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EDU 616 Traits of Writing & Writing Across Content Areas

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Freya Mercer

on 6 July 2011

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Transcript of EDU 616 Traits of Writing & Writing Across Content Areas

6+1 Traits & Content Writing Literacy, Writing & the Common Core Standards College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing
The grades 6–-12 standards define what students should understand and be able to do by the end of each grade span.
The CCR and grade-specific standards are necessary complements—the former providing broad standards, the latter providing additional specificity—that together define the skills and understandings that all students must demonstrate. To be implemented in May 2012 Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science & Technical Subjects http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/671/1/ But what do the traits have to do with me?? What do students say about writing across the curriculum? "I think that our social studies teachers should teach us and show us how to write DBQs" "If other teachers incorporated things we learned in here [ELA] into their class, then it would make writing easier." "He/she should not expect you to know how to write [in other subject areas]." "6+1 traits incorporation" "Don't think we know how to write a paper when we don't." "We should be taught more specifically & in a fun way." Writing to Learn & Writing in the Disciplines Each discipline has its own language conventions, format, organization, style, etc. In other words, while the traits of good writing are evident in each subject area, the expectations may be different. When students write reactions to information received in class or in reading, they often comprehend and retain the information better. The Traits = Common Language across all content areas throughout the building throughout the district The traits give everyone a way to talk about writing, students and teachers alike Inherent in the traits framework is an element of self-assessment. Once expectations are clear, students are able to be self-reflective & revise according to clear expectations & rubrics. This type of writing isn't assessed for conventions or sentence fluency, but students would be focusing on the most important trait: IDEAS By teaching discipline-specific writing such as lab reports, DBQs, thematic essays, technical writing, etc., students learn to use organization, word choice, voice, fluency, conventions, and presentation appropriately in a variety of situations. Modeling Modeling is about the teacher as writer. Show them your process.
Show them how you get there. Class Composition Working together, the class produces a writing piece The teacher can ask students to focus on traits during or after this composition. This class composition can be used as an exemplar or a piece in need of revision. This is a teaching tool. Group/Pair Composition Groups or Pairs produce a writing piece that reflects teacher expectations This, too, can be a piece used to teach revision. Individual Composition Now students are ready to write on their own! This step is for the teacher to make sure kids are "getting it". Ideas A piece shows strength in the ideas trait when its topic is narrow and clear and its details are specific, interesting, and accurate. The piece's content--its central message and the details that support that message. Organization The internal structure of a writing piece. Organization depends on purpose--point-by-point, chronological, cause and effect, compare/contrast, etc. Organization may be very content-area specific. Strong organization has a great introduction, is logical, contains smooth transitions, and a sense of resolution. Voice The tone and tenor of the piece. Voice is the personal stamp of the writer. Voice needs to be appropriate to purpose! However, students can have some voice in even the most mundane of writing tasks--it is about appropriateness. Word Choice Good word choice brings clarity to the writer's ideas, supports organization, and creates voice. In content-area writing, word choice includes use of content-specific vocabulary. Use of specific & accurate words. Sentence Fluency How words and phrases flow through a piece of writing. Sentence fluency is achieved when the writer varies sentence length, includes short, declarative sentences, combines sentences as compounds or complex sentences, pays attention to verbs, varies sentence subjects, and, sometimes, breaks the rules to create fluency. Conventions Proper grammar, spelling, etc. Have a department or building list
of "no exceptions". Sentences start with a capital letter. Sentences end with some sort of punctuation. Articles & book titles are punctuated properly. Paragraphs are indented. Presentation The look of the piece, it physical appearance. Margins, spacing, bullets, white space, font, charts, pictures, etc. Help students develop their own styles. How do you teach writing and incorporate the traits? But this looks like it will take a lot of time! More time on the front end will save you time later... How are the traits reflected in the new literacy standards? ideas word choice voice organization i & o i, o, p i, o o, sf wc v i, o i, o, v, p i, o, v i, o, p i, o i, o, wc, p i i, o, wc, p Have students work on including or improving one or more of the traits of good writing. What are the 6+1 traits? And why doesn't 6+1=7?
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