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6+1 Traits of Writing

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Jenny Martinson

on 19 October 2012

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Transcript of 6+1 Traits of Writing

By Ruth Culham 6+1 Traits of Writing:
The Complete Guide for Primary and Upper Grades Word Choice: the specific vocabulary the writer uses to convey meaning Trait #4 Expanding Word Choice Do they get it? Students and Word Choice *play with letters to make words
*attempt to write words they have heard
*develop a curiosity about language
*try sensory words
*use the perfect word in the perfect place Teaching Word Choice in Primary: *Find descriptive words that paint a picture in the mind
*use verbs to create an active, energetic voice
*select words and phrases that are accurate
*choose precise words rather than the first word that pops into your mind Sentence Fluency Trait #5 Sentence Fluency: the way the words and phrases flow throughout the text Do they get it? Students and Sentence Fluency *Works with several words in a row, with attention to phrasing
*More concerned about the quality of the sentence
*experiment with different sentence beginnings
*Create sentences of varying length
*Write passages that can be read aloud with ease Primary Scoring Guide Assessing Sentence Fluency *Teach poetry to help students learn how to make rhythms in language
*READ READ READ to students
*Use primary scoring guide to individualize instruction
*Encourage varying sentence length
*Play with phrases until they sound right
Encourage students to start sentences with words and phrases they have never used before
*Encourage students to read sentences aloud to hear if they make sense
*Celebrate language in the classroom! Teaching Sentence Fluency Primary... Strengthening Conventions Trait #6 Conventions:
the mechanical correctness of the

Use these conventions to make their writing correct and understandable:
- Imitation and real letters
-Upper and lowercase letters
-Phonetic spelling
-End punctuation
-"S" for plural and possessive
-Indenting Students and Conventions Do they get it? Assessing Conventions Challenges Teaching Conventions
in Primary Grades * Must be taught in authentic ways...Students learn conventions by practicing on their own writing, therefore look for opportunities to help students as the need arises
* Question students as they edit Core Principles * Help students understand the why and how of conventions
* Build convention skills overtime
* Create a conventions-ready classroom
- Ex: large posters illustrating basic conventions, make lists of editing skills Getting Started! * Encourage "editor's hat"
* Different colored pens to mark incorrect usages of conventions
* Student-Friendly guides---insert picture
*Convention Songs Spotlighting Presentation Trait #7 Presentation:
the overall
appearance of
the work Challenges

*Students may have difficulty with fine motor and hand-eye coordination

* Students cross-out, erase marks, and prefer an unpolished look for their final product Teaching Presentation in
the Primary Grades Teaching the Presentation Trait

* Give students and audience so that they have ownership over their presentation
* Build your students confidence about their writing
* Point out how writing should look on the pages
* Presentation songs
* Create posters as a class on the different traits of a presentation Getting kids excited...

* Use picture books
* Attach pictures of students to work when published
* Hang work publicly
*Variety of materials to use to create presentation Sparking Voice Trait #3 Voice: the tone of the piece--the personal stamp that the writer brings to it Do they get it?

* Writing captures a range of emotion
* Offer sincere thoughts
* Writing is confident
* Take risks
* Demonstrates awareness of audience Students and Voice Assessing Voice Challenges of Teaching Voice

* often confused with personality in writing

* difficult to describe, therefore difficult to teach

* students need to have a good understanding of audience before incorporating voice Teaching Voice

* Use picture books
* Help students discover
the different types of voices
* Encourage students to
match voice to purpose
* Activities
-All American Voice
-Puppet Voice
-Voice of the Minute
-What Voice is it? Inspiring Ideas Trait #1 Ideas: the result of writer's thinking that develop into the content of the writing piece "things that help us think" "good questions" "what you come up with" "thinking about what you are working on" Students and Ideas 1. Find the right topic What students have to do 2. Select interesting,
relevant details 3. Make the content clear Assessing Ideas in Primary Teaching Ideas in Primary Grades:

* Point out and show them how to spot good ideas in their writing, other's writing, and in their lives

*Ask them for observations, questions, comments, stories and experiences... best material for writing ideas

*Teach them how to look at the world through a writer's eye

*Support their ideas and provide practice opportunities to encourage writing specific, not just general, thoughts Shaping Organization Trait #2 Organization: the internal structure of the piece Assessing Organization Students and Organization Do they get it?

*Pictures are drawn about the same topic in sequential order
*Information is grouped either by circling, highlighting, or drawing lines to connect ideas
*Use words like and, but, and the end
*Use of labels, titles, and caption
*Use of lists that outline a story in sequential order Introduction THE
END! These books introduce 7 traits that can be used in primary and upper grades to teach and assess students' writing *ideas
*word choice
*sentence fluency
*presentation Traits Upper... *Allow students to experiment with sentence structure
*Encourage and allow students to read their work out loud
*Read exemplary texts aloud to show students what ideal fluency sounds like
*Teach students how to vary sentence structure and length
*Help students recognize how to construct sentences that enhance meaning Challenges 1. Overemphasis on correctiveness
2. Writing classrooms are too quiet
3. It's harder than it looks! Teaching Conventions in
the Upper Grades *Demonstrating the power of conventions
*Searching for the best way to teach conventions
*Encouraging risk-taking
*Look beyond teaching programs Challenges 6 steps to teaching conventions 1. Wait!
2. Set aside editing time
3. Ask why
4. Model
5. Keep writing tools handy
6. Get'em one by one so in a nutshell...

*Be sure students understand that editing and revising are different
*Expect correctness, but only according to appropriate developmental level and age
*Value experimentation right along with correctness. It's a balancing act
*Be patient. Learning to use conventions well takes time Students and Presentation Assessing Conventions Primary Scoring Guide Teaching Presentation in
the Upper Grades What it looks like:

*Uniformed spacing
*Legible and consistent handwriting, or appropriate use of font and sizes
*Appealing use of white spaces
*Where necessary, bullets, numbers, side headings, and other markers help the reader
*Effective integration of text and illustration, charts, graphs, maps, and tables Teaching Conventions

*look at students' different writing samples
*ask students what makes writing clear
*discuss how a reader understands charts and graphs
*how to present a ton of information without being overwhelming
*compare effective to ineffective pieces Primary Scoring Guide Teaching Ideas in
the Upper Grades Challenges

*Writing is complex
*The brain is faster than the pen
*They all too often write for others, not themselves Student Application

1. Select an idea
2. Narrow the idea
3. Elaborate on the idea
4. Discover the best information to convey the main idea Teaching Conventions

*Nudge students to search their imaginations and experiences to turn an ordinary topic into something which is more engaging
*Use the RAFTS technique
*Demonstrate logical progression; outline
*Explain that details should show, not just tell, the readers what is happening Teaching Organization in
the Primary Grades
*Model (ex: picture books)

*Small group and whole discussion

*Connect to everyday life by using art, music, math, and science to show different types of organization Teaching Organization in
the Upper Grades Challenges:
*Overvaluation of rigid organization
*Difficulty of organization
*No one method of organization works for all Student Application
*Create a hook for the readers
*Develop a core which is logically put together with transitions that provide for sequential flow
*Wrap it up by pulling it all together at the end Teaching Organization
*Brainstorm with students on openings and show them examples from literature
*Teach options for organization, transitions, pacing, and sequencing
*Refer to literary works,
brainstorm, experiment
with known endings
from various sources Teaching Voice in Primary Teaching Voice in Upper... Challenges:

*Voice is not as concrete as other traits
*Conventional wisdom holds that boring writing is “good” writing
*Purposeful use and evaluation of a “voice” can feel too personal
*Conventional wisdom holds that voice is inappropriate in some forms of writing Teaching Voice *Compare existing works of authorship
*Compare voice between several passages drawn from existing works in which voice is obvious, exaggerated or otherwise notable
*Illustrate Voice
*Experiment with Voice Teaching Word Choice in Upper... Challenges:

*Overly technical or specialized language is too often used to exclude
*Vocabulary is too often taught in isolation
*Too much too quickly can overwhelm: Making the student “word drunk”

Four focus areas:

1. Striking language : Power

2. Exact Language: Precision

3. Natural Language: Alignment with Ordinary Usage (Unforced)

4. Beautiful Language Teaching Word Choice Assessing Word Choice Primary Scoring Guide Assessing Ideas in Upper Upper Scoring Guide Primary Scoring Guide Upper Scoring Guide Upper Scoring Guide Upper Scoring Guide Primary Scoring Guide Upper Scoring Guide Upper Scoring Guide
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