Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What's Next?

For the full report, click here!

In 2006, the Alliance for Excellent Education conducted a study to identify effective classroom strategies that would help improve writing ability in students in grades 4-12. 

Yes, this does apply to us as PreK-5 teachers.  All of us are preparing our students to be successful on the third, fifth, eighth, and eleventh grade assessments, as well as the writing portion of the SAT.  Our job is especially important because we are setting the foundation on which the rest of the writing teachers will eventually build.
“Reading proficiency is just half the literacy picture,” says Bob Wise, former governor of West Virginia and president of the Alliance for Excellent Education. “We have to widen the literacy spotlight to include writing as well as reading. Increasing students’ writing abilities increases their literacy abilities, which, in turn, increases the likelihood that they will stay in school and graduate. And that means they have a much better chance for future success.”

The eleven instructional practices that Writing Next recognized as holding the most promise to improve students’ writing skills are:

Writing Strategies: Teaching students strategies for planning, revising, and editing their compositions
Summarization: Explicitly and systematically teaching students how to summarize texts
Collaborative Writing: Instructional arrangements in which adolescents work together to plan, draft, revise, and edit their compositions
Specific Product Goals: Specific, reachable goals for the writing they are to complete
Word Processing: Using computers and word processors as instructional supports for writing assignments
Sentence Combining: Teaching students to construct more complex, sophisticated sentences
Prewriting: Engaging students in activities designed to help them generate or organize ideas for their composition
Inquiry Activities: Engaging students in analyzing immediate, concrete data to help them develop ideas and content for a particular writing task
Process Writing Approach: Interweaving a number of writing instructional activities in a workshop environment that stresses extended writing opportunities, writing for authentic audiences, personalized instruction, and cycles of writing.
Study of Models: Providing students with opportunities to read, analyze, and emulate models of good writing
Writing for Content Learning: Using writing as a tool for learning content material.

When I looked at this list, I felt pretty great about writing instruction in Troup County.  How do you feel about it?

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