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Building the Writing Community: Parents as Writing Partners Kim Cuevas 7-12 ELA Program Coordinator.

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Presentation on theme: "Building the Writing Community: Parents as Writing Partners Kim Cuevas 7-12 ELA Program Coordinator."— Presentation transcript:

1 Building the Writing Community: Parents as Writing Partners Kim Cuevas 7-12 ELA Program Coordinator

2 Step 1: What is your vision for your students as writers?  Read in Volmer book silently.  Before you can enlist others to promote a vision, you must reflect on the beliefs and values that inform your work.  What does your school believe about learning and literacy? Writing?  How is that reflected in what you teach in your classroom?  Spend a few minutes writing a vision statement that will match the experiences students have in your room.

3 Step 2: Find out what is already happening  Create a survey or questionaire to determine what “homework help” looks like now and what support students need.  Ask students what help they would love to get and what they need as writers. Take their responses seriously.  How can you use upcoming parent conference time to help determine what type of help parents are able or willing to give to student writers?  How can you help communicate what students need to parents?

4 Step 3: Provide practical strategies  Parents want their children to succeed and need high-leverage, practical tips for coaching writers.  Just like students, parents need specific strategies for specific parts of the process.  Our goal is to engage parents and help them help us by becoming effective partners.

5 Help Writers Rehearse Writing  Lucy Caulkins (2013) suggests that one of the biggest issues for students is structuring their writing  To improve structure, writers need help at the BEGINNING of the process  Talking helps kids sort, sequence, and correlate  Questions are more effective than comments to help writers develop pieces  One question parents can ask before kids begin to write is “How will your story/essay/article go?”

6 Help Writers Elaborate  When parents are engaged as writing partners in the rehearsal stage, they set themselves up to be an expert later in the process.  Parents need to know that kids often say more than they write, and they need need to be encouraged to include what they talked about.  Parents need to engage in the process by taking notes and being present.  How can you encourage parents as partners in the elaboration stage?

7 Work with Checklists/Exemplars  One of the best ways to improve student writers is to provide exemplars of what they are trying to achieve.  Parents too will benefit from knowing what they are helping they child to achieve.  Checklists, written in first person, can provide a way for parents and students to work together in the final stages of writing.  Practice working with exemplars and checklists is a great topic for a parent workshop.

8 Extend the Reach: Leverage Students as Partners  Research indicates that one of the skills students lack when they go to college is the ability to study in groups.  Parents can oversee groups of kids writing and working together and encourage them to try stories out on each other or help each other with different part of the process.

9 Parent Workshops to Implement Tools  Workshops, even if it is just for the parents in your classroom, give parents the opportunity to practice these tools for helping their writers.  BUT don’t go it alone. If you plan to hold a workshop, get your school and parent leaders on board.  What could you call your workshop that would make people want to come?  What if a workshop won’t work? How else might you get your message across and create parents who are partners?

10 References  Ehrenworth, M. (2014). Parents as writing partners. Educational Leadership,


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