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Laura Schiller, Ph.D. Literacy Consultant, Oakland Schools Director, Oakland Writing Project

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Presentation on theme: "Laura Schiller, Ph.D. Literacy Consultant, Oakland Schools Director, Oakland Writing Project"— Presentation transcript:

1 Laura Schiller, Ph.D. Literacy Consultant, Oakland Schools Director, Oakland Writing Project

2 1. The history of the units 2. The units in relation to the common core state standards 3. Unit alignment within and across grades 4. Ways to assess the units 5. What administrators can look for in classrooms 6. Ways to facilitate staff learning in relation to the units 7. Ways to improve writing instruction and student learning

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4 4 Common Core State Standards  The development of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts was lead by  National Governor Association  Council of Chief State School Officers  The Standards focus on learning expectations for students, not on how students get there

5  Oakland ISD Superintendent Mandate  MAISA Collaboration

6  We are moving nationally from check lists of skills to an approach that integrates reading, writing, listening, speaking, and technology for the purpose of reasoning and learning at high levels of sophistication.  ACT: skills needed for trades are the same as those needed for college 6

7 Common Core State Standards… These standards are not intended to be new names for old ways of doing business. They are a call to take the next step.” Page 5 CCSS Introduction

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9 2011 NAEP Writing Framework GradeNarrativeExplanatoryArgumentative 435% 30% 8 35% 1220%40%

10 2011 NAEP Reading Framework GradeLiteraryInformational 450% 845%55% 1230%70%

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14 Writing standard 5 describes the writing process, and standard 10 describes the need to write routinely as part of that process. Without these two standards, the other standards will be difficult to achieve.

15 Careful reading and analysis precedes writing. Reading is linked to writing and writing is linked to reading. Implications for schools where different teachers instruct reading and writing.

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21 6: Independence Introduction p.7 5: Balance of Narrative, Persuasive, & Informational Units of Study W3.1, W3.2, W3.3; W4.1, W4.2, W4.3; W5.1, W5.2, W5.3 4: Writing Process W3.5, W4.5, W5.5 21

22 3: Literary & Informational Textual Analysis, Reflection, & Research W4.9a,b; W5.9a, b 2: Write routinely over time and on demand W3.10, W4.10, W5.10 1: Language Progressive Skills L.3.1f, L.3.3a; L.4.1f, L.4.3g, L.4.3a, L.4.3b; L.5.1d, L.5.2a 22

23 CCSS ELA MAISA Units Text types: Started with argument Argument Least understood Informative/Explanatory Claim Narrative Evidence/Support Warrant Logic of reasoning

24 Units Embody Opportunities to Learn Clear Teaching Points Models Demonstration Regular Practice Repetition Conferring Individual, small group, and whole group instruction Community 24



27 Collecting Entries Finding a Seed Nurturing the Seed Picking a Genre Picking a Mentor Text DraftingRevisingEditingPublishing Main Goal: Build a writerly life and establish a writer's notebook that students value. Main Goal: Identify an important topic to explore and discover through writing. Main Goal: Create a risk- free environment that encourages revisiting and experimentati on to imagine, explore a voice, or discover important ideas. Main Goal: Study a genre or author within a genre to create a product within the "rules" of the genre. Main Goal: Develop curiosity about and appreciation of an author to identify decisions for personal experiments and growth in skill. Main Goal: Conscious ly design a product. Main Goal: Approach revision as study and play, developing rethinking and experimenting behaviors. Main Goal: Develop a standard of excellence for publication and strategies for achievement. Main Goal: Produce a product for an audience. 27

28  Across K-college, the writing workshop has been the accepted forum for teaching the skills and strategies of effective writing.  Experts: Donald Murray, Pulitzer Prize Winner, & Roy Peter Clark, Journalist  Writers: Annie Dillard, Mary Oliver, Anne Lamott, E.B. White  Great Writing Teachers: Peter Elbow, Georgia Heard, Ralph Fletcher, & TCRWP Pathways to the Common Core, 2012, Calkins, Ehrenworth, Lehman, p. 111

29 This quality of writing can be achieved by mandating the explicit instruction, opportunities for practice, centrality of feedback, assessment- based instruction, and spiral curriculum that have all been hallmarks of rigorous writing workshop instruction. Pathways to the Common Core, 2012, Calkins, Ehrenworth, Lehman, p. 112

30  Conferring  Building community to promote risk-taking  Opportunities for independent, small group and whole group instruction  Small group work (K-5)  Partner work  Promoting independence



33 Alignment with writing units Balance with CCSS Literary & Informational Text Assessment with an eye toward text complexity Close reading of text Historical core documents Depth of Knowledge (Norman Webb)

34  Google: Atlas Rubicon Oakland  Another resource—go to Oakland Schools webpage. Under EDUCATORS click Common Core Initiatives  Under Links to Other Resources you’ll find the Public Atlas SCoPE Curriculum.  Only select those units that have a cc (for Common Core) next to them. Those are the new units. 34

35 “To help young people learn the more complex and analytical skills they need for the 21 st century, teachers must learn to teach in ways that develop higher-order thinking and performance. To develop the sophisticated teaching required for this mission, education systems must offer more effective professional development.” Darling-Hammond & Richardson, 2009

36 1. Select one grade level to explore 2. Find the common core units on Atlas Rubicon 3. Then do the following:

37  Notice the alignment of units within a grade level  Is there evidence of argument/opinion, information/explanation, and narrative/personal experience writing in the curriculum?  What do you wonder? What surprised you?  Look at the grade below.  Compare the unit titles.  What do you notice about alignment?  What do you notice about narrative/opinion/argument units? 37

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39  Repeat by looking at the grade level titles above the grade you selected first.  Compare the unit titles.  What do you notice about alignment?  What do you notice about narrative/opinion/argument units?

40  Notice the suggested pacing of the units  Follow the template—note the graphic organizer laying out the lesson sequence across the writing process  Notice the list of lessons and the link to access the daily lessons.

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43 1. Start with kindergarten 2. Read those grade level standards 3. Imagine a very simple story that meets those descriptors. 4. Reread just the first part of the kindergarten description. 5. Note what added work first graders are expected to do. 6. Continue to read horizontally noting the added work at each grade level. These learning progressions make the writing standards attainable if students grow up in a strong writing curriculum. Pathways to the Common Core, 2012, Calkins, Ehrenworth, Lehman, p. 116

44 1. Extended student writing should be evident in the classroom i.e., portfolios, writers notebooks, published pieces, drafts… 2. Teachers model/demonstrate HOW to write using mentor texts, teacher or student writing, and whole class writing 3. Students write both on-demand and process pieces for a range of purposes and audiences 4. Students use writing to help them learn information and uncover their thinking 5. Writing and reading are given equal time and instruction. 44

45 6. There is extended independent writing time on a regular basis in class. 7. Students make decisions about their writing. 8. Clear teaching point 9. Evidence of student uptake

46  Proportion of Writing Types: Narrative, Information/Explanation, Argument/Opinion/Persuasion  Emphasis on claims, evidence, reasoning  Teaching Writing versus Assigning Writing  Time students spend writing independently  Both on-demand and extended writes  Writing throughout the school day 46

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48 In order to coach and provide feedback, students must write during class. They can also write at home, but time for writing during class is absolutely non-negotiable.


50  Teach the units of study  Three times a year have teachers bring class sets of papers to a staff meeting to score and analyze  Narrative, essay/argument, information 50

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53 One distinction is to think of formative assessment as “ practice.” We do not hold students accountable in “grade book fashion” for skills and concepts they have just been introduced to or are learning. We must allow for practice. Formative assessment helps teachers determine next steps during the learning process as the instruction approaches the summative assessment of student learning. ~Garrison and Ehringhaus

54  Teachers bring an example of student work to analyze.  Where does the assignment fall on the DOK?  Where does the student writing fall on the DOK?  Show of hands: how many had an example of a 1? 2? 3? 4?  What does this random selection of student assignments/student work suggest? 54

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57  Time to talk  Time to share student work  Time to plan  Administrative encouragement 57

58 1. What do writing classrooms look like in elementary and secondary classrooms? 2. How do we look at student work to build teacher knowledge and alignment? 3. How do administrators support this work?

59  Students read lots of books, documents, media resources…(ELA 25 books/equivalent per school year—New Standards)  Students have numerous opportunities to talk about their reading and argue for and against perspectives in books  Small group and partnered conversations deepen thinking  Writing is as important as reading in all core content areas  By high school, across all subjects, 70% of time spent in reading and writing informational texts  Both on-demand and process writing for a range of audiences and purposes  Assessments that inform instruction  Evidence of student growth  Evidence of deep reasoning

60 1. Take an honest look at your current literacy initiatives and set goals for how to improve them. Build on strengths. Pat yourselves on the back for successes. Then recognize that most likely, you’re on your way toward a standard. Your, “Yes!” we do that is a starting point for reform. 2. Look for gaps in your curriculum and instructional practice. Pick one area to work on. Too many initiatives sink reform.


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