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DO THE COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS CHANGE THE WAYS WE TEACH WRITING? March 26, 2014Dr. Katherine Frankel Boston UniversityAssistant Professor.

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Presentation on theme: "DO THE COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS CHANGE THE WAYS WE TEACH WRITING? March 26, 2014Dr. Katherine Frankel Boston UniversityAssistant Professor."— Presentation transcript:

1 DO THE COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS CHANGE THE WAYS WE TEACH WRITING? March 26, 2014Dr. Katherine Frankel Boston UniversityAssistant Professor

2 Tonight’s Agenda  Then and Now: Significant Shifts  Opinion  Argument Writing  Student Samples  PARCC  Resources K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14

3 Then and Now: Significant Shifts  Informational/exposi tory writing  Imaginative/literary writing  Informative/explana tory writing  Narrative writing  Opinion/argument writing MA Composition StandardsCommon Core State Standards K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14

4 Then and Now: Significant Shifts A key difference between the MA Composition Standards and the Common Core State Standards is the addition of opinion/argument writing as a separate text type that is distinct from informative/explanatory writing. K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14

5 Then and Now: Significant Shifts  Reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence from texts, both literary and informational “The Common Core emphasizes using evidence from texts to present careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information. Rather than asking students questions they can answer solely from their prior knowledge and experience, the standards call for students to answer questions that depend on their having read the texts with care. “Frequently, forms of writing in K-12 have drawn heavily from student experience and opinion, which alone will not prepare students for the demands of college, career, and life. Though the standards still expect narrative writing throughout the grades, they also expect a command of sequence and detail that are essential for effective argumentative and informative writing. The standards’ focus on evidence- based writing along with the ability to inform and persuade is a significant shift from current practice.” K. Frankel Table Talk3/26/14

6 Opinion  Argument Writing Grade 5 Standard  Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information. Grade 6 Standards  Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.  Write arguments focused on discipline- specific content. Grades 1-5: Write Opinion PiecesGrades 6-12: Write Arguments K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14

7 What is Opinion Writing? “A view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.” “Young children…develop a variety of methods to extend and elaborate their work by providing examples, offering reasons for their assertions, and explaining cause and effect. These kinds of expository structures are steps on the road to argument. In grades K–5, the term ‘opinion’ is used to refer to this developing form of argument.” New Oxford American DictionaryCommon Core State Standards ppendix_A.pdf K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14

8 Opinion Writing for Grade 5 Students Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information. a. Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose. b. Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details. c. Link opinion and reasons using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., consequently, specifically). d. Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented. K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14

9 What is Argument Writing?  Hillocks (2011):  “Making a case in support of a claim in everyday affairs” (p. xv).  The core of critical thinking.  A process of inquiry. K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14

10 What is Argument Writing?  Arguments include (Toulmin, 2003):  a claim  based on evidence  a warrant  backing  Qualifications  Rebuttals K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14

11 What is Argument Writing?  Consider the following sketch: K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14

12 What is Argument Writing?  Hillocks (2011) argues that argument writing is distinct from persuasive writing.  For example, consider the following prompt from a Texas writing assessment administered to secondary school students in the 90s: K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14 Some people believe that all teenagers should be required to perform one year of unpaid service for their community right after they graduate from high school. This community service might include helping to clean up parks, delivering food to the elderly, or working in a hospital. What is your position concerning this issue? Write a letter to your senator in which you state your position and support it with convincing reasons. Be sure to explain your reasons fully.

13 What is Argument Writing?  Now read one student’s response at the “passing” level and consider the following question: What, if any, claims, evidence, or warrants are represented? K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14 As a teenager about to graduate from high school, I think it is rather unfair to do these services without being paid for it. Therefore, I believe we shouldn’t have to do these services right when we get out of high school. First of all, when people graduate from high school, a majority of the people will either go to a junior college or college. During the summer break, most of them will get jobs to help pay for college. Another reason is, it takes money to drive around town and do these services. Personally, I think you all should use all of the unemployed people that receive unemployment checks because they’re the ones that have nothing to do. These are the reasons why I think we shouldn’t have to do these services.

14 What is Argument Writing?  Finally, consider the scoring commentary: K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14 This controlled, organized response takes a clear position against requiring community service. The section discussing the necessity of working for pay is somewhat elaborated while the solution adds elaboration by offering a ready alternative…to employing high school graduates. In total, a minimally sufficient about of evidence is provided, and the response demonstrates minimal success with the persuasive task.

15 What is Argument Writing?  Common Core State Standards: Arguments are used for many purposes—to change the reader’s point of view, to bring about some action on the reader’s part, or to ask the reader to accept the writer’s explanation or evaluation of a concept, issue, or problem. An argument is a reasoned, logical way of demonstrating that the writer’s position, belief, or conclusion is valid.  In English language arts, students make claims about the worth or meaning of a literary work or works. They defend their interpretations or judgments with evidence from the text(s) they are writing about.  In history/social studies, students analyze evidence from multiple primary and secondary sources to advance a claim that is best supported by the evidence, and they argue for a historically or empirically situated interpretation.  In science, students make claims in the form of statements or conclusions that answer questions or address problems. Using data in a scientifically acceptable form, students marshal evidence and draw on their understanding of scientific concepts to argue in support of their claims. K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14

16 Argument Writing for Grade 6 Students Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. a. Introduce claim(s) and organize the reasons and evidence clearly. b. Support claim(s) with clear reasons and relevant evidence, using credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text. c. Use words, phrases, and clauses to clarify the relationships among claim(s) and reasons. d. Establish and maintain a formal style. e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the argument presented. K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14

17 The Role of Evidence  Reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence from texts, both literary and informational “The Common Core emphasizes using evidence from texts to present careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information. Rather than asking students questions they can answer solely from their prior knowledge and experience, the standards call for students to answer questions that depend on their having read the texts with care. “Frequently, forms of writing in K-12 have drawn heavily from student experience and opinion, which alone will note prepare students for the demands of college, career, and life. Though the standards still expect narrative writing throughout the grades, they also expect a command of sequence and detail that are essential for effective argumentative and informative writing. The standards’ focus on evidence- based writing along with the ability to inform and persuade is a significant shift from current practice.” K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14

18 Student Samples (with Annotations)  What is the student’s stated opinion?  What are the reasons, facts, and details?  What is the student’s claim?  What are the reasons and evidence? Grade 4, Opinion Letter: “Zoo Field Trip” Grade 6, Argument Letter: “Dear Mr. Sandler” K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14 What similarities and differences do you notice between the two pieces?

19 Student Samples (without Annotations)  What is the student’s stated opinion?  What are the reasons, facts, and details?  What is the student’s claim?  What are the reasons and evidence? Grade 4, Opinion Essay: “School Length” Grade 6, Argument Paragraph: “What the Frack!!” K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14 What similarities and differences do you notice between the two pieces?

20 The Standards Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information. a. Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer’s purpose. b. Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details. c. Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., for instance, in order to, in addition). d. Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented. Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. a. Introduce claim(s) and organize the reasons and evidence clearly. b. Support claim(s) with clear reasons and relevant evidence, using credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text. c. Use words, phrases, and clauses to clarify the relationships among claim(s) and reasons. d. Establish and maintain a formal style. e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the argument presented. Grade 4Grade 6 K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14

21 PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers)  The partnership includes the following 16 states (plus Washington, D.C.): Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.  “PARCC test questions measure deeper learning, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.”  3 writing measures:  literacy analysis task  narrative task  research simulation task K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14

22 PARCC  Tonight, we’ll focus on the research simulation task and you’ll be the judge: 1. Does this new assessment ask students to write and evaluate arguments as envisioned by the CCSS? 2. Does the assessment promote deeper learning and critical thinking? K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14

23 PARCC  Grade 7 Research Simulation Task  Evidence-Based Selected Response items  Technology-Enhanced Constructed Response items  3 Passages (9 items total) and  1 Prose Constructed Response K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14

24 PARCC  Prose Constructed Response Question: You have read three texts describing Amelia Earhart. All three include the claim that Earhart was a brave, courageous person. The three texts are:  “Biography of Amelia Earhart” (biography from AmeliaEarhart.com) “Biography of Amelia Earhart”  “Earhart’s Final Resting Place Believed Found” (article from news.discovery.com) “Earhart’s Final Resting Place Believed Found”  “Amelia Earhart’s Life and Disappearance” (video from watchmojo.com) “Amelia Earhart’s Life and Disappearance” Consider the argument each author uses to demonstrate Earhart’s bravery. Write an essay that analyzes the strength of the arguments about Earhart’s bravery in at least two of the texts. Remember to use textual evidence to support your ideas. K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14

25 PARCC 1. Does this new assessment ask students to write and evaluate arguments as envisioned by the CCSS? 2. Does the assessment promote deeper learning and critical thinking? 3. What does a student need to know and be able to do to answer this constructed response question? 4. How do we prepare students to tackle these kinds of tasks? K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14

26 Resources  Barbara Moss (2014), “Teaching Argument: Resources for Teachers” (see handout)  Massachusetts’ Writing Standards in Action Massachusetts’ Writing Standards in Action  Common Core Appendices:  Appendix A: Research Supporting Key Elements of the Standards & Glossary of Key Terms Appendix A: Research Supporting Key Elements of the Standards & Glossary of Key Terms  Appendix B: Text Exemplars and Sample Performance Tasks Appendix B: Text Exemplars and Sample Performance Tasks  Appendix C: Samples of Student Writing Appendix C: Samples of Student Writing  PARCC Sample Questions PARCC Sample Questions K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14

27 References  Hillocks, G., Jr. (2011). Teaching argument writing: Supporting claims with relevant evidence and clear reasoning. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.  Moss, B. (2014). Teaching argument: Resources for teachers. Voices from the Middle, 21(3),  National Governors Association Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers. (2010). Common Core State Standards for English language arts and literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects with Appendices A-C. Washington, DC: Authors.  Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). (2014). PARCC assessment. Washington, DC: PARCC. Retrieved from  Toulmin, S. E. (2003). The uses of argument. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. K. Frankel Table Talk 3/26/14


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