Thinking about our work on Narrative Writing Samples, as well as the reading we have done in Calkins' Writing Pathways, please take a few moments and reflect on ideas you have had about using the rubrics, benchmark papers, data, suggested teaching tools, and suggested teaching ideas in your classroom. Please describe what you are planning on implementing and why. If you have already implemented some changes or "tweaked" some practices, please include these.
Choose what you think is most important to share with us.
The writing committee met
on December 14, 2015. Prior to the meeting, teachers collected narrative
writing samples K-12 and chose a high, medium, and low example using the rubric.As a committee, they reviewed writing samples
using Calkins’ rubrics.The trends
identified early on (see below) were concerns throughout the writing we
reviewed, as well as the last two bullets.
Students need to:
be able to write a complete
sentence early on.
be able to create a story with a
beginning, a middle and an end.
be able to write for sustained
periods of time.
be able to revise their
be able to use upper case
and lower case letters correctly.
be able to use transition words.
be able to write using correct
be able to write a paragraph.
Teachers need to:
consider administering the
assessment to small groups so they can scribe as the students write, as
well as observe writing behaviors included in the rubrics.
consider using three pieces of
paper for writing stories – one for the beginning, middle and end of a
story.This might help students
understand the concept.
Use a common vocabulary when
shared high school samples with the committee as well as her first draft of her
rubric for grades 10-12.In response to
the directive to create consistency across the grade levels, she is revising
the rubric.Thank you, Helana.
writing committee will meet on January 21, 2016.
Memory is a complicated thing -- a relative to truth, but not its twin.
On the table where I sit each morning with my coffee --
thinking and dreaming, writing and reading -- is a small stone engraved
with these words:
The biggest lie that I tell myself daily is ”I don’t need to write that down. I’ll remember it.”
It’s a reminder to me of all the good ideas, large and small, I’ve lost because I haven’t written them down.
Beau Biden died tragically young earlier this year, while he
was serving as the attorney general in Delaware. One of the memories
shared at his funeral was of Beau listening intently whenever any
citizen accosted him with a concern, and then pulling out a small
notebook to write it down. I love that image of a notebook always on
hand, a physical reminder that he would literally carry someone’s
concerns with him.
It’s a stress reliever for me to write things down. It takes
any idea or issue out of mental space and into physical space to deal
with later. I keep little notebooks in the car, next to the bed, and in
many coat pockets. But writing ideas down when they come is easier said
than done. The problem is that ideas often come when we are on the move
-- something about getting up and walking across the room, or taking a
shower, or driving in the car shakes and loosens the mind.
It’s this reverie that allows thoughts to mingle in new ways, and
inspiration to emerge. And then we scramble (because we aren’t at a
desk or table) for any scrap of paper to write it down.
That’s why I probably have at least a half dozen notepads and
notebooks in use at any given time -- it’s impossible to keep track of
all of them as they are moving from car to house, coat pockets to coffee
tables. I no longer worry about any kind of order to them, or finishing
one before I start another. What matters most is to tell myself the
truth -- if I don’t write it down when inspiration strikes, it is likely
to be lost forever.
This week we look at ways to energize writing workshops. Plus more as always -- enjoy!
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