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Strategic Writing Across the Curriculum in Grades 7-12 Christine LaRocco International Center for Leadership in Education

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Presentation on theme: "Strategic Writing Across the Curriculum in Grades 7-12 Christine LaRocco International Center for Leadership in Education"— Presentation transcript:

1 Strategic Writing Across the Curriculum in Grades 7-12 Christine LaRocco International Center for Leadership in Education

2 National Commission on Writing for America's Families, Schools, and Colleges Survey says: People who cannot write and communicate clearly will not be hired, and if already working, are unlikely to last long enough to be considered for promotion. Two-thirds of salaried employees in large American companies have some writing responsibility. More than 40 percent of large corporations remediate salaried employees with writing deficiencies.

3 Survey of 400 business leaders: 72 percent responded that high school graduate entry-level workers are deficient in the basics of writing.

4 New Resource Kit: Strategic Writing Across the Curriculum in Grades 7-12 I. Strategic Writing in All Classes Chapter 1Why Write in All Classes? Chapter 2What Is Writing to Learn? Chapter 3Rigorous and Relevant Writing Chapter 4Technical and Business Writing in the Classroom

5 II. Writing in the Content Areas Chapter 5Writing in Language Arts Chapter 6Writing in Math and Science Chapter 7Writing in Social Studies, Career/Tech. Ed

6 III. Strategies for Projects /Presentations Chapter 8Technology Applications in Writing and Research Chapter 9The Role of Writing in Project-Based Learning Chapter 10Writing for Presentations

7 IV. Writing Assessment Chapter 11Assessing Writing Across the Curriculum Chapter 12Tips for State Writing Examinations

8 Appendices – Technical Writing Packet – Reading Strategies that Promote Writing – Successful School-Wide Programs – Workplace Document Examples

9 Two Parts In every class, students should be involved in writing to learn learning to write. Writing Across the Curriculum:

10 Writing for Learning is Different from Writing to Demonstrate Learning

11 Writing to Learn helps build relationships, the third R between students and teacher. Writing to Learn Different from traditional writing Different goals No polished finished product Focused on higher order thinking, analyzing and summarizing.

12 Writing to Learn Journals and Learning Logs Lab Logs and Notebooks Quick Writes Short Narratives Summaries Dialogues

13 Learning to Write Essays Opinion editorials Technical writing: proposals, observation reports, incident reports, product descriptions, process explanations…. Lab reports Journalistic writing Writing for presentations

14 Peter Elbow Students need low stakes writing to learn the content. The goal isn't so much good writing as coming to learn, understand, remember and figure out what you don't yet know. Elbow, P. (1994). Writing for learning--not just for demonstrating learning. University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1-4.

15 Writing in response to course content helps students: Think independently Develop insight Explore thoughts and feelings Develop intellectual courage Reason logically Follow the thread of the lesson in their minds Visualize a concept and make it more concrete by writing down their thoughts

16 Writing to Learn Only in schools where writing is a school-wide program and is pursued daily will students have multiple and adequate opportunities to become proficient writers and thinkers.

17 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 stretch learning. North Central Regional Educational Laboratory

18 Most surprising: Student comfort level in school increases, and students become more encouraged and optimistic about their future.

19 Examples of Writing to Learn Journals and Learning Logs Quick Writes Narratives Summaries Dialogues Readers Logs Double Entry Journals

20 Math Prompts: Content and process Describe square root. Describe the difference between parallel and perpendicular. Tell everything you know about prime numbers Describe the difference between area and perimeter. Write a word problem that involves measuring square feet. Describe the key idea of todays lesson.

21 General Science Writing Prompts Describe something you have done that involved science concepts. What scientific concepts regarding the weather do you wonder about? What is the greatest scientific discovery in the world, and why? What scientific invention would you like to make that would help the most people?

22 Social Studies Prompts: Why is it important that people have choices? What does interdependence mean among the peoples of the world? From what countries did people come to the U.S. during the 1800s? What is your definition of justice? What human rights should all people have? If you could start a non-profit foundation to make a difference, what issues would you support?

23 Language Arts Prompts What is the author saying about society in general? What does the title of the reading imply? How would I feel in this situation? What different effects do fiction and non-fiction have on me? How does this topic apply to my world?

24 Double Entry Journal Prompts comparisons to information learned earlier associations with information from other courses Related personal experience effects of this information when applied in the world outside the classroom

25 Responding to Writing to Learn Collect after several entries Check for Student Understanding Chance to Listen to Students Chance to Connect by Responding Judge Whether Lesson Needs Re- teaching Skim – Write Quick Note of Encouragement

26 Responding to Learning Log Entries: I remember when I felt that way about math. Dont worry, well go over it again. You missed a step right here. ! 4 P

27 Rough draft, editing, final copy Introduction, body, conclusion Learning to Write

28 Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs From 4th Grade on, students write too many reports… Reports are written at the comprehension level of Blooms Taxonomy….

29 Not So Many Reports… So we must find other products that incorporate analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and higher order thinking skills.

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31 Look Outside the Schools What kinds of writing occur after academia? Hint: Not comprehension level reports

32 Technical Writing Examples Field Test Report Incident report Set of Instructions Mechanism Description Observation Report Process Explanation Product Comparison Progress Report Proposal, Action Plan

33 What schools teach: Purposes for Writing: Display mastery of knowledge, skills, format Types of Writing: reports, essays, book reports, poetry, narratives research papers, letters

34 What the workplace requires: Purposes for Writing: Inform, persuade, clarify, soften the blow, explain, direct others, recommend, sell Types of Writing: Brochures, letters, memos, proposals, surveys, ads, instructions, planning documents, messages, recommendations, personnel evaluations, news releases, etc.

35 Audience and Content are different: Audience: Teacher, test grader Content: Teachers assign the topics Reveal all the information researched Audience: People with differing knowledge, needs, motivations, and uses for the information. Supervisors, clients, co-workers, general public Content: Undefined or ill-defined problems (open-ended, relevant, messy) Tell what the reader needs to know.

36 Four writing skills for transition from academia to workplace: Writers need to complete whole, complex projects, the final product representing only one part of the whole. Writers need to use collaboration as a resource, with individuals and with groups, to solve problems.

37 Writers need to adapt both text products and production processes for specific audiences and purposes. Writers need to understand electronic tools and their role in shaping communication and social responsibility.

38 To simulate workplace writing, include: 1. Research on audience 2. Collaboration on design and content 3. Attention to budget and time constraints

39 4. Quality controls in editing: workplace writing must be 100% accurate. 5.Production of a visually informative, marketable text using available technology. Fennick, Peters, and Guyon. Solving Problems in 21 st Century Academic and Workplace Writing. English Journal, March 1993.

40 Assignment: Social Studies 1. Students research recent magazine and newspaper articles on immigration to the United States. 2. Investigate the steps immigrants must take to become US citizens. 3. Write a report on the naturalization process. (research paper) 4. What must a person do to become a U. S. citizen? (essay question)

41 Take It Further: Add Technical Writing – Design a brochure for distribution to local immigrants outlining the steps they must take to become a citizen. – Translate the brochure into the appropriate languages. – Write an action plan for a half-day workshop about changes in the immigration regulations.

42 Technical Writing Examples Field Test Report Incident report Set of Instructions Mechanism Description Observation Report Process Explanation Product Comparison Progress Report Proposal, Action Plan

43 Academic Workplace Writing Descriptive WritingJob Description Incident Report Resume Process Explanation Narrative WritingObservation Report Progress Report Cause & EffectProduct Field Test Report

44 AcademicWorkplace AnalysisPerformance Evaluation Feasibility Report Comparison/Product Comparison ContrastFeasibility Report Persuasive EssayProposal Action Plan

45 Advantages of Technical Writing Prescriptive Writingtheres a recipe Must Apply the Highest Standards Business English ShorterEasier to Grade

46 Only two grades: A NY ( not yet) Technical Writing

47 Analyze: Identify the Audience Who is the audience? What does the audience already know? What background do they have? Education, culture, experience? What must this person do, once he/she receives the information?

48 Project Based Learning: Add Technical Writing at Each Phase

49 At the Start: Formal Proposal Overall Concept Estimated Budget Timeline Estimated Date of Completion Sketches

50 Work in Progress: Progress Report outlining: – Original Goals – Attained Goals – Remaining Goals – Projected Completion Date (adjusted)

51 After the Project: Process explanation Product Description Set of Detailed Technical Instructions

52 Take Assignments One Step Further Typical Assignment: 1. Students research recent magazine and newspaper articles on immigration to the United States. 2. Investigate the steps immigrants must take to become US citizens. 3. Write a report on the naturalization process. (research paper) 4. What must a person do to become a U. S. citizen? (essay question)

53 Take It Further: Add Technical Writing – Design a brochure for distribution to local immigrants outlining the steps they must take to become a citizen. – Translate the brochure into the appropriate languages. – Write an action plan for a half-day workshop about changes in the immigration regulations.

54 Designing a D-Quadrant lesson Example: Biology or Health Class Students have completed a unit on the Auditory System.

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56 Role, Audience, Format, Topic Assign students a real-world role. Workplace, Citizen in Community Give them a problem (or topic) to tackle. Determine the audience. What will the product (format) be?

57 Biology– Auditory System Role: You are a health care intern for a pediatrician who works with young families.

58 Topic: Because so many children contract ear infections, the doctor wants you to develop a handout to explain the problem, the cause, the typical location of the infection, treatment options, and prevention.

59 RAFT R ole: Health care intern A udience: Parents of young children F ormat: Brochure or flyer T opic: Ear infection, auditory system, treatment options, prevention.

60 Why Brochures? Calls for higher order thinking Students work in groups. Nobody works too hard. Each learner is assigned a panel. 6 panels -- 5 students (Cover--together) Learners must condense what they know.

61 Integrated Lesson: High School in Indiana 1. English ClassWrote the Brochure Text 2. Spanish IITranslated the Brochures 3. TechnologyDesigned the Brochures

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66 Ideas for Complex Tasks – Create a city-wide program and write an action plan for... – Design a brochure – Design a performance review form – Develop a proposal – Write a letter of recommendation – Design and conduct a survey – Prepare a multimedia presentation – Write an observation report – Write customer service guidelines – Conduct interviews of community leaders and write a... – Write a feature article for the local paper – Design a newsletter

67 Incident Reports Used by: Insurance companies, sheriffs offices, schools, businesses. Why so serious? Legal document, used in court

68 Incident Reports Obtain an authentic incident report: Phone the Public Information Officer in the Sheriffs Department. Explain how you will use it.

69 State Writing Exams How does technical writing help students prepare for the state writing exams?

70 Oregon Topic: Your friend has very poor eating habits. Convince your friend that a nutritious diet is important. Same thinking skill as: Persuasive Proposal

71 Delaware Topic: For a museum contest, write an essay identifying the invention you consider most notable and how it has impacted the world positively or negatively. Same skills in a: Product Description Technical Definition Process Explanation Operation Manual Persuasive Proposal

72 Georgia Topic: Write an persuasive editorial that presents alternative solutions for reducing the amount of solid waste in your school environment. Persuasive Proposal Marketing Advertisement Observation Report Feasibility Report Training Materials

73 Lesson Plan: Magazines Ask students to bring hobby magazines (or teacher provides them) Find and share articles that are examples of a product description, a process explanation, instructions, persuasive piece, product comparison, etc.

74 Christine LaRocco 2008 Model Schools Conference


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