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Hillsborough Full Day Workshop
Transcript of Hillsborough Full Day Workshop
a demonstration Sara Bauer
Co-director of Internal Relations
The National Writing Project at Rutgers University
Gifted & Talented Teacher-Coordinator,
Morris Hills Regional District firstname.lastname@example.org
prezi.com/myvsgz8uxeg4/ The Writer as Reader Very Wide Margins Unlocking the Power of Portfolios What We Believe:
Writing is a skill that can be taught.
Every teacher is a teacher of writing.
Information about the practice of writing comes from many sources.
When writing teachers engage in the practice of writing, they are
able to improve their understading
and therefore their instruction of
the craft. “Omnivorous reading is certainly the best possible preparation for a student writer. It counters the notion that writing fiction or poetry is a purely personal and private act like daydreaming. More positively, it places a student in the context of a literary heritage. Even rebels need to know what they are rebelling against.”
-- Stephen Minot How students see writing:
“They see writing, like reading, not as a way to construct a story or communicate a message, but as a device for tricking them into right or wrong answers.”
-- Janet Allen What we want them to see:
“Students need to see the possibilities of writing, to read the surprises on the page… so that they see the geography of possibility which surrounds them.”
-- Donald M. Murray Cloning an Author
Choose an excerpt.
Read the passage “like a writer.”
Look beyond what the piece is about, and try to identify the craft of the writer.
Underline places where the writer uses repetition, begins sentences in interesting ways, or makes transitions between ideas / concepts. from “My Name” by Sandra Cisneros
In English my name means hope. In Spanish it means too many letters. It means sadness, it means waiting. It is like the number nine. A muddy color. It is the Mexican records my father plays on Sunday mornings when he is shaving, songs like sobbing. SHARE WITH A PARTNER WHO HAS SELECTED THE SAME PASSAGE AS YOU.
DISCUSS WHAT YOU “CLONED” AND WHY. The four kinds of reading students need to do:
1. The voices of the best writers in our language
2. Their teacher's drafts
3. Their peers' drafts
4. Their own drafts
-- Donald M. Murray Draw a portrait of yourself as a reader.
Use the unlined side of an index card and pen or pencil. Write about yourself as a reader.
Use your portrait as a prompt.
You will be sharing your writing with a partner later in the day. Complete your postcard with a concept, teaching idea, or activity you'd like to remember after today's session. “Each year I am more firmly convinced that students will always struggle with writing until they have a reading history.”
-- Janet Allen Examine some sample student portraits and explanations.
What does this student reveal about himself as a writer?
What instructional techniques / activities might be effective with this student?
What additional information might you seek to further assist this student? "I cannot remember myself before I was a reader."
-- Toni Morrison "One reads with a deeper appreciation and concentration, knowing...how hard writing is, especially how hard it is to make it look effortless. You begin to read with a writer's eyes. You focus in a new way." -- Anne Lamott "The real importance of reading is that it creates an ease and intimacy with the process of writing; one comes to the country with one's papers and identification pretty much in order. Constant reading will pull you into a place (a mind-set, if you like the phrase) where you can write eagerly and without self-consciousness."
-- Stephen King What are the benefits of one-on-one writing conferences between teacher and student? (What have you learned / read about / heard from your colleagues?)
Do you engage in such conferences with your students? Why or why not? My Question:
How can I engage my student
writers AS readers in order to
enhance and improve my instruction? My Question:
How can I achieve the positive results of student conferencing if I don’t have the time to hold conferences with every student for each assignment? Research Indicates:
“Conferences allow the student to learn how to read and improve their own texts and allow the instructor to encourage and monitor that learning.”
--Donald M. Murray Research Indicates:
“It is important for both student and teacher to have a predictable pattern within which they can work and from which they can depart and return when necessary.”
--Donald Graves Murray's Conference Protocol:
The student COMMENTS on the draft.
The instructor READS or reviews the draft.
The instructor RESPONDS to the student’s comments.
The student RESPONDS to the teacher’s response. Differentiating Instruction:
"[The instructor] shows respect for learners by honoring both their commonalities and differences, not by treating them alike.”
--Carol Ann Tomlinson Protocol for Conferences on Paper:
Students identify the type of feedback they desire
Instructor reads student comments before reading the work
Instructor identifies errors with error codes in margin
Instructor responds to student comments with a detailed note Rubrics as an Instructional Tool:
The assessment criteria should be provided when the writing is assigned, referenced while students are working on the assignment, and reviewed upon completion of the assignment. Elements of Rubric Design:
Skills or knowledge measured
Levels of mastery
Criteria for adequate achievement
Descriptors to describe each level of performance Sample Error Codes
SP -- spelling error
RO -- run-on
SF -- sentence fragment
PUN -- punctuation error
USE -- usage error
AGR -- agreement error
CON -- confusing word order
SIVT -- shift in verb tense
SIPOV -- shift in point of view A Sample Writing Conference (on paper):
Audience: A reader who is interested in understanding one character’s development in The Crucible.
Task: Trace the development of one character. Incorporate textual evidence and character development terms.
Student Comments: I tried to have less agreement errors. I also tried to incorporate little quotes into my own writing. I don’t know if the conclusion gets bigger than the book. Alex said it didn’t, but I’m not sure. Instructor Comments: You have careful word choice here, and it’s evident that you have done a good deal of thinking and revision in order to work textual passages into the syntax of your sentences. When concluding about how Tituba fits into this play, perhaps you could consider what impact “senseless accusations” can have on the larger community. That would give you an opportunity to explore the scope of the play beyond an analysis on one character.
Reflection: I am very happy about my word choice of senseless accusations, but I am frustrated that I made an agreement error at the end because that was the one thing I was trying to avoid. If I decide to revise, I might look at how to mention senseless accusations in my opening and expand on that in my conclusion. Benefits of "Wide Margins" for students:
Students see themselves as writers
Students practice revision and editing skills
Students internalize vocabulary for talking about writing
Students get personalized and detailed responses to their writing from peers and instructor Benefits of "Wide Margins" for Instructors:
Instructor saves time
Instructor maintains consistent criteria when scoring student work
Instructor differentiates instruction through comments and targeted teaching
Instructor extends goal-setting and revision opportunities to students With 4-7 minutes of audio commentary, I can:
Individualize feedback / personalize remarks
Read a passage aloud and explain strengths or weaknesses
Provide instruction about HOW to extend or improve
Use my voice in such a way as to make criticism more palatable Tips for providing audio comments:
Recognition of student needs / questions
Comments & suggestions re: global concerns
Comments & suggestions re: local concerns
Wrap up / reinforcement Think about it...
Consider a field or profession in which portfolios are useful.
What steps does one take to build a portfolio in this field?
How is the portfolio used?
What does such a portfolio communicate about the person who builds it?
Write for two minutes. A portfolio is:
A purposeful collection of evidence.
-- Kathleen Blake Yancey Portfolios are powerful indicators
of a student’s growth over time.
Portfolios demonstrate a student’s
range of skills.
Portfolios focus on process,
Portfolio building allows students
to participate in the assessment process. Only when students are able to detach themselves from the creative task and view their efforts objectively are they in a position to achieve mastery over any cognitive task they are engaged in. This is especially true of writing. After all, when students write something, someone has to make a judgment about its effectiveness. Why not let this “someone” increasingly become the student? -- E.H.Thompson Traditional Assessment
focus on product
students acquire objective knowledge
first / final draft valued
used to determine grade Portfolio Assessment
focus on process
students judge own work
multiple drafts valued
used by teacher and student to guide learning Portfolios can complement (not replace) current assessment activities -- and link subjects together -- because they:
Evaluate where we’ve been as literate people
Assess our literate selves
Predict where we want “to go” as literate people
Represent our literacy to others
-- Bonnie Sunstein 3 steps required
Reflection The first step in building a portfolio is to develop good habits for keeping track of ideas for new work, work in progress, completed work, scored work, and other indicators of acquired skills. Make a list of the items students in your course will have begun, completed, or collected by January, and by the end of the year. Think of the assignments you give, as well as other opportunities students have to demonstrate their learning. Persuasive essay on an historical figure
Voice narrative based on a b&w photo
Research-based career short story
Underground RR diary / journal
Canonical Voices Test essay
American writer summary
Poem in the voice of a classmate
Trail of Tears diary / journal
Story Quilt / Fever Chart / Winter Count
Civil War newscast
Found poem using Ellis Island documents
Children’s book illustrating an historical event
Various journals, freewrites, notes, lists, etc. The second step in building a portfolio is to determine which criteria will serve as the basis for selecting work to include in the portfolio. Essential Questions:
do not necessarily have answers
provoke deep thought
solicit information-gathering and evaluation of data
result in original answers
help students conduct problem-related research
encourage students to produce original ideas rather than predetermined answers
encourage critical thinking, not just memorization of facts Essential Questions for 10th grade American Studies:
What is the relationship between the past and the present?
What does it mean to “have a voice”?
Whose voices haven’t I heard and why?
What role does conflict play in literature and history?
How have individuals / groups used their voices to cause change?
How has the study of literature and history helped me to use my own voice more effectively? Make a list of the criteria that will guide your students as they select items for their portfolios.
Review your list and revise so that students will have many options when they make their selections. The third step in building a portfolio is to provide students with an opportunity to reflect (evaluate past performance and determine areas for future growth). Helping students reflect:
What do you know?
What do you know how to do?
What skills can you not complete without the help of the teacher?
What areas still need improvement / development?
What will you remember when you are old enough to have grandchildren? Consider the way you organize
essential questions When portfolios are not defined by prescriptive menus
which dictate particular assignments, they leave room
for students to play a more active and generative role
in their own education. They allow students to gain some
control over the assessment process. They provide a
useful complement to other assessment techniques
available to the classroom teacher and a powerful alternative
to "prepackaged," bureaucratic kinds of large-scale testing.
-- Sandra Murphy
I have discovered that, although reflection
and the selection of the contents of the
portfolio certainly belong to the students,
reflection can be taught. It works proportionally:
the more ownership I give my students in self-
assessment, the more critical my role becomes.
It is the teacher who sets in place the conditions
and the structures for what will eventually
become a portfolio culture. -- Joni Chancer