Writing to Assess, Promote, and Observe LearningUnrau.jpg


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: 1. An endeavor to communicate thoughts and ideas through textual language.
2. A pictograph that represents sound. V: 1. The act of putting thoughts and ideas into text.
Other: something which students find very frustrating to do.
~The Salamone Abridged Dictionary

How Do You Teach the Writing Process?


Task Environment
Fig. 1 Individual-Environment (Social and Physical)

Working Memory
· Central executive that controls information retrieval
· Memory has limited capacity
· Retrieves information from long-term memory

Cognitive Processes
· Text interpretation, reflection, and text production.
· Ranges from word recognition through meaning negotiation
· A mental representation of the writing task (ie. the assignment)
· Internalization and reflection

· Goals, predisposition, beliefs and attitudes

· Textual connections, reading (and writing) skills and knowledge,
task values, self-efficacy (how does writing serve student)

Writing and Constructivism
collaborating.jpg· Writing can be used to promote constructivism in the form of
knowledge-building classrooms where students use writing to
learn through inquiry.
· Students engage in gathering and interpreting information
that help them to answer questions.

· Through writing, students record their discoveries in the form
of notes and summaries, guided by the teacher’s questions
and recommendations.

Classroom instruction across the United States now reflects the process approach to writing.

pencil.jpgAccording to the NAEP 1998 Writing Report Card for the Nation and the States:
· 9 out of 10 students in 8th and 12th grades were always required by their teachers
to write more than 1 draft.
· Students in the 8th and 12th grades who were always asked in their classes to write more than one draft performed better on measures of writing achievement than their peers.

Students who planned their writing also demonstrated higher levels of writing achievement.

The Writing Process

Figure 2 - The Writing Process

Writing to Learn

Writing provides a means to explore and make sense of ideas and experiences.
Writing can alter the roles of:

· Teachers (by transforming them from evaluators to collaborators)
· Students (by transforming them from memorizers to meaning makers)
· Writing across disciplines helps students learn the wide range of genres and
formats used in various content areas.

Types of Writing

Figure 3 - Types of Writing


Writing Directives

· Teachers need to put significant thought into the selection and presentation
of writing assignments

· Students need clear specifications for the kind of writing you want
· Students need clear statements about the purposes the writing is to serve

The National Writing Project (NWP) Conclusions:

· Teachers learn well from other teachers due to their credibility
Writing is a tool to be used across the curriculum
Teachers who teach writing…also write
· Professional development programs must be continuous
· How to teach writing comes from current research and teacher’s experience

Categories of Writing

Figure 4 - Categories of Writing

Writing Activities Across the Curriculum

Figure 5 - Writing Across the Curriculum

Strategies in Practice

Newspaper Reporter
Readers in 1826
Thomas Jefferson
Other cell structures
Operations memo
What functions I have
Holden Caufield
What happened to me during my college years
How I move in the solar system
Pythagorian Theorem
Statue of Liberty
Love note
How I can figure out your height from your shadow

More Examples of Rafting

Double Entry Journal

The Writing Process
Graphic Organizers:
Random 1
Character Map
Random 2
Persuasion Map
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Learning in Hand


Teaching in the 21st Century - Digital Resources

A Vision of Students Today: A short video summarizing some of the most
important characteristics of students today - how they learn, what they
need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, what their lives will be like,
and what kinds of changes they will experience in their lifetime. Created
by Michael Wesch in collaboration with 200 students at Kansas State University.

A Vision of K-12 Students Today:
This project was created to inspire teachers
to use technology in engaging ways to help students develop higher level
thinking skills. Equally important, it serves to motivate district leaders to
provide teachers with the tools and training to do so.

TeacherTube's Top 100 Most Viewed Video* Did You Know? Karl Fisch

Wonderful, concise video that helps raise awareness of the
issues of globalization in our newly connected world first raised
in Thomas Friedman's book, The World is Flat. Karl Fisch
remixed content from David Warlick, Thomas Friedman, Ian Jukes,
Ray Kurzweil and others, added some music, and came up with
the insightful presentation.

Alphie Kohn Achievement VS Learning

It's Bad News If Students Are Motivated to Get A's

Alphie Kohn VS Dwight Schrute

Making Students Work a 'Second Shift'