READING and WRITING:It’s Not Just for English Class Anymore!(OR…Painless strategies for incorporatingeven MORE reading and writing into your already jam-packed class periods!) Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum TCISD Inservice August 2012 Presented by TCHS Instructional Team
Start-Up Write Fold in hamburger style the index card you received as you entered. Number the 4 sections (2 on each side). Then in Section 1 address the following prompt: In your own words, define the meaning and purpose of Writing Across the Curriculum?
WAC: Pedagogy Research – Students who regularly read, write, and make oral presentations in ALL classes (in addition to their English/Language Arts classes) have higher than average test scores. – Reading and writing skills must be practiced in every class students attend.
WAC: Ideals “WAC programs are defined in part by their intended outcomes— helping students to become critical thinkers and problem-solvers as well as developing their communication skills” (McLeod 150). They are designed to help teachers move from that “sage on the stage” ideology to facilitators of “active student engagement”: – Reading and writing are active learning processes that require critical thinking by the student. The teacher moves away from the forefront, creating a more student-centered classroom. – Reading and writing are meaning-making processes that support ALL disciplines.
Why Write Across the Curriculum? Reason #1: Written output is a great way to assess student knowledge. Reason #2: Writing is the essential skill students need as they enter adult life. Reason #3: Helping students learn to express themselves with confidence in all subject areas can contribute to improvements in behavior and self- esteem. Reason #4: Students who write clearly, think clearly. And students who think clearly have a better chance of navigating their way through the obstacles of adolescence. Reason #5: Writing is power.
WAC LEVEL 1: “Writing to Learn” Themost common (and easiest to incorporate!) type of classroom writing. – Students work out their understanding of ideas by putting thoughts down on paper without worrying about conventions. – The train of thought should not be interrupted by worries over spelling, grammar, etc.
WAC LEVEL 1: “Writing to Learn” Uses of Level 1 Writing: – Organize thoughts – Help with memory – Figure things out – Keep track of information – Brainstorm ideas Should be used DAILY as a learning tool to increase critical thinking skills. SHOULD NEVER BE GRADED FOR ANYTHING MORE THAN PARTICIPATION/COMPLETION (Good news for YOU, my busy teacher friends. )
STOP-n-WRITE Work with other teachers in your content area to BRAINSTORM a LIST of possible examples of Level 1 writing you could use in your classroom. Write these in section 2 of your index card.
WAC: Level One Examples Notes about reading Lecture/class notes Lists (like the one you just made) Questions from homework or other reading Prewriting or brainstorming ideas for a longer work Free writing Mind maps, clusters, diagrams, or outlines to organize ideas ALL journal writing
WAC LEVEL 2: “Writing toDemonstrate Knowledge” Level 2 writing is used to inform others what a student knows about a given topic. Level 2 writing is usually read by at least one other person. Level 2 writing should stand on its own, so some attention to writing conventions is required. Level 2 writing should be more organized so it appeals to a wider audience. Level 2 writing need not occur more than a few times per week. Once a week is common. LOTS OF LEVEL 1 WRITING PRACTICE WILL MAKE LEVEL 2 WRITING BETTER!
WAC: Level Two Examples Short-answer test questions Rough drafts of essays or other projects Homework assignments Summaries Reaction/response paragraphs
STOP-n-WRITE Work with other teachers in your content area to BRAINSTORM a LIST of possible examples of Level 2 writing you could use in your classroom. Write these in section 3 of your index card.
WAC Level 3: “Writing toDemonstrate Knowledge” Probably used ONCE every 6 weeks due to the time involved Specific AUDIENCE should be determined Involves ALL stages of the writing process, including: – Multiple drafts – Peer review – Revision – Editing – Publication Requires grading with a RUBRIC that students are familiar with and you have discussed together.
Not that I foresee this as aproblem, but… Do NOT assign Level 3 writing TOO OFTEN! Research shows that overuse of Level 3 writing decreases benefits such as discovery, comprehension, creativity, and critical thinking… as well as fluency and correctness. This means that you should TALK TO EACH OTHER! If most eleventh grade students are working on research projects in U.S. History, it is probably NOT a good time for English III teachers to assign one, too—(UNLESS you collaborate, which then becomes a FABULOUS idea!)
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHERMaking WAC work in YOUR subject area
EXIT TICKETS(ONE OF MY ALL-TIME FAVORITES!) "Exit tickets are one of the best teaching strategies Ive ever seen for getting students to immediately focus on the essential core content of lessons. They are particularly effective because they are designed to not only require the student to concentrate on the essential elements of a lesson, but then the students communicate succinctly using organized writing strategies.” Bret Harrison (2004), in Northern Nevada Writing Projects Writing Across the Curriculum Guide
EXIT TICKETS AND OTHER FABULOUS IDEAS TO GET YOU STARTEDWRITE DOWN THIS WEB ADDRESS IN SECTION 4 OF YOUR INDEX CARD: http://writingfix.com/WAC/exit_tickets.htmCheck this website frequently, and be sure to friend WritingFix.com on Facebook !
What do you do with writing once youget it? RESPOND: To give informal reactions to text ASSESS: To see how a student’s (or a class’s) body of work lines up with district or state objectives EVALUATE: To compare work with some sort of marker, benchmark, or standard GRADE: To condense all data into one symbol
False Premises About Evaluation (a.k.a. “The Good News”) Instructors should write lots of feedback in the margins and between the lines. Instructors should know and use many specific grammatical rules and terms if they want to comment effectively. The most effective responses to student writing are instructor-written comments on the final copy. (Joyce MacAllister, “Responding to Student Writing”) Every piece of writing needs to be graded.
Tips for Assessing Writing Always tie the writing assignment to specific pedagogical goals. Give written assignments that include your criteria for grading to make your expectations clear. Weight your grading criteria to reflect your course priorities. For Level 3 assignments, require more than one draft and give “process” grades along the way.
Tips for Assessing Writing Make good student papers available to illustrate features of strong work. Set ground rules for yourself and stick to them, and clearly convey to students what they can and cannot expect from you in terms of your response. Develop BRIEF,SIMPLE response rubrics— short lists of elements that you can check off. Use evaluation options: choice depends on type, complexity, and purpose of assignment.
Some Quick and Easy Evaluation Options Credit/No credit Read and share with class Accept/Revise/Reject Holistic scoring Analytic scoring – Checklists – Rubrics
Rules for Holistic ScoringOne score that considers all criteria at the same time:1. Read quickly; score immediately.2. Don’t reread.3. Read the entire paper without marking on it.4. Read for what has been done well, not poorly.5. Take everything into account at once: content, organization, grammar, style, etc.6. Rank papers against others in the group.*Holistic scoring is what you should use MOST FREQUENTLY! It is great for both Levels 1 and 2 writing and will allow you to assign LOTS of writing with very little effort on your part.
RUBRICS: WHY USE THEM? They save you time and prevent you from having to repeat yourself. They make grading more efficient. They make grading more consistent. They help students understand what you expect and how to respond to the assignment. They help YOU more easily assess group learning. *Providing a rubric is absolutely essential when assigning Level 3 writing projects!
How to Create an Effective Rubric STEP ONE: Identify the criteria. – What are the learning outcomes/objectives? STEP TWO: Give the criteria weight. – What should count the most? No more than 10 ranked items Use specific, descriptive criteria. STEP THREE: Describe the levels of success. – Numerical scales – Descriptors STEP FOUR: Create the grid. STEP FIVE: Distribute and DISCUSS!
SAMPLE WRITING RUBRIC Weak Satisfactory StrongInsights and ideas thatare appropriate toassignmentAddress of targetaudienceChoices and use ofevidenceLogic of organization anduse of prescribedformatsIntegration of sourcematerialsGrammar and mechanicsCommentsFinal Grade
SAMPLE WRITING RUBRIC 1 = not present, 2 = needs extensive revision, 3 = satisfactory, 4 = strong, 5 = outstanding 1 2 3 4 5Insights and ideasAddress of target audienceOrganization and use of prescribed formatsIntegration of source materialsGrammar and mechanicsComments/Final Grade
FINAL THOUGHTS… Tips, Hints, and Goals specifically designed for TCISD teachers
Be aware of the types of writing yourstudents will be required to demonstrate onthe STAAR test/EOC: SEVENTH GRADE THEREFORE… – Personal Narrative Any time you can – Expository present questions or ENGLISH I assignments that require these types of – Literary verbal or written – Expository responses, you are ENGLISH II doing your students a – Expository HUGE FAVOR! – Persuasive ENGLISH III – Persuasive – Analytic
WRITING GENRES PERSONAL NARRATIVE – Write about a time you… EXPOSITORY (EXPOSE the main idea…) – Describe the steps in a process… – Explain the sequence of events… – Cause and effect… – Comparison/contrast… LITERARY – Write a story about… – Present a scenario in which… PERSUASIVE – Tell me your opinion and use logic and facts to convince me you’re right… ANALYTIC – Why did . . . changes occur? – Can you compare your . . . with that presented in . . .? – Can you explain what must have happened when . . .? – How is . . . similar to . . .? – What are some of the problems of . . .? – Can you distinguish between . . .? – What were some of the motives behind . . .?
WAC GOALS FOR THIS YEAR: LEVEL 1 WRITING: – 3 to 5 times per week LEVEL 2 WRITING: – 1 or 2 times per week LEVEL 3 WRITING: – 1 per six weeks LABEL IT IN YOUR LESSON PLANS BY LEVEL!
AND REMEMBER… START SMALL when incorporating writing…both in scope and value. This will help students (and YOU) build confidence and begin to see writing as less of a chore—and maybe even FUN (maybe?!). MAKE IT EASY ON YOURSELF! – LOTS of credit/no credit and holistic scoring – LOTS of “bonus points” and “extra credit” writing – LOTS of process grades USE AVAILABLE RESOURCES! – Internet – Department chairs – Specialists
The End… HAVE A GREAT YEAR!I know you have the“write” stuff!