16382975 collaboratively-developing-an-effective-program-for-teaching-writing

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<p>DEVELOPING</p> <p>DEVELOPING THE WRITING I.Q.* PROGRAM: </p> <p>*(I = Impact of content, Q = Quality of language) </p> <p>A Strengths-Based, Best Practices Process Journal and Resource Guide for Teachers K - 12 </p> <p>By Jim Evers </p> <p>Dominican College Writing Project </p> <p> DEVELOPING </p> <p>THE WRITING I.Q.* PROGRAM: *(I = Impact of content, Q = Quality of language) </p> <p> A Strengths-Based, Best Practices Process Journal </p> <p>and Resource Guide for Teachers K - 12 </p> <p>By Jim Evers </p> <p>Dominican College Writing Project </p> <p> DEVELOPING THE WRITING I.Q. PROGRAM: A Strengths-Based, Best Practices Process Journal and Resource Guide for Teachers K - 12 __________________________________________ by Jim Evers Copyright ! 2004 James L. Evers All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission of the author. Printed by Dominican College Writing Institute 470 Western Highway Orangeburg, NY 10962 845-359-7800 Ext. 210 </p> <p>TABLE OF CONTENTS </p> <p>INTRODUCTION...................................................................................................1 -10 Bane of Superintendent's Day Three Principles for Teachers of Writing What You Can Expect from Using This Process Journal Why a Common Curriculum is Needed Some Classroom Issues Putting Marks on Papers Rubrics and Guides Writer's Guide and Assessment tool Back Ground of the Writing I.Q. Program Being a Writing Coach Where the Content of this Publication Came From Professional Writing Final Thoughts Suggested Structure for Seminar Charge to Teachers </p> <p>PART ONE SEMINAR PROCESS AND CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT JOURNAL........11 Section One: EXPLORING LOCAL REALITIES.....................................................................................11 Step 1. Clarifying Your Thoughts About writing....................................................11 Step 2. Collecting Local Best Practices...................................................................14 Step 3. Identifying Other Widely-Used Best Practices...........................................16 Step 4. Reviewing Key Resources..........................................................................16 Section Two: BUILDING THE WRITING IQ GUIDE AND ASSESSMENT TOOL Step 1. Critiquing Collected Writing Samples........................................................22 </p> <p>Step 2. Putting it All Together in a Writing I.Q. Writers Guide and Assessment Tool....................................................................................................26 </p> <p> Step 3. Using the Tool and Coaching Writers........................................................31 Self-coaching/Assessing Peer coaching/Assessing Teacher Coaching (conferencing) and Assessing Parent Coaching and Assessing Workbook Section Three: EXPLORING KEY REALITIES OF WRITING..................................................................35 </p> <p>PART TWO A REVIEW OF BEST CLASSROOM PRACTICES AND KEY RESOURCES.....45 Review Section One: BRIEF EXPLANATIONS OF WIDELY-USED BEST PRACTICES...................................46 </p> <p>A. Writing-As-Process..........................................................................................46 B. Writers Workshop..........................................................................................52 C. Mini-</p> <p>Lessons....................................................................................................55 D. Portfolios..........................................................................................................57 E. Self/Peer/Teacher Coaching and </p> <p>Conferencing.................................................59 F. Talk-Write........................................................................................................61 G. Free Writing.....................................................................................................63 H. Speed </p> <p>Planning.................................................................................................65 I. Demand </p> <p>writing................................................................................................65 J. Writers </p> <p>Journal/Journaling..............................................................................67 K. Genre................................................................................................................69 L. Multi-</p> <p>Genre......................................................................................................71 M. Writing Across The </p> <p>Curriculum.......................................................................73 N. Handbooks.......................................................................................................75 </p> <p>O. History of English Language...........................................................................77 </p> <p>P. Suggested Supportive Practices........................................................................79 </p> <p>Building a Data-Base of Best Practices Creating a Colleague Mentoring Program </p> <p> Training the Parents Review Section Two: SUMMRAY OF KEY RESOURCE Books.................................................................................................................................81 Web Sites...........................................................................................................................85 </p> <p>PART THREE WHAT NEXT: EXPLORING THE STEPS NEEDED TO SUSTAIN AN </p> <p>EFFECTIVE WRITING </p> <p>PROGRAM............................................................................87 </p> <p> APPENDIX </p> <p> Case Report Using the Writing I.Q. Program........................................................90 Author's Background and Acknowledgements.......................................................92 Demand writing.................................................................................................* Helping Your Child to Be A More Effective Writer in School............................* Common Errors and Mistakes to Avoid in Using English..................................* Brief History of The English Language..............................................................* *For copies of these contact the author at: www.jamesevers.com </p> <p> INTRODUCTION Superintendent's Workshop Days: Often the Bane of Good Practices In the 35 plus years that Ive been in education, I remember how often I disliked many of the training programs offered on Superintendents Day. Ed Joyner, Executive Director of Yales School Development Program (Commer Schools) once named these days as drive-by training. Rightly so. They usually focus on the educational fad of the day or on a topic that one of the administrators is working on for his or her doctorate. But, what I disliked UmostU about those workshop days was that the speakers/trainers, though considered experts, never seemed to have an interest in what we were already doing. Rather than building on what was already working well or already in place, these presenters often implied that we were off track, and they had something better. By not focusing first on what was already working, these programs implied to teachers that the administration did not value what the teachers had been doing. That the presenters may indeed have had something better, to me, is beside the point. The lack of respect for what teachers were already doing was rude, and that rudeness undermines staff morale and the value of the any existing good practices. Even some of the weaker practices in a school may have some qualities that are of value, but no practice can be improved effectively through insult. Instead, let's move existing practices forward by finding the hidden good qualities in them and then build on those qualities. That's what will happen in this publication. I begin with the premise that what you already are doing vis- a- vis the teaching of writing has significant value for helping you build an even more effective program. </p> <p> Three Principles for Teachers of Writing: Because I worry about the way young writers are being taught and judged in their writing in many schools, I am working from three strongly-felt personal principles for teachers of writing: 1. Anyone who teaches writing at any level should also be doing some writing, preferably for publication, or at least for personal practice and/or for personal guidance such as journaling. 2. Anyone who teaches and assesses writing has an obligation to let students know and understand the writing standards they are expected to meet and for which they will be assessed. 3. Anyone who teaches writing could be more effective if she/he stopped thinking of her/ himself as a teacher of writing and began thinking of her/himself as a writing coach. What you can expect to gain from using this journal: 1. You can expect to gain a renewed confidence in your own best practices for teaching writing. 2. You can expect to gain a broader understanding of the teaching of writing in your classroom, in your school, in your district, and in schools in general. 3. You can expect to gain a set of common terms, practices, and assessments selected cooperatively by you and your colleagues. 4. You can expect to gain a writers guide/assessment tool that will be cooperatively created for use by students, teachers, and parents. 5. You can expect to gain a personal journal of resources, ideas, and best practices. </p> <p> 2</p> <p> Why a common curriculum is needed: As students encounter new teachers each grade year, they discover that not all teachers teach writing in the same way, nor emphasize the same elements of writing, or use the same terms. UDevelopmentallyU, this is not as helpful to the students as would be an approach that Uat leastU included a few consistent common practices, terms, and assessments. For example, in non-fiction essays, teachers usually ask for a key sentence that states the topic of the essay. Some call this the topic sentence, others call it the theme sentence, still others call it the controlling idea sentence, and some call it the main idea sentence. Each of these terms is fine, but it would be more helpful to the students if all teachers in a given school and in a given school district used the same term for this key sentence. And it would be more helpful to students if there were a similar consistency of a UfewU other terms used. In the journal section of this publication, teachers will decide and agree on which terms should be common to all teachers in the school and/or in the district. </p> <p> Students also benefit from experiencing some common classroom practices in the teaching of writing. For example, such practices might include writers workshop, writing-as-process, journaling, peer coaching, peer editing, and teacher conferences. Further, students benefit when they experience common assessment approaches from year to year and from teacher to teacher. And, students further benefit from having all of their teachers, not just their language arts teachers, use the agreed-on common terms, practices, and assessments. SOME CLASSROOM ISSUES: Putting Remarks on Papers: I recently came across an article in the on-line edition of the UC.S. MonitorU by a college freshman English professor about putting written remarks on student's papers. It seems that this professor was troubled over how often he labored to make his remarks justify the grade that he gave to each paper. He eventually gave up justifying and simply told each writer how and why the paper affected him. </p> <p> 3 </p> <p> My reactions to the professor's practice are both supportive and yet critical. While I agree that our remarks to writers ought to be honest explanations of why and how the writing affected us, I also feel that if we don't know before hand some of what we are going to look for in a given assignment, then it seems the writer's work stands the chance being evaluated by an evaluator's indecisiveness, whims, or situational standards. Yes, I'm sure that there is a need to read each writer's piece with a fresh and open mind, letting the piece guide our reactions. However, I'm also sure that there are some characteristics that we teachers, including this professor, consistently look for in every assignment. If we and the professor would collect a series of papers we've marked throughout a semester, I know that we would find some remarks that occur constantly and that speak to characteristics that we feel should be in any paper. Shouldn't the writers at least know before they write what these consistent characteristics are that we expect? It isn't fair to our students to hide our internal expectations from them. Also, I have found that once students' papers are handed back graded, despite any critical or constructive remarks I may have put on the papers, most students assume that the assignment is completed and is to be forgotten. Little is learned by these students from post-writing remarks. Rubrics and Guides: The professor further said that he didn't use a grading-rubric (a rubric used for scoring a paper) because he felt that he couldn't decide beforehand what he was going to like in a given assignment. I too dislike the grading-rubrics because they are error directed, and most of them are far too detailed in far too many aspects of writing to be of value as a guide to writers or even to evaluators. Writer's Guide and Assessment Tool: Instead of a grading-rubric, what you will create in this journal is a writer's guide and assessment tool. It will be similar in structure to a rubric, but it addresses your expectations rather than writer's errors. UAndU, the expectations will center on only two aspects of the writing: the impact of the content and the quality of the language (The Writing I.Q.). </p> <p> 4</p> <p>The guide and assessment tool that you will create will be for students to use UasU they write and a tool for assessing (by self, peer, and teacher) what has been written. Students should be taught how to use the guide for UanyU writing assignment. And, if there are any additional specifics that you might hope for in a given assignment but that are not in the tool, you should tell your students what these are before they write. BACKGROUND OF THE WRITING I.Q.: In the mid 1960's, I was trained in using the Diedrich Scale, a precursor to today's ubiquitous grading-rubrics. In truth, I never used it in my classrooms because I found it confused writers more than coached them. Then in the 1980s, when I returned to the public school classroom after spending time in private education and in business, I found a key resource that actually became the background for the Writing IQ Program. It was INSIDE OUT: Developmental Strategies for Teaching Writing, by Dan Kirby and Tom Liner (Boynton/Cook). In a chapter entitled "What is Good Writing," Kirby and Liner come to the conclusion that good writing can be...</p>

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