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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Follow-up from Rick Shelton workshop



This post is a follow-up to the workshops with Rick Shelton held in August. Listed below are a number of thoughts taken from that workshop, listed in no particular order:
  1. Seeing a model of good (and bad) writing is helpful. I have downloaded the 2004-2005 samples provided by the ALSDE. The direct link is here. Another way to get there would ebe to go to the page of "Downloadable Documents," go to Curriculum, go to Writing, and you will see the folder containing the whole set.
  2. An excellent site for writing resources is that of the Edmon (Oklahoma Public Schools).
  3. Having a mock writing assessment for 4th graders the same day that the 5th graders are taking the real thing is a great opportunity to practice and motivate students for the real assessment.
  4. Having a mock writing assessment for 5th graders a month before the real thing is a great idea.
  5. Use magazines as models of good introductions.
  6. Good writers do not state the subject. They make a statement about the subject.

Time is the enemy (or your best friend, depending on how you use it.):
  1. Kill two birds with one stone. After students read something they would be reading anyway, have them respond to it in writing.
  2. Don't grade everything. Sometimes, let the students choose from several pieces of their writing one for you to grade.
  3. Don't grade all parts of anything. Pick certain elements to look for in one paper, and different elements to grade in the next one.
  4. Students need not write an entire essay every time. Let them write an introductory paragraph and stop. As another idea, divide into groups. One group writes the intro, a second composes the next paragraph, and so forth.
Students need to be responsible to a reader they don't know:
  1. Kids needs an audience. Post their work.
  2. Swap papers with another teacher. Let someone else read your students' writing and you read theirs.
What have I left out? For those who attended the workshops with Rick Shelton, what resonated with you?

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