"In general, I’m a fan of anything that gets students writing, and there are real benefits to giving students the gift of textual brevity rather than the stomach-churning fear of a five-paragraph structured essay. I’ve done quite a few articles on the benefits of Twitter’s 140-character approach to writing and my teacher’s gut says the same applies to text messaging. Truth, studies on this topic are inconclusive."
Another shift in the ELA standards is a concentrated focus on argument instead of persuasion. While persuasion may often rely on emotional appeals and personal experience, argument requires more textual evidence and close-reading of the text. This lesson shows a multi-step approach to help students learn to focus on how an argument is constructed.
There are some things computers really can do better than humans. But what about writing?
"Mark Shermis (pictured) heads up the University of Akron College of Education. Earlier this year, he co-authored a study of nine different essay-grading computer programs. Shermis says that on shorter writing assignments the computer programs matched grades from real live humans up to 85 percent of the time. But on longer, more complicated responses, the technology didn’t do quite as well."
This is a great example of how teachers are integrating writing assignments across the curriculum, helping students practice practice their oral communication skills, and helping students safely publish their work in digital forms online.
“an intense focus, across nearly every academic subject, on teaching the skills that underlie good analytical writing.”
Direct and Explicit Instruction
“The thing is, kids need a formula, at least at first, because what we are asking them to do is very difficult. So God, let’s stop acting like they should just know how to do it. Give them a formula! Later, when they understand the rules of good writing, they can figure out how to break them.”
Standards define expectations. Teachers help students meet expectations.
"traditional instruction delivered by the teachers already in classrooms may turn out to be the most powerful lever we have for improving school performance after all."
The best place to teach literacy skills is in content areas. - Dan Willingham
the emphasis on writing at New Dorp helped in knowledge and vocabulary acquisition by forcing "distributed practice" of subject matter and vocabulary, causing them to be learned more effectively by having to be written out.
Writing improves reading and vice versa. - Steve Graham
the promise of the method lies in its efficiency: killing two birds with one stone, both writing and general knowledge. The efficiency is significant only if it's an effective pedagogical device in support of cumulative knowledge building.
The key is that students can apply what they have learned.
As schools embark on the implementation of the Common Core standards, let us hope that educators keep in mind that they are just standards and that the heavy lifting, as Hirsch suggests, will be that of “defining specifically the knowledge to be learned.”
September is National Literacy Month, and what better way to celebrate and promote literacy than focusing on the tools that students own and love: their ce (Top story: Enriching literacy with cell phones?
How Quick Bursts of Writing Connect to the Common Core State Standards
• Writing is present in all the standards (If you’ve studied the standards, you know this well. Hooray! Writing should be part of everything we are doing and studying across the curriculum. Putting writing in its proper place at the head of the table right alongside reading will help us better meet Common Core expectations. Quick Bursts help us efficiently infuse writing into much more of what we do.)
A report released by the Nebraska Department of Education showed Beatrice Public Schools eighth and 11th graders fell behind their peers on new statewide writing tests.
The reports, released earlier this week, reflect increased writing standards and a new testing method in those grades for 2012.
“A new, more rigorous writing process was introduced to students in grades 8 and 11,” the press release states. “In addition to the newly revised writing standards, the writing process became more ‘college and career ready.’”
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