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Instructional Strategies for Writing to Learn in Content Are

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Laura Veenema

on 28 February 2014

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Transcript of Instructional Strategies for Writing to Learn in Content Are

Cubing
Let's reflect.
Let's anticipate.
Agree or Disagree?

1. Writing in content areas should be in an essay format.

2. Journal writing is a primarily reflective exercise.

3. Students shouldn't write about content-specific vocabulary until they have shown mastery of the definitions of those words.

4. It is difficult to get students to think critically about a content-specific topic.

5. Content-area teachers should implement more writing-to-learn strategies than learning-to-write strategies.

Possible Sentences
Connection to Reading Strategies
Making connections
Asking Questions
Visualizing
Determining Importance
Summarize and Synthesize
Why use it?
Cubing can be used in various ways and can be differentiated to meet individual student needs
The six sides of the cube reflect the different levels of Bloom's Taxonomy
Explanation
This strategy aids students in:
pre-reading nonfiction texts
using technical, content-specific vocabulary
locating information in nonfiction texts
reasoning (they need so much help with this)
becoming interested in the text itself
writing in the content area
Connections to Reading Strategies
Are we making this up?
Nope. We wish we could take credit for it, but
Bean, Readence, and Baldwin promote the strategy in their
Content Area Literacy
book (chapter 11.)

In a 1991 study using the "possible sentences" strategy, students who used the strategy
outperformed their peers
in post tests assessing content-area vocabulary (Stahl & Kapinus, 1991).
Let's try it together.
Mycenaean(s)
Trojans
Homer
Odysseus
Iliad
Paris
Helen
conquer
wooden horse.
Now it's your turn!
Work in small groups to create a cube.
The topic of your cube will be cell phones
.
Be ready to share your ideas with the class when you are finished!
What is it?
Cubing is a teaching strategy that helps students think critically about a topic.
Journal Writing
Instructional Strategies
Making Connections
Background knowledge
Personal experience
Questioning
Clarifying question
Inferring question
Pondering question
Predicting question
Inferences
Identify the clues
Analyze
What is their understanding?
Things to consider before implementing
1. Journal writing should be a regular part of your teaching.

2. Model journal writing

3. Interactive
Respond

4. Allow 5-10 minutes for writing
Let's try this out!
Double- Journal Entry
Read the selection "Just another night"
Underline 2 quotes that caught your attention from the reading.
Write those quotes on the left side column.
Now it's the fun part
Write either a reaction, reflection, connection or a question.
Share
What is it?

It is a means of written communication between the teacher and the student.
Students are able to
express
their
feelings
and
emotions
(e.g., writing prompt, literature...)
Students are able to
make sense
of the level of impact of the lesson
as far as progress for the individual student. (Bean et. al, 2011)
Instructional Strategies for Writing to Learn in Content Areas
In short, the students do the following:
1. Use vocabulary to make up "possible sentences" that may or may not be true for the text
2. Read the text
3. Evaluate the validity of their sentences
4. Revise their "possible sentences"
Students will
summarize
the text when they are verifying their “possible sentences.”
Students will practice
determining what is important
in a text when they revise their “possible sentences.”
Students will be
making connections
between vocabulary words when they revise their “possible sentences.”

Bean, P. W., Readence, J. E., & Baldwin, R. S. (2011).
Content Area
Literacy
. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.

Stahl, S. A., & Kapinus, B. A. (1991). Possible sentences: Predicting
word meaning to teach content area vocabulary.
The Reading
Teacher, 45
(1), 36-43.


It is really quite simple.
How to use it?
Introduce the topic to students and have them examine the topic from six different aspects.
Describe
- What is it like?
Compare
- Compare it to something else.
Associate
- What does it make you think of?
Analyze
- What is it made from?
Apply
- How can it be used?
Argue for or against
- Choose a side and support it.
For each side of the cube...
Can be used as a pre-writing strategy or a post-lesson strategy
Can be done individually or in a group
Can be differentiated
Readiness
Interest
Different Learning Styles
Why use it?
What does the research say?
"The concrete visual of a cube with its six sides serves as a starting point to consider the multiple dimensions of topics" (p. 278)
According to Bean, Readence, and Baldwin...
According to Bean, Readence, and Baldwin...
Writing is a way to guide students' learning. It becomes "a filter through which they can sift and examine concepts" and see how these sometimes obscure notions connect with their lives. (p. 272)
References

Bean, P. W., Readence, J. E., & Baldwin, R. S. (2011).
Content Area Literacy
. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.
Students will be engaged in this strategy because it is fun!
Students will realize that there is more than one way to think about a concept.
It is not...
just paper and pencil!
Show me the facts!
"Journals can serve the important need to
communicate attitudes
and
interests
beyond the typical rapidfire charge through endless facts and concepts" (as cited in Bean, Readence, & Baldwin, 2011, p. 273)
This strategy is very ELL friendly!
More
expressive
than analytical
There are different ways to do journal writing
Barbon and Sawyer say that by
Making personal connections you are helping students with their comprehension.

As teachers we can encourage students to make associations between their lives and the characters, setting, feelings, and ideas presented in what they read. (as cited in Faulkner, 2014)
PLUS...

Weblogs (blogging)
Wikispaces
Edmodo

And many Web 2.0 tools
Journal writing is also:
Agree or Disagree?

1. All writing in content areas should be in an essay format.

2. Journal writing is a primarily reflective exercise.

3. Students shouldn't write about content-specific vocabulary until they have shown mastery of the definitions of those words.

4. It is difficult to get students to think critically about a content-specific topic.

5. Content-area teachers should implement more writing-to-learn strategies than learning-to-write strategies.

What questions do you have about writing-to-learn strategies?
Nancy Compean, Natalie Gerhardt, & Laura Veenema
How could you incorporate digital writing strategies?

How could you turn this writing-to-learn strategy into a longer writing process?
Why Use Writing-to-Learn Strategies

These strategies that you learn today align to the Common Core State Standards:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.2
Write informative/explanatory texts
to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and
shorter time frames
(a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

According to Bean, Readence, and Baldwin (2011), "Writing becomes a powerful vehicle for guiding students' learning..." (272).
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