation Testing Systems example Table leader—second read writing samples If scores greatly differed, re-read the essay to ensure reliability </li></ul>
  23. 23. Validity Check Are we assessing what we taught? Food for Thought: Assessed students on untaught material? As teachers, our assessments should not be “gotcha” moments to our students’ detriment, but tools to determine if our students learned what we taught.
  24. 24. See a simplistic example of validity below.
  25. 25. My Classroom Best Practices Middle school students improved writing & mine 1998, my 8 th grade English class & WSU freshman partnership MEAP Writing scores surpassed the State’s average by 10%. This 2003 article suggested a university-school partnerships.
  26. 26. Address students’ trends in writing Common errors? My college English classes—initial 1-2 page essay Note common errors, then address them as a class “Teaching to the individual” not “teaching to the middle” (Strickland & Strickland 2000 article) Review as a class error-filled sentences from each student Anonymous Goal = improve their own and peers’ writing
  27. 27. <ul><li>Writing Process—POWER Writing process = POWER (pun intended)  P lan—list all possible ideas without judgment O rganize—group common ideas into an outline or cluster W rite—create draft E valuate—receive two critiques (peer & scholarly) R evise—include critics’ suggestions for final copy Each step builds from the previous step. </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>Authentic Learning Transfer knowledge e.g., transfer their classroom knowledge to a standardized test setting Create acronyms IOPVWSC — Ideas, Organize, Paragraphs, Voice, Word Choice, Sentences, and Conventions. “I only play videogames while snacking chips.” My Writing POWER example </li></ul>
  29. 29. “ When children are required to learn to spell words correctly before they learn to compose, it stifles the writing process.” (Strickland & Strickland 2000)