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Beth Morton Christian, Ed.D. Tennessee State University.

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Presentation on theme: "Beth Morton Christian, Ed.D. Tennessee State University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Beth Morton Christian, Ed.D. Tennessee State University

2 “Low stakes writing helps students involve themselves more in the ideas or subject matter of a course. It helps them find their own language for the issues of the course; they stumble into their own analogies and metaphors for academic concepts. Theorists are fond of saying that learning a discipline means learning a discourse. That is, students don’t know a field until they can write and talk about what is in the textbook and the lectures in their own lingo, in their informal home or personal language” (Elbow, 1997, P. 7)

3 Writing and the Content-Area Teachers “Writing is powerful means for learning because the more students manipulate content, the more likely to remember and understand the content.” ( Vacca & Vacca, 2008)

4 When students write about content area, they: -select and organize words to represent what they have learned/read -relate, organize, connect ideas in the text -create systematic relationships between words, sentences, paragraphs, etc… -draw on prior knowledge, background, and purposes for reading -build interrelationships between ideas -helps students to think about to think critically

5 The value of writing activities: Students can not remain passive learners when engaged in writing activities related to content Writing activities demand participation by every student, not just those who volunteer Writing activities quickly demonstrate whether students understand a topic

6 Some Guidelines: Writing in the classroom should be frequent and varied Every writing does not have to be graded Writing activities can be short and non-threatening Writing activities should have a real and immediate audience (the audience should be more than simply the teacher) Publish and Celebrate your students’ writings Writing does not always have to be an essay or a summary…

7 My Writing Territories: (Atwell, 1995) Writing territories are potential subjects or topics that you could write about: My writing territories: My students’ territories: Ex. Short stories, essays, resumes, recipes, notes, letters, checks, lists, s, applications, poems etc.

8 Forms of Writing Poems Letters Posters Brochures Short Stories Recipes Telegrams Time Capsule lists Word problems Children’s books Cartoons Complaints Editorials Abstracts Eulogies Directions Instructional Manuals News articles Jokes Guess Who/What Descriptions Commercials Scripts

9 Reading and Writing as a Constructive Process Reading and writing are separate, but overlapping processes that provide ways for the construction of meaning. Just like reading, writing is a process -Prewriting -Writing -Post-writing

10 Pre-reading Writing Activities: Motivate Help to focus attention Help them draw on relevant knowledge and experiences Set purpose for reading

11 Writing Assignments Effective writing assignments are essential (e.g., bad assignments yield bad writing) - Set purpose - Topic or Possible Topics related to Content - Audience (who will read or hear writing) - Possible modes or formats (e.g., essay, letter, poem, etc.)

12 Writing Assignments should include: Length Level of polish (first draft, second, edited, revised, etc.) Format Focus on grammar, mechanics, spelling Method of evaluation (include rubric)

13 Writing Activities Learning Logs Quickwrites Microthemes Response Journals Double-Entry Journals Response Biopoem Admit/Exit Slips SQ3R RAFT SPAWN

14 SQ3R (Reading/Writing Activity) Survey text: Skim reading assignment for headings and subheadings. Question: Turn the headings into the question (Write them down leaving space for answers) Read: Read to find the answer to the question Recite or Write: Discuss the response with a partner…see if you agree. Write the answer under the question Review: Review your questions and answers

15 Learning Logs Notebooks that students keep in order to record, ideas, questions, and reactions to what they’ve read, observed, or listened to in class Example from a Math Class -ask student to write an entry for each unit of study -have them respond to open-ended probes that are designed to give her information on their knowledge and possible misconceptions. 1. Ask students to write about the ways that they used math over the weekend. 1. What have you heard about averages? 2. Who uses averages and for what? 3. How are averages used?

16 Quickwrites (one minute papers) Encourage students to construct meaning and to monitor their understanding Give students 2 or 3 minutes to write about the topic of their reading assignment (can occur after a discussion of reading as well) Use probes and prompts to get student going: write an interesting quotation from the reading, ask for the main point, ask them to write down what they remember, etc.

17 Microthemes Short writing assignments that can be written on an index card Ask students to summarize key ideas form a reading assignment, demonstration, experiment, or lecture in their own words Students feel less intimidated when they only have an index card to fill Students must plan carefully what they will say and how they will say it because they receive only one index card Options: Take up index cards, let students share their summaries, let them ask questions about things they are confused, share answers and questions with a neighbor while you circulate the room

18 Guided-Writing Activity 1. On the first day, activate students’ prior knowledge on the topic by brainstorming and listing ideas on an overhead or chalkboard. 2. Ask the class to organize and label the ideas collectively. 3. Then ask the students to write individually on the topic using this information 4. In preparation for the second day, have the class read the text and revise their explanatory writing 5. In class on the second day, give a follow-up multiple- choice and essay exam on the text’s key ideas

19 Double-Entry Journal Text “Davy Crockett loved to brag about things he could lick—from wildcats to grizzly bears.” p. 6 Responses to Text What does that mean? Does that mean licks animals with his tongue… that’s disgusting! I think that bragging makes people look stupid. When people brag, people are not impressed. In face, I find it extremely annoying when people brag.

20 RAFT Writing that encourages creativity and helps students get started Role of the writer- I am Vitamin D Audience- Your body Form- I will write a note on a Milk carton Topic- I will inform your body what I will do for it

21 SPAWN Special Powers- (if you had special powers to change any event in the novel or text, what would it be and why) Problem Solving- (if you could solve the problems in text, what would you do and how) Alternative viewpoints- after hearing one viewpoint on a topic, take the opposite view point or try to see the issue from someone else’s perspective What if – (what if the story took place in another place or another time) Next- (imagine what would happen next)

22 Reader-Response Journal Entries Interaction between reader and the text Personal meaning that the reader draws from the text (even from content area texts) Not a summary Prompts: What aspects of the text excited you or interested you? What are your feelings and attitudes about this aspect of the text? What experiences have you had that help other understand why you feel this way?

23 In the classroom the following should be in evidence:  the teacher modeling the writing process and sharing his/her own written work with students  the teacher providing instruction about the recursive nature of writing and the components of a writing process(e.g., pre-writing, planning, drafting, conferencing, revising, editing, sharing, publishing)  the students engaging in daily writing for a variety of audiences and purposes and in a variety of formats  the students moving around the classroom to accomplish their individual tasks, depending upon where they are in their writing process 

24  the teacher encouraging and instructing students about how to use writing as a means of thinking, responding, and learning (e.g., jotting notes, creating idea webs) the teacher using brief mini- lessons with individuals, small groups, or the whole class as needed to help students  review or acquire the language skills and concepts in the context of their own writing  the students using a variety of available tools (e.g., word walls, dictionary, thesaurus, computers, language, word walls, etc)

25  the teacher conferring regularly with individual students about their writing, responding with encouraging, useful suggestions and providing assistance on a regular basis  the students engaging in conferences throughout the writing process (e.g., during revising and editing)  the teacher and students displaying and publishing their writing

26 Self-Evaluation and Peer-Conferences Ask yourself some of these questions (or have a conference partner ask them after reading the writing-in-progress): How do I feel about what I've written so far? What is good that I can enhance? Is there anything about it that concerns me, does not fit, or seems wrong? What am I discovering as I write this piece? What surprises me? Where is it leading? What is my purpose? What is the one most important thing that I am trying to convey? How can I build this idea? Are there places that I wander away from my key idea?

27 Who is my audience? What might my readers think as they read through this piece? What questions will they ask? What will be their response to the different parts? To the whole? What might I do next? Would it help to try another draft... to talk to a peer... to talk to the teacher... to check a resource book... To reread it aloud, silently, several times... to read a published example of this genre... to put it aside... to try the idea in a new genre... to keep on writing...?


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