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Teaching and Assessing Writing with the 6-Traits
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Writing To Think: When a Student Can't Write It, Can She Think It?

Writing To Think: When a Student Can't Write It, Can She Think It? | 6-Traits Resources | Scoop.it

In 2008, Fran Simmons, an English teacher at NewDorpHigh School in New York—at that time one of the lowest-performing secondary institutions in the nation— devised a simple test for her students in an effort to keep district officials from pulling the plug. First, she asked her freshman class to read Of Mice and Men. Then, using information from the novel, she asked them to answer the following prompt in a single sentence:

“Although George …”

She was looking for a sentence like: Although George worked very hard, he could not attain the American Dream.

What Simmons received was alarming in the truest sense of the word. Some students wrote passable sentences, but many could not manage to finish the line. More than a few wrote the following:

“Although George and Lenny were friends.”


Via Beth Dichter
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Beth Dichter's curator insight, May 16, 2013 10:49 PM

This in-depth post explores the issue of language impacts our ability to think. After an introduction the post is split into three sections.

The first section explores "the psycholingusitic case for writing education." It is noted that the Common Core states that students in grades 6-12 "should demonstrate increasing sophistication in all aspects of language use, from vocabulary and syntax to the development and organization of ideas, and they should address increasingly demanding content and sources.” 
And following this raised a different question:
"If a student can’t write it, however, why should we assume that she can think it?"

What follows is a look at language, where we see that the language we learn impacts us in many ways, that some cultures have many words for a word like snow while others do not, that cultures whom have language that have "gendered objects" impacts how people view the objects. 

The second section explores "Can you teach better math and science be teaching writing?" Information is provided about New Dorp High School (in New York). The school implemented a program that included "writing-to-learn" across the curriculum (except for math) and discovered that major gains in writing were apparent by the second year. 

The third section "highlights ten features of writing education that can be used to enhance student learning across all subject areas, ultimately resulting in higher academic performance."

The first two suggestions are below (all are quoted from the post).

1. Vocabulary Across The Disciplines: Emphasize that the concept of a word may change depending on the context in which it is used.
2. Syntax Across The Disciplines: Emphasize that every math problem and essay prompt has a hierarchical structure. 
Click through to the post to learn more about these two features of writing and about eight additional features.

Ann Kenady's curator insight, February 5, 2014 11:23 PM

This article gives compelling evidence that the ability to write effectively is closely linked to the ability to think coherently. The author writes, "Students’ inability to write was contributing to their inability to think, severely impeding intellectual growth across many subjects."



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Writing @ Colorado State University

Writing @ Colorado State University | 6-Traits Resources | Scoop.it

Description by Internet Scout Project

 

"The Colorado State University has a rather wonderful set of online resources designed to help people become better writers. Most of these materials are offered right here on the Writing at Colorado State University website, where visitors will find ten different thematic guides. These guides deal primarily with writing in engineering, and they include Communicating as a Civil Engineer, Engineering Proposals, and Environmental Policy Statements. On the right-hand side of the homepage, visitors will find sections like Writing Processes and Writing Documents. These areas have more detailed areas like Starting to Write, Revising & Editing, and Publishing. Taken as a whole, these sections offer a broad range of specific guides to becoming a better writer. Finally, the site contains links to other relevant sites from university and college writing centers."


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The History 2.0 Classroom: Google Docs X Organizing & Promoting the Writing Process

The History 2.0 Classroom: Google Docs X Organizing & Promoting the Writing Process | 6-Traits Resources | Scoop.it

Based on my experience using Google Docs for the past two years, I have come up with a strategy that I think may help anyone who plans on using Google Docs with students next year. The purpose of this strategy is two fold:


1. Stay Organized (both teacher & student)
2. Promote the writing process, revision & resubmission of work

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Writing In Mathematics via Math Gal

Writing In Mathematics via Math Gal | 6-Traits Resources | Scoop.it

How will the Common Core Standards change writing in mathematics? Here are a few ways you can incorporate writing into daily math activities!

 

 

 

 

 

I require my students to:

  • use models
  • calculations
  • pictures
  • equations

to explain how they got to their solution to a problem.

 

Now, under the Common Core State Standards, I need to change my requirements to:

  • promote lengthier
  • written explanations

Under the new standards, the math world will collide with the language arts world successfully.

 

We can meet this challenge of the “new standards” and embrace the change it will bring to the math classroom.

 


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Teaching English with Technology

Teaching English with Technology | 6-Traits Resources | Scoop.it

EdTechTeacher presents Teaching English with Technology, a resource created to help K-12 English and Language Arts teachers incorporate technology effectively into their courses. Find resources for English and Language Arts lesson plans, activities, projects, games, and quizzes that use technology. Explore inquiry-based lessons, activities, and projects. Learn about web technologies such as blogs, podcasts, wikis, social networks, Google Docs, ebooks, online maps, virtual field trips, screencasts, online posters, and more. Explore innnovative ways of integrating these tools into the curriculum, watch instructional video tutorials, and discover how others are using technology in the classroom!


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WritingFix: Writing Across the Curriculum

WritingFix: Writing Across the Curriculum | 6-Traits Resources | Scoop.it

Look here for a huge archive of writing materials covering all aspects of Writing Across the Curriculum for elementary, middle, and early high school students. 


Welcome to our page of on-line resources for the Northern Nevada Writing Project's highly popular Writing Across the Curriculum (W.A.C.) inservice classes for teachers.


Each year, the NNWP sponsors numerous teacher workshops that focus on W.A.C. Even if you are not in Northern Nevada and cannot enroll in our workshops, we believe you will find the information presented on this page useful, especially if you believe that students who write about content will think deeper about content.

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Writing across the Curriculum - Resource Topics - National Writing Project

Writing across the Curriculum - Resource Topics - National Writing Project | 6-Traits Resources | Scoop.it

Resource Topics
Teaching Writing - Writing across the Curriculum

Dennis T OConnor's insight:

WAC makes so much sense!  Here is a very rich vein of research and thinking on writing across the curriculum from the National Writing Project.

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Writing across the Curriculum: George Mason University

Writing across the Curriculum: George Mason University | 6-Traits Resources | Scoop.it

Description by Internet Scout Project

 

"The impetus for the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) initiative at George Mason University was part of a national media discussion in 1977 about a "literary crisis" in the United States. Three decades later, the WAC continues to thrive, and its website is full of resources for people who teach college English courses and related subjects. The mission of the WAC is to focus on writing as "a pedagogical tool that enables students to develop critical, analytical, and imaginative thinking to address complex social issues."

 

"On the Program Info page, visitors can learn more about the structure of the WAC and how it operates. Moving on, the Faculty Resources section contains sections such as Teaching With Writing, Guides in the Disciplines, Writing Center Resources, and so on. The Teaching with Writing area has great resources such as handouts titled "Writing to Learn," "Creating Clear Assignments," and "Evaluating and Grading." Further along is the Guides in the Disciplines section, which features writing guides for different subjects crafted by people at George Mason, along with national writing guides from Carleton College, Colorado State University, and Columbia College."


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Writing Across the Curriculum: Classroom Activities

Writing Across the Curriculum:  Classroom Activities | 6-Traits Resources | Scoop.it
Effective writing activities can help students learn any type of content better. I found a great list of resources from Ohio State University on incorporating writing into lesson plans. I could see...
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The Blues, Storytelling and Science | The Inspired Classroom

The Blues, Storytelling and Science | The Inspired Classroom | 6-Traits Resources | Scoop.it

Elizabeth Peterson writes about an interdisciplinary unit she conducted combining science study of Land and Water with blues songs about life on the Mississippi River - extracting rich narratives from the songs' lyrics. Pictures and music included. -JL


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Writing to Learn: Deepening Understanding and Improving Retention of Content

Writing to Learn: Deepening Understanding and Improving Retention of Content | 6-Traits Resources | Scoop.it

Robert Marzano

Educational Leadership

Februrary 2012

 

"Writing to learn focuses on deepening understanding and improving retention of content."

 

Writing Across the Curriculum

 

The concept of writing across the curriculum is commonly credited to James Britton (1970, 1972).

  • Writing should be integral to instruction in all subject areas.
  • Writing is fundamentally a constructive process of encoding new information.
  • The act of translating experience into a personalized account aids and extends learning.
  • Writing to learn focuses on deepening understanding and improving retention of content. 

The writing activities, typically:

  • are short
  • informal
  • resemble an advanced form of note taking.

Five Phases for Understanding

  • Phase 1: Record - Here, students record their understanding of the content. 
  • Phase 2: Compare  - In this phase, students share what they've recorded with a partner, noting what's similar and different between their two recordings. 
  • Phase 3: Revise - This phase occurs right after the comparison phase, although a teacher might assign it as homework instead. 
  • Phase 4: Combine - Here, students combine the products of the R–C–R cycles they've completed and then generate and defend one or more generalizations. Students must support their generalizations using specific evidence. 
  • Phase 5: Review - This last phase always occurs before an assessment, although a teacher could request it at any time. 

 

Defined Instructional Practices Build Collective Capacity


The Common Core State Standards make school wide literacy a must do. School leaders are faced with the challenge of increasing the capacity of their entire instructional staff within a brief period of time. In order to raise the collective capacity of teachers, school must employ a locally agreed upon set of defined instructional practices in which all teachers engage in every classroom every day. Defined practices build collective capacity!


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6-Traits Resources: Writing Across the Curriculum - Writing Lesson of the Month Network

6-Traits Resources: Writing Across the Curriculum - Writing Lesson of the Month Network | 6-Traits Resources | Scoop.it

Join this group!


This group receives special notice whenever a new writing across the curriculum lesson or resource is posted at WritingFix.

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Interested in an Online Graduate Course in the 6-Traits?

UW-Stout: EDUC 654 Teaching and Assessing Writing with the 6-Traits | 3 graduate credits | Online Professional Development for Teachers | NCATE Accredited 8 week 100% online class |