Presentation on theme: "AVID Instructional Strategies: Writing to Learn Dr. Judy Romanchuk Magnet Coordinator International Baccalaureate Program Campbell High School"— Presentation transcript:
AVID Instructional Strategies: Writing to Learn Dr. Judy Romanchuk Magnet Coordinator International Baccalaureate Program Campbell High School
AVID History Advancement Via Individual Determination 1980 desegregation court order brought large numbers of inner city students to academically acclaimed California high school Currently serves approximately 300,000 students in over 3,500 elementary and secondary schools in 45 states plus DC and 15 countries Boasts a proven track record for bringing out the best in students and closing the achievement gap
AVID Philosophy Acceleration instead of remediation Hold students accountable to the highest standards, plus provide academic and social support to enable them to rise to the challenge
AVID Goals Provide access and increase enrollment in advanced classes (honors, AP, IB) for students in the academic middle Level playing field for minority, rural, low- income, and other students without a college-bound tradition in their families
Teaching Methodologies - WICR Writing to learn – emphasis on writing in all subjects with a focus on clarifying and communicating thoughts and understanding material Inquiry – instead of lecture. Activities, such as Cornell notetaking and tutorial groups, are built on asking questions, which forces students to clarify, analyze, and synthesize material.
WICR Collaborative – teacher becomes a facilitator and an advocate, with students responsible for their learning. Tutors become discussion leaders, as students learn from one another Reading (critical reading) – students analyze, question, critique, clarify, and comprehend material in all subject areas
Writing to Learn Different from traditional writing Different goals (designed to give order, process information) No polished finished product Focuses on developing higher order thinking, analyzing, and summarizing rather than communication
Writing, a Unique Mode of Learning Writing provides the process needed to relate new knowledge to prior experience. To learn we must place new knowledge into an existing language and cognitive framework. Written material is concrete and visible, able to hold ideas for further processing.
National Commission on Writing: If students are to make knowledge their own, they must: – struggle with the details – wrestle with the facts – re-work raw information and dimly understood concepts into language they can communicate to someone else.
Writing Often… Writing often, several times a week, provides constant reinforcement of the content.
Writing to Learn Activities Involve students as active participants (not passive receivers) – a tool of thinking Provide a risk-free environment to try out new ideas and take creative risks Provide practice in a specific skill or type of thinking important within a discipline
Writing to Learn Activities Allow students to have the experience of writing with full attention to their own thoughts, rather than being preoccupied with a concern for correctness Provide practical information on what students know or dont yet understand (valuable means of formative assessment)
Research on Writing to Learn Student achievement on state assessments, exit exams, and other measurements greatly improves. Students demonstrate growth in core academic learning and concept building. North Central Regional Educational Laboratory
Writing-to-Learn Basics Writing Breaks Entry and Exit Slips Learning Logs Narratives and Academic Journals Dialogues Double Entry Journals
Writing Breaks At specific points during class, students stop and reflect in writing on the activities or information presented. The WB may be followed by quick sharing with partners or the whole class (Think/Pair/Share) Break and topic may be predetermined or spontaneous.
Entry and Exit Slips Written responses from students to questions the teacher poses either at the beginning (entry) or the end (exit) of class. Why? Check students understanding by having them formulate the concept or main points in their own words.
Entry (Admit) Slips Students bring a short piece of writing to class the next daya reflection on the reading assignment or a discussion item from the previous class period (may reflect additional information from homework)
Variation – Start-up Writes Students write for the first 2-5 minutes in response to a prompt or quote from the previous day or from the homework assignment Provides an excellent sponge activity that puts students to work immediately
Exit Slips Save the last one to five minutes of class time and ask students to jot a quick response to some aspect of the days lesson on a half sheet of paper or an index card Read the notes later on and use them to help plan the next class session (formative assessment)
Exit Slip Example What were the three most important ideas we learned today and why do you think they are important?
Learning Logs Students respond to a prompt that helps them articulate what they have learned and discover what they dont understand Designed to locate gaps in student knowledge – critical as students seek to take responsibility for their own learning by asking questions aboutand seeking help forareas of confusion Detailed instructions in AVID Curriculum Guide for writing (See Resources)
Cornell Notetaking System An efficient method for mastering information, not just recording facts Focuses on main ideasrelating facts, details, and examples to concepts Invites questioning, evaluation, and reflection Provides a system for recall
Five Steps of the System Record notes in the main column Refine with questions, corrections, underlining, recall cues, graphics, pictures Recite by covering main column and expanding on recall cues; verify Reflect on organization of material by studying all cues Review by repeating Steps 3 and 4
Double Entry Journals Left Side: Specific Text (may be teacher or student selected) Right Side: Student Response (stance may range from personal to analytical)
Double Entry Journal Prompts: Ask Students for… Comparisons to information learned earlier Associations with information from other courses Related personal experience Effects of this information when applied in the world outside the classroom Response to quotations from the text
Student Assumptions Personal responses to academic information and literature are wrong or inappropriate Somewhere out there is a RIGHT response Learning consists of discovering the right response Leaves students embarrassed to speak out for fear that their opinions are WRONG
Narratives – A Blend of the Personal and Academic The prompt asks students to tap into their personal experience relating to the material taught (an inroad to prior knowledge) Students build bridges from their lives to the concept they are studying.
Narratives - Examples Before beginning a unit on viruses, ask students to write about a time when they contracted a virushow they felt, how it impacted their lives. Before beginning a lesson on The Seafarer, ask students to write about a time when they felt two different ways about the same event.
Brainstorming Before Writing Provides a quick inventory of what students know or think they know about something Students write down everything that comes to mind even if they are not sure it is correct Focuses on quantity over quality Fits at the beginning, middle, or end of a lesson
Brainstorming Example Take a minute and list every important idea, concept, or detail that you can remember about our topic for today
Clustering or Mapping Students jot down a key word in the center of a page, draw spokes outward, and in associative fashion write words connected with the key word in circles or balloons at the end of the spokes
Clustering or Mapping A way to encourage the surfacing of ideas that students may need for thinking or writing about a topic they are exploringor to connect and review ideas they have learned as they study a particular chunk of content A tool to help students uncover possibilities that are often overlooked in linear writing exercises
Drawing and Illustrating Quick drawings, sketches, or diagrams to illustrate ideas, events, science experiments, real-world situations involving math problems, etc. Words may be added in the form of explanations, labels, or listing of terms and ideas
Drawing and Illustrating Re-expressing an idea in different modes often helps students understand complex ideas by calling attention to different aspects that are not revealed through words alone May be blended with any of the writing exercises
Academic Discourse Not absorbed culturally Not intuitive Analytical in nature Tied to text A unique linguistic structure depending on the content area
Academic Journals A primary focus on the what (content, comprehension, and analysis) Minimal focus on the how (format, framework of the language, mechanics)
How to Use Academic Journals In-class response to homework Quick-write to introduce a particular study Response to discussion during class Focused writing in preparation for a formal essay or research paper
Various Approaches for the Prompt Personal General Specific Reflective Reactive Analytical
Length of the Assignment Reminder: Short, spontaneous, unedited writing pieces help students engage and think about ideas Ideal length – one page (exactly) Forces planning Students search for support
Dialogues Students write in response to a teachers prompt on the material presented. Exchange journals with partners who write in response to the first entry.
Purpose of Dialogues Generate written debate and discussion that may not happen out loud. Allow students to discover new ideas that have not occurred to them before. Encourage students to practice academic discussion.
Another ApproachStudents Stop and Respond: Students trade journal entries with someone sitting next to them Each student reads and responds– about a minute for each entry
Teacher Response to Writing to Learn Activities Collect after several entries or each time (preferred) Check for student understanding and need to reteach Skim for content – easy on the teacher Grade for meeting requirements of the assignment, not for quality or correctness Design follow-up mini-lessons to address any mechanical concerns that might surface
A Look at Language The structure of language varies with each content area. Analysis of written texts provides a foundation for increased comprehension and individual expression (reader response).
Step One: Create Interest in Language and Language Construction Expose students to the SOUNDS of language in its simple and sophisticated forms – HEAR the rhythms and repetitions – HEAR the way parts of the sentence are ordered – HEAR the way words ebb and flow – the cadence of language – HEAR the sequence of ideas – HEAR the ways to make language flexible
The Reason? Students cannot write if they cannot read. A basic understanding of language is fundamental to the ability to manipulate language for effective communication. Typical language patterns and constructions may be different in different subject areas, requiring reading flexibility.
Where Do You Start? Pointing student attention to authentic language How do we actually use words to communicate? How do we use words differently in different content areas?
Examining Word Usage Help students develop a sense of the basic structure of English (a slotted system) – Most standard form: Who does what? (Subject - Action Verb – Direct Object: The dog chased the cat.) – Alternate form: Who is what? (Subject – Linking Verb – Subject Complement that either renames or describes the subject: John is a pilot.)
Build for Understanding by Focusing on the Sentence Core Readers have to link the subject and verb in order to make sense of the sentence (essential to finding main ideas). Additional words and phrases that modify the subject and verb expand the meaning of the sentence.
Example - The Simple Facts Harry was a white dog. He had black spots. Harry did not like getting a bath. Harry heard the water running in the tub. Harry took the scrubbing brush. Harry buried it in the back yard. Harry ran away from home.
Moving from Simple to Sophisticated Harry was a white dog with black spots who liked everything, except... getting a bath. So one day when he heard the water running in the tub, he took the scrubbing brush... and buried it in the back yard. Then he ran away from home. From Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
Utilizing Reader Response Encourages close reading (a problem in student understanding of all texts) Pairs with vocabulary-building and clustering/mapping strategies. Enriches and expands conceptual knowledge.
One Reader Response Technique Find a key word in your sample passage. Consider completing a clustering/mapping activity to expand the connotations that you associate with your word. Return to the passage and explore the various ways that the word impacts the passage. Do a quick write explaining your findings.
Application Poetry Literary prose Expository passages in the content areas Math word problems
Example in Math Translate nine less than the total of a number and two into an algebraic expression and simplify: Can sound like 9 – number + 2 (typical distracter on the PSAT) Translates to (n + 2) – 9, which simplifies to n – 7
Going Deeper with Writing to Learn KWL Collaborative Annotation Write Arounds Carousel Brainstorming Nonstop Write Reflective Write
KWL What do you know? What do you want to know? What have you learned?
KWL Widespread use at elementary level Works best when students have a little prior knowledge about a topic A series of lists made by individual students, small groups, and the whole class, with the teacher serving as recorder for the latter
Collaborative Annotation A variation of the dialogue journal Also called text on text Key passage glued on chart paper at each table
Collaborative Annotation Students use different colored pens to make comments, connect to particular phrases, draw arrows, speculate Students may then start reading each others comments – leads to agreeing, disagreeing, clarifying, and answering each others written thoughts Teacher may also comment to spur further discussion
Write Around or Silent Discussion In small groups (3-5 students in each), student write short notes to each other about a complex topic or term assigned by the teacher Each student starts a note with a comment Students pass their papers, read what was written previously, and add their own comments in response Creates a string of conversation as pages circulate around the table
Carousel Brainstorming Students simultaneously share ideas and respond in writing to three or four different prompts Use separate sheets of chart paper for each prompt (can be taken from key headings in the text) Each group of 3-5 students has a different colored marker
Carousel Brainstorming Groups visit a station (about two minutes), discuss the topic written at the top of the sheet of chart paper, and add their own contributions (identified by the color of their marker), then move to next station when teacher calls time Works best for introducing a new topic or actively involving students in review
Putting the Writing to Work Each group rereads the comments from its home chart and reports to the class – should include an evaluation of the ideas Engage in a gallery walk as each group moves through the stations a second time; can be followed by a short large-group discussion that focuses on the highlights
Putting the Writing to Work Have a silent gallery walk. Groups move through the stations, reading but not talking. They return to their seats, spend a few minutes on a nonstop write in response to what they have read and then finish with a small-group or large-group share.
Nonstop Write A timed writing, usually between three and five minutes Students respond to a specific content- related prompt (Describe the cycle of photosynthesis as if you were a plant) or an open-ended response (What were your reactions to Jack in the story?) Students write quickly and continuously, focusing on presenting ideas
Reflective Write In the middle or at the end of a task Students reflect on their learning and the task itself May be informal (list on a note card), in double-entry journal form, or full page nonstop write May be extended into longer think pieces Encourages self awareness
Working the Room with All Writing to Learn Activities Cruise the room and read over students shoulders – keeps students on task and helps you evaluate on the spot Reveals learning gaps as well as concepts that have been grasped Provides an opportunity for individual student intervention
Reasons Students Experience Writing Shutdowns Putting thoughts on paper quickly is a skill that takes practice The continuous writing of sentences and paragraphs takes more effort than brainstorming a quick list Continuing to write for five minutes requires the writer to expand on details or move on to new topics when a previous one is exhausted
Solutions for Writing Shutdowns Build stamina by starting with shorter pieces Initially use a combination of bullet points or jot lists with brief sentence responses Gradually extend the length and complexity to stretch student responses to a higher level Provide individual encouragement and support for reluctant writers
Writing to Learn Versus Learning to Write What about writing instruction itself (Learning to Write)? How do Writing-to- Learn strategies fit into the broader picture of writing instruction?
Use Writing to Learn as a Prewriting Exercise in Writing Instruction –Tune students in –Allow them to explore their thoughts –Get them started –Gather ideas on the topic –Consider feelings
Expand Types of Writing Assignments Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs has expressed concern that from the 4 th grade on students write too many reports over more varied and complex writing assignments. Note the comprehension level of report writing on Blooms taxonomy.
Expand Types of Writing Assignments In addition to assigning report-type writing, teachers need to design writing assignments that (at a minimum) involve application as well as acquisition. For example, students assume professional roles and complete tasks that address authentic needs for authentic audiences (broad category of technical writing).
Writing to Learn Resources Daniels, H., Zemelman, S., & Steineke, N. (2007). Content area writing: Every teachers guide. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Drewes, F., & Milligan, K. L. D. (2003). How to study science. New York: McGraw Hill. Gardner, T. (2008). Designing writing assignments. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English. Marzano, R. J., & Pickering, D. J. (2005). Building academic vocabulary teachers manual. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Mullen, M, & Boldway, S. (2005). Curriculum: High school writing teacher guide. San Diego, CA: AVID Center.