Presentation on theme: "AVID Instructional Strategies: Writing to Learn"— Presentation transcript:
1 AVID Instructional Strategies: Writing to Learn Dr. Judy RomanchukMagnet CoordinatorInternational Baccalaureate ProgramCampbell High School
2 AVID History Advancement Via Individual Determination 1980 desegregation court order brought large numbers of inner city students to academically acclaimed California high schoolCurrently serves approximately 300,000 students in over 3,500 elementary and secondary schools in 45 states plus DC and 15 countriesBoasts a proven track record for bringing out the best in students and closing the achievement gap
3 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
4 AVID GoalsProvide access and increase enrollment in advanced classes (honors, AP, IB) for students in the academic middleLevel playing field for minority, rural, low-income, and other students without a college-bound tradition in their families
5 Teaching Methodologies - WICR Writing to learn – emphasis on writing in all subjects with a focus on clarifying and communicating thoughts and understanding materialInquiry – 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.
6 WICRCollaborative – teacher becomes a facilitator and an advocate, with students responsible for their learning. Tutors become discussion leaders, as students learn from one anotherReading (critical reading) – students analyze, question, critique, clarify, and comprehend material in all subject areas
7 Writing to Learn Different from traditional writing Different goals (designed to give order, process information)No polished finished productFocuses on developing higher order thinking, analyzing, and summarizing rather than communication
8 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.
9 National Commission on Writing: “If students are to make knowledge their own, they must:struggle with the detailswrestle with the factsre-work raw information and dimly understood concepts into language they can communicate to someone else.”
10 Writing Often… Writing often, several times a week, provides constant reinforcement of thecontent.
11 Writing to Learn Activities Involve students as active participants (not passive receivers) – a tool of thinkingProvide a risk-free environment to try out new ideas and take creative risksProvide practice in a specific skill or type of thinking important within a discipline
12 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 correctnessProvide practical information on what students know or don’t yet understand (valuable means of formative assessment)
13 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
14 Writing-to-Learn Basics Writing BreaksEntry and Exit SlipsLearning LogsNarratives and Academic JournalsDialoguesDouble Entry Journals
15 Writing BreaksAt 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.
16 Entry and Exit SlipsWritten 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.
17 Entry (Admit) SlipsStudents bring a short piece of writing to class the next day—a reflection on the reading assignment or a discussion item from the previous class period (may reflect additional information from homework)
18 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 assignmentProvides an excellent sponge activity that puts students to work immediately
19 Exit SlipsSave the last one to five minutes of class time and ask students to jot a quick response to some aspect of the day’s lesson on a half sheet of paper or an index cardRead the notes later on and use them to help plan the next class session (formative assessment)
20 Exit Slip ExampleWhat were the three most important ideas we learned today and why do you think they are important?
21 Learning LogsStudents respond to a prompt that helps them articulate what they have learned and discover what they don’t understandDesigned to locate gaps in student knowledge – critical as students seek to take responsibility for their own learning by asking questions about—and seeking help for—areas of confusionDetailed instructions in AVID Curriculum Guide for writing (See Resources)
22 Cornell Notetaking System An efficient method for mastering information, not just recording factsFocuses on main ideas—relating facts, details, and examples to conceptsInvites questioning, evaluation, and reflectionProvides a system for recall
23 Five Steps of the System Record notes in the main columnRefine with questions, corrections, underlining, recall cues, graphics, picturesRecite by covering main column and expanding on recall cues; verifyReflect on organization of material by studying all cuesReview by repeating Steps 3 and 4
24 Double Entry JournalsLeft Side: Specific Text (may be teacher or student selected)Right Side: Student Response (stance may range from personal to analytical)
25 Double Entry Journal Prompts: Ask Students for… Comparisons to information learned earlierAssociations with information from other coursesRelated personal experienceEffects of this information when applied in the world outside the classroomResponse to quotations from the text
26 Student AssumptionsPersonal responses to academic information and literature are wrong or inappropriate“Somewhere out there” is a RIGHT responseLearning consists of discovering the right responseLeaves students embarrassed to speak out for fear that their opinions are WRONG
27 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.
28 Narratives - ExamplesBefore beginning a unit on viruses, ask students to write about a time when they contracted a virus—how 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.
29 Brainstorming Before Writing Provides a quick inventory of what students know or think they know about somethingStudents write down everything that comes to mind even if they are not sure it is “correct”Focuses on quantity over qualityFits at the beginning, middle, or end of a lesson
30 Brainstorming Example Take a minute and list every important idea, concept, or detail that you can remember about our topic for today
31 Clustering or MappingStudents 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
33 Clustering or MappingA way to encourage the surfacing of ideas that students may need for thinking or writing about a topic they are exploring—or to connect and review ideas they have learned as they study a particular chunk of contentA tool to help students uncover possibilities that are often overlooked in linear writing exercises
34 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
35 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 aloneMay be blended with any of the writing exercises
36 Academic Discourse Not absorbed culturally Not intuitive Analytical in natureTied to textA unique linguistic structure depending on the content area
37 Academic JournalsA primary focus on the “what” (content, comprehension, and analysis)Minimal focus on the “how” (format, framework of the language, mechanics)
38 How to Use Academic Journals In-class response to homeworkQuick-write to introduce a particular studyResponse to discussion during classFocused writing in preparation for a formal essay or research paper
39 Various Approaches for the Prompt PersonalGeneralSpecificReflectiveReactiveAnalytical
40 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
41 DialoguesStudents write in response to a teacher’s prompt on the material presented.Exchange journals with partners who write in response to the first entry.
42 Purpose of DialoguesGenerate 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.
43 Another Approach—Students Stop and Respond: Students trade journal entries with someone sitting next to themEach student reads and responds– about a minute for each entry
44 Teacher Response to Writing to Learn Activities Collect after several entries or each time (preferred)Check for student understanding and need to reteachSkim for content – easy on the teacherGrade for meeting requirements of the assignment, not for quality or correctnessDesign follow-up mini-lessons to address any mechanical concerns that might surface
45 A Look at LanguageThe structure of language varies with each content area.Analysis of written texts provides a foundation for increased comprehension and individual expression (reader response).
46 Step One: Create Interest in Language and Language Construction Expose students to the SOUNDS of language in its simple and sophisticated formsHEAR the rhythms and repetitionsHEAR the way parts of the sentence are orderedHEAR the way words ebb and flow – the cadence of languageHEAR the sequence of ideasHEAR the ways to make language flexible
47 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.
48 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?
49 Examining Word UsageHelp 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.)
50 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.
51 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.
52 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
53 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.
54 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.
55 Application Poetry Literary prose Expository passages in the content areasMath word problems
56 Example in MathTranslate “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 ton – 7
57 Going Deeper with Writing to Learn KWLCollaborative AnnotationWrite AroundsCarousel BrainstormingNonstop WriteReflective Write
58 KWLWhat do you know?What do you want to know?What have you learned?
59 KWL Widespread use at elementary level Works best when students have a little prior knowledge about a topicA series of lists made by individual students, small groups, and the whole class, with the teacher serving as recorder for the latter
60 Collaborative Annotation A variation of the dialogue journalAlso called text on textKey passage glued on chart paper at each table
61 Collaborative Annotation Students use different colored pens to make comments, connect to particular phrases, draw arrows, speculateStudents may then start reading each other’s comments – leads to agreeing, disagreeing, clarifying, and answering each other’s written thoughtsTeacher may also comment to spur further discussion
62 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 teacherEach student starts a note with a commentStudents pass their papers, read what was written previously, and add their own comments in responseCreates a string of conversation as pages circulate around the table
63 Carousel Brainstorming Students simultaneously share ideas and respond in writing to three or four different promptsUse 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
64 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 timeWorks best for introducing a new topic or actively involving students in review
65 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 ideasEngage 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
66 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.
67 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
68 Reflective Write In the middle or at the end of a task Students reflect on their learning and the task itselfMay be informal (list on a note card), in double-entry journal form, or full page nonstop writeMay be extended into longer think piecesEncourages self awareness
69 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 spotReveals learning gaps as well as concepts that have been graspedProvides an opportunity for individual student intervention
70 Reasons Students Experience Writing Shutdowns Putting thoughts on paper quickly is a skill that takes practiceThe continuous writing of sentences and paragraphs takes more effort than brainstorming a quick listContinuing to write for five minutes requires the writer to expand on details or move on to new topics when a previous one is exhausted
71 Solutions for Writing Shutdowns Build stamina by starting with shorter piecesInitially use a combination of bullet points or jot lists with brief sentence responsesGradually extend the length and complexity to stretch student responses to a higher levelProvide individual encouragement and support for reluctant writers
72 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?
73 Use Writing to Learn as a Prewriting Exercise in Writing Instruction Tune students inAllow them to explore their thoughtsGet them startedGather ideas on the topicConsider feelings
74 Expand Types of Writing Assignments Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs has expressed concern that from the 4th grade on students write too many reports over more varied and complex writing assignments.Note the comprehension level of report writing on Bloom’s taxonomy.
76 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).76
77 Writing to Learn Resources Daniels, H., Zemelman, S., & Steineke, N. (2007). Content area writing: Every teacher’s 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 teacher’s 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.
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