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This reflection was written by Cynthia Rice, an educator and writer living on Prince Edward Island in Canada. She captures the arc of her experience during my online class: Teaching and Assessing Writing with the Six Traits. This touching story says so much about the the teaching spirit, that's why I asked Cindy to share it here.
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Mimic writing. Students can examine multiple examples of certain writing features through strategies like concept attainment, text data sets, and teacher modeling. Then students can mimic these writing features by creating their own examples. For example, students can examine several Yes and No examples of topic sentences and identify the features of a good topic sentence. Then students can write their own topic sentences and evaluate them according to these features.
Copying the style of a fine writer tunes the ear to voice and helps the writer become a more mindful reader.
The problem with rote memorization of a writing organizational formula is that it has no context. The kids don't understand why they are using the form. They just memorize the basics and stumble on. This usually means they know they need five paragraphs: 1 intro 3 body 1 concluding. Hardly a universal formula for organizing writing. But that's what is usually taught (and often nothing else.)
Here's a brief essay inspired by a conversation in my Online writing class.
that interesting ...
What a great way to organize writing for our students!
What voice looks like in the Common Core
First of all, let’s be honest. You won’t find the word “voice” anywhere in the Common Core standards for writing or language. But that doesn’t mean the concept isn’t there. There are many words to describe voice: style, tone, technique, and connection to the audience, among others. And each of these things is emphasized in the Common Core.
By teaching voice you will be addressing Common Core Concerns. The trick is articlating how you are hitting the attributes emphasised in the standards. This article from the Six Traits Gurus will help you see how it all fits.
How to work develop your own voice when writing...
A Bibliography for Teachers Interested in the Going Deep Guide: In 2006, the Northern Nevada Writing Project (sponsor of this free-to-use website) published a 196-page resource for teachers: The Going Deep with 6 Trait Language Guide.
The guide features trait-specific lessons and resources designed to help all students use 6 trait language better as they explore the act of writing. Many of the guide's lessons and resources cite awesome picture and chapter books as examples of powerfully crafted text to show and discuss with students. Many Northern Nevada school libraries made sure they had all cited books from the guide available to their teachers.
J. Peterman Talent Show - We are all famous and talented. (At least for 15 minutes.) Here's your chance to win $3000.00
If you ask students to identify how a character is feeling in a story, you might hear one of the following three words pop up: happy, sad, mad. Character emotions and traits are not something children automatically understand. To help students with this, we need to be intentional.
Inferencing a character’s feelings or personality traits is complicated. It involves looking beyond the words. It takes time to build this skill in young readers. Making it tangible can help. One way to make it more concrete is to put a face to it. Here are three activities, all of which will help with reading into a character’s personality and emotions.
Voice Lessons: Here's an archive of lesson plans designed to teach voice in writing!
Letter writing is a powerful way for young writers to understand the relationship between voice and audience. ~ Dennis
Teaching and Assessing Writing with the 6-Traits
Online Course 3 semester hours graduate credit
Instructor: Dennis O'Connor
June 18 - August 10, 2012
Learn how to teach and assess writing more effectively and help students understand the 6-Traits of good writing (voice, ideas, word choice, organization, sentence fluency & conventions). Explore strategies to enable learners to progress through higher standards and improve test scores. Participants get extensive hands-on practice assessing a variety of student samples using the 6-Traits rubric.
The J. Peterman Catalog is real and online! http://www.jpeterman.com/
What a great way to teach word choice and voice!
This topic was suggested during a discussion on Word Choice in my Teaching and Assessing Writing with the 6-Traits online class.
I had some fun running down these resources. I'm not sure how they might play for the current generation of kids in the seats who may not be Seinfeld fans. Not many will know who J.Peterman is. That's why I tried so hard to find the right video example of word choice and voice!
Hardly a week goes by that I’m not asked about the differences between modes, genres, and formats. I admit, it’s pretty confusing out there when you try to sort it out on your own. Here is how I keep the terms separate in my work–I hope it helps you, too.
This thoughtful article will help define terms we encounter as we dig into the traits. Modes of writing and genres of writing carry expectations as to format and audience. This will determine voice and organization.
For good measure we need to consider the Modes of writing that are highlighted by the Common Core Standards.
At its core, the six-word memoir teaches us to be concise but also introspective. Try describing yourself in six words. Not easy, right?
So how does the six-word memoir make sense in a history class? As a history teacher, I am always looking to integrate my class with as many different disciplines as possible. I also try to turn my students away from being just consumers of information and toward being global creators of everything cool. When I learned that the National Writing Project teamed up with Mozilla to create a Thimble webmaking application for six-word memoirs, I began to realize the potential this could have in my history classes.
Who said, "Brevity is the soul of wit..." ?
There is an expected research paper voice and while the mode is driven by organization, voice still plays a part in this form of writing.I'd describe the desired voice in this mode as; authoritative. Other descriptors would be strong, confident, and understanding. Lovitts 2007 p 36
While the voice of a research report is more constrained, it's there. By helping your students learn to recognize voice you clarify the intent of the writing and help build the concept.
reference:Lovitts, B. E. 2007 Making the implicit explicit: creating performance expectations for the dissertation. Virginia, Stylus Publishing
Good for librarians and teachers....
Corbett Harrison's website. Filled with useful resources for writing teachers.
Clues From How the Caged Bird Sings A long time ago, I met a young woman and in our first conversation, it came out that she sang with a choir. I told her I couldn’t sing, and I confided that...
Advice from the test Lady: Know your audience!
"To help your writers envision this real live audience for their writing, consider having students draw portraits of the Test Lady™ on 11x17 paper. Hang them in the room as a constant reminder that a human being is on the other end of what they will write for the state writing prompt. "
Lost my voice? I’m not sure I ever found it in the first place. We hear about finding one’s voice all the time (in the land of writers, that is), but just what does that mean?
Q: I think my students finally understand what voice is, but I don't know how to help them tap into it within their own writing. I'm looking for some picture books that would demonstrate different types of voice and then coordinating strategies to elicit writer voice. Any ideas?
Here's a fine series of tips that will help any writer put their voice on paper.
Writing Traits: Teaching the Skills of Voiceteacher-created resources and lessons...all focused on skills that make up the trait of voice
Voice is just one of the six writing traits. Voice is a complex trait that should be discussed, explored, and further developed every year that students learn to write in school; both kindergartners and high school seniors can be taught to think about developmentally appropriate skills that are associated with organization. This page contains voice lessons and resources that we consider appropriate for sharing with third graders and up.
Writing is a tool for self discovery, not just workplace literacy.
A poem from a young writer is shared and discussed. It's a powerful piece of writing from a young heart in pain.
Posted by Barry Lane at Discoverwriting.com