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©2009 Wireless Generation, Inc. 1 The Writers Express Making Writing Instruction Stick A Summer and School-Year DSAC Professional Development Institute Sponsored by The Massachusetts DESE
©2009 Wireless Generation, Inc. 2 1.A curriculum with daily lessons that address a developmentally appropriate selection and sequence of skills that make the greatest impact on student writing. 2.Differentiated instruction without a different curriculum – The WEX Method. 3.Professional development that helps teachers better identify students needs and deliver motivating feedback that helps them become critical thinkers. (Its not those little black reference books you might have sitting on the shelf.) The Writers Express is:
©2009 Wireless Generation, Inc. 3 Teachers say: I want my students to master the skills they need to ace the tests, but I also want them to learn to love writing. I spend all weekend writing comments that I know my students never read. I need to find a better way to use my time. I cant really tell if what Im doing is helping my students become better writers because I just dont have a good way to check. I dont know where to begin. A Classroom-level Conundrum
©2009 Wireless Generation, Inc. 4 So, where do I begin?
©2009 Wireless Generation, Inc. 5 Through course work and classroom-based assignments, teachers discover the answers to the following questions: 1. What is the selection and sequence of writing skills that makes the greatest immediate and lasting impact on student writing? 2. What is the quality, quantity, and frequency of verbal and written feedback that makes the greatest impact on student writing? 3. How can I assessright in my own classroom and without waiting for test resultswhether the skills are sticking and the students are becoming better writers? Essential Questions
©2009 Wireless Generation, Inc. 6 How Do We Help Course Participants Answer These Questions? 1. Practice 2. Feedback 3. Mastery Methods
©2009 Wireless Generation, Inc. 7 Alignment with the MA State Frameworks: Rigorous, focused practice leads to good habits and writing skill mastery Daily on-demand writing Instruction and meaningful practice on independent revision and editing Strong emphasis on developing a single idea, moment, or topic. Explicit, authentic practice with personal, expository, and persuasive writing WEX Exercises Writing Muscles that Matter in Massachusetts
©2009 Wireless Generation, Inc. 8 1.This course helps teachers provide students with the exact practice they need to be able to write powerfully in response to text. 2.This course gives teachers the keys to help students write in response to text in a range of genres, topics, and reading levels. WEX Knows the Common Core Standards Q: What is the fundamental challenge of the Common Core State Standards? A: Students must demonstrate that they can comprehend and write about an unfamiliar piece of text.
©2009 Wireless Generation, Inc. 9 Immediate Impact, Lasting Transformation Step-by-step, students acquire: core literacy skills they need to make significant gains on standardized exams. behavioral habits that enable them to focus squarely on skill development a work ethic: If I practice, my writing will improve. What Does WEX Do – for Students?
©2009 Wireless Generation, Inc. 10 WEX helps teachers act their way into a new way of thinking Better help their students to master the skills needed to learn to love writing and to ace the state tests. Develop the ability to immediately assess the impact of instruction on student outcome. Adjust instruction based on the in-class assessments, and meet the specific needs of every child. WEX shows teachers how to have an impact every day. What Does WEX Do – for Teachers?
©2009 Wireless Generation, Inc Extremely practical 2. Combination of adult class-time and in-school follow-up from the course instructor 3. Very hands-on: Lots of practice and feedback delivering oral and written comments and saving teacher time 4. Starts in summer, ends in Januaryplenty of time to experiment, assess, report back, and make adjustments Course Style
©2009 Wireless Generation, Inc. 12 At least three people from the same school Classroom Teachers ELL Teachers Special Education Teachers Literacy Coaches/Title 1 Providers School-based Administrators Central Office Personnel Who Should Sign Up
©2009 Wireless Generation, Inc. 13 Administrative Support Module Each cohort must have a literacy coach or building or district supervisor who attends –Day one of the course in the summer –The classroom-based follow-up in December In addition, building supervisor does classroom observations with WEX trainer to identify and encourage most effective teaching practices. District or School-based Support Required!
©2009 Wireless Generation, Inc. 14 Optional: Site Facilitator Module Team leader, literacy coach, teacher Learn how run the WEX Looking at Student Work and Looking at Teacher Response to Student Work protocols. Organize and coordinate school-based implementation District or School-based Support Continued
©2009 Wireless Generation, Inc. 15 Two Groups in Two Regions, Starting in the summer and continuing into the school year 1. Teachers of Grades 2-5 and Grades Greater Boston and Northeast Regions Specific dates will be determined by The Writers Express and the participating district. Course Logistics, Target Grade Level
©2009 Wireless Generation, Inc. 16 Assignments 1. Written response to a reading about one of the following: a) Reasons for the Achievement Gap b) Wrap-around Zones like the Harlem Childrens Zone c) Research around feedback in response to student writing d) Articles about the No excuses schools e) Articles about brain research in regards to the types of practice that result in the best learning 2. Skill Interventionstudent case study documenting growth (or lack thereof) of one student on a specific writing skill between September and December. 3. Reflection of professional growth as a result of experimenting with the principles of the class. Course Expectations
©2009 Wireless Generation, Inc. 17 Professional Development Points (PDPs) 90 PDPs (or 4 graduate credits) upon completion of the course and submission of the assignments. Participants can get four graduate credits from Simmons College at a cost of $300. What Course Participants Receive
©2009 Wireless Generation, Inc. 18 WEX Curricular Materials Professional Development Resources: Practice, Feedback, Mastery WEX Course Reader WEX Teacher Guides with Daily Lessons –Book 1: Writing Personal Narratives –Book 2: Writing in Response to Fiction –Book 3: Informational and Expository Writing –Book 4: Writing Short Fiction –WEX Lessons for MCAS Grade 4 ELA Composition Test (if applicable) What Course Participants Receive, contd
©2009 Wireless Generation, Inc. 19 Contact David Meyers tel. (617) Want more details about WEX? See the elements of a 45-minute writing period and video of WEX in action in the classroom at Have a question?
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