Common core 6-12 Early Release Day Focus 2013-2014

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COMMON CORE 6-12 Early Release Day Focus 2013-2014

  • Writing
  • Shift 2: Knowledge in the Disciplines


  • US
  • Them



Students Can Write 2 Learn

  • Rather than refer to what students read they are expected to learn from what they read.
  • The students 'process of making the material their own.
  • One thing is for sure is that you can’t avoid thinking when you are writing.
  • Think
  • Write
  • Listen
  • Learn
  • Speak
  • Read
  • And each discipline has its own language…

CCSS Instructional Shifts

  • Primary Responsibility
  • Language Arts Teacher
  • Content Area Teacher
  • 1.Balancing Informational and Literary Text
  • X
  • X
  • 2. Knowledge in the Disciplines
  • X
  • 3.Staircase of Complexity
  • X
  • X
  • 4. Text-Based Questions and Answers
  • X
  • X
  • 5.Writing from Sources
  • X
  • X
  • 6. Academic Vocabulary
  • X
  • X

What does the common core expect students to accomplish through writing?

  • Cite textual evidence to support claims
  • Use valid reasoning
  • Convey complex ideas and information
  • Organize and use well structured event sequences
  • Use technology to produce and publish writing

What content teachers don’t have to do?

  • Complete the entire cycle of the writing process. (pre-write, draft, revise, edit, publish)
  • Complete a piece of writing in one time setting.
  • Check harshly for grammar and sentence structure (content area)

Types of writing in the core

  • Explanatory/
  • Informative
  • Argumentative/
  • Opinion
  • Narrative
  • Share information or ideas and provide explanations and evidence.
  • Personal opinions are supported by explanations and/or textual evidence.
  • Requires the student to investigate a topic; collect, generate, and evaluate evidence; and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner.
  • Personal opinions are supported by textual evidence.
  • Writing used to tell a story grounded in an understanding of textual evidences.
  • Details in the story are consistent with textual evidence.
  • CCSS says that secondary grades will focus primarily on explanatory and argumentative writing.

Types of writing tasks in the core

  • On Demand
  • Range of Writing
  • Used to examine the breadth of student writing aligned to the common core standards and integration of ideas throughout the curriculum.
  • Uniform prompt, useful in building an understanding of grade-specific goals and expectations.
  • Content area teachers should spend most of their time using on-demand writing tasks.

PARCC supported writing forms

  • Adventure stories
  •  Autobiography
  •  Biography
  •  Book reviews
  •  Brochures
  •  Character Sketches
  •  Descriptions
  •  Diaries
  •  Encyclopedia or Wiki entries
  • Endings
  •  Essays
  •  Explanations
  • Persuasive letters
  •  Reports
  •  Reviews
  •  Scenes (from a play)
  •  Short stories
  •  Science articles
  •  Science fiction stories
  •  Sequels
  •  Speeches
  • Anecdotes
  • Apologies
  •  Complaints
  •  Editorials
  •  Interviews
  • Fables
  •  Fantasy stories
  •  Fiction
  •  How-to-do-it articles
  • Humorous stories
  •  Legends
  •  Letters
  •  Magazine articles
  •  Myths
  •  News articles
  •  Pamphlets
  •  Satires
  •  Spoofs
  •  Testimonials
  • Blue- unique to middle grades
  • Red-unique to high school grades

Priority checks in student writing

  • Priority 1: Content
    • Is the information accurate?
    • Is the information complete?
    • Cite textual evidence?
  • Priority 2: Organization
    • Did the student RSVP?


4 Principles for Constructing a Writing Assignment

  • Tie the writing task to your specific learning goal.
  • State the purpose of the assignment.
  • Break down the task into manageable steps.
  • Spell out a grading criteria.

Writing task walkthrough (teacher)

  • Great historical events often have deep effects upon the people who live through them. Depending on the person and the situation, those effects can be very different. (Engage them)
  • You are going to read a short article about the Dust Bowl days in American history titled “Black Blizzard.” You will also look at some photographs taken during that time period. As you read and study the photographs, think about how this experience may have affected the individual people who lived through it. (manageable chunks)
  • Finally, you will write a narrative, showing how a particular small moment during this experience affected one person. (manageable chunk)
  • *Engage the students, tell them the purpose of the text and what you want them to cue in on. (text features) – we will talk about this in a future meeting.

Writing task walkthrough (cont.)

  • Remember, a good narrative: (Activate prior knowledge)
  • Establishes a clear point of view
  • Focuses closely on one character or characters
  • Uses strong sensory details to make the character(s) and event come alive
  • Uses precise language
  • May use dialogue and description to capture the character(s) and event
  • Concludes effectively
  • Here are your choices for your narrative: (add choices)
  • A young child watching the “black blizzard” rolling in over the plains
  • A young child, watching a tractor knock down his family home in Oklahoma, several years into the Dust Bowl drought
  • A mother sitting on her front steps in a migrant camp in California
  • An unemployed father, arriving at a squatter camp in California from Oklahoma
  • *Activates prior knowledge and supports students’ need for autonomy

Writing task walkthrough (cont.)

  • (Spell out the criteria)
  • Priority 1: Content (50%)
    • Is the information accurate? (20)
    • Is the information complete? (10)
    • Cite textual evidence? (20)
  • Priority 2: Organization (50%)
    • Did the student RSVP? (50)
    • Provide teacher commentary
  • *If no why? (stimulate reflection)

Tips for avoiding lousy writing….

  • Spell out key criteria
  • Give out models of good documents
  • Require peer review
  • Teacher commentary – Stimulate reflection “Why” , “How do you know”

Quick Check

  • Describe the three types of writing?
  • List the two priorities for student writing in secondary subject areas?
  • How can we avoid lousy writing?

Take it to the classroom!

  • Take it to the classroom!
  • Strategies for
  • Motivation and Summarizing
  • to Improve Writing

Motivating Students to Write

  • Shared Events
  • Yourself as a Model
  • Hold Off on Grading
  • Casual Talk to Generate Writing
  • Think Like a Football Coach

Shared Events

  • Use shared events of students’ lives to inspire writing.
    • A poem inspired by a fresh haircut or a tattered book bag.
    • A new baby in the family, a lost tooth, and the death of one student’s father are play of serious inspirations for student writing.

Yourself as a Model

  • Display a picture of yourself doing a task like fishing, riding a bike, playing basketball, etc.
  • Write a short phrase under the picture.
  • Ask students to help you write a sentence about this picture.
  • Use the words who, where,
  • and when to help students
  • construct a piece about the
  • picture with you.
  • Allow students to bring in
  • a picture to use as a model.

Hold off on Grading

  • Grades get in the way of the writing progress.
  • The weaker students stop trying and others rely on grades as the only standard by which they judged their own work.
  • Postpone grading until the final piece is complete.
  • Being less quick to judge their work, students are better able to evaluate their efforts themselves.

Casual Talk to Generate Writing

  • "Monday morning gab fest” is used as a warm-up with fifth grade students.
  • On Monday mornings, students write personal headlines about their weekends and post them on the bulletin board. Students have a chance to guess the stories behind them.
  • The writers then told the stories behind their headlines. They begin to rely on suspense and "purposeful ambiguity" to hold listeners' interest.
  • On Tuesday, students commit their stories to writing. Because of the "Headline News" experience, students are able to generate writing that is focused, detailed, and well ordered.

Think Like a Football Coach

  • The writing teacher can't stay on the
  • sidelines.
  • Like the coach, the writing teacher
  • should praise strong performance rather than focus on the negative.
  • The writing teacher should apply the KISS theory. In writing class, a student who has never written a poem needs to start with small verse forms such as a haiku.
  • Practice and routine are important both for football players and for writing students, but football players and writers also need the "adrenaline rush" of the big game and the final draft.


  • Read-Sketch-Write
  • Somebody, Wanted, But, So
  • ABC Summary
  • The Last Word
  • Get the GIST
  • Think-Pair-Write-Share
  • $2 Summaries
  • Headline Summaries
  • Shaping Up Review


  • Read – Sketch - Write
  • Sketch
  • Main Idea
  • Summary

Somebody Wanted But So

  • Somebody
  • Wanted
  • But
  • So
  • Anne Frank
  • To hide from the Nazis
  • Someone turned her in
  • She died in a concentration camp
  • Adolph Hitler
  • To control all of Europe
  • The Allies fought against him
  • He killed himself and Germany was defeated
  • Christopher Columbus
  • To sail to India to buy spices
  • He ran into the Caribbean Islands
  • He claimed the area for Spain
  • Thomas Edison
  • To invent the incandescent light bulb
  • His light bulb blackened (the Edison effect)

ABC Summary

  • Uses the letters of the alphabets as prompts for remembering important ideas or information about a topic. 
  • Students attempt to recall and connect summary words or phrases about the topic they have been studying to letters of the alphabet.

The Last Word

  • When using the Last Word, the topic to be summarized becomes an acronym. 
  • Students brainstorm all for the things they can remember about the topic studied and then elaborate on those ideas to create a phrase that start with each letter in the topic.

Get the GIST

  • The word gist is defined as "the main or essential part of a matter." 
  • The GIST strategy helps students read expository text and get the main idea. 
  • Students must then convey the gist of what they read in 20 words. 
  • The strategy is can be used with narrative text if students are asked to summarize after each chapter.


  • Think – Pair – Write
    • Students are given a topic/ question
    • They brainstorm it with a partner
    • Then each student writes his/her own response.
  • Think – Write – Share
    • Similar to above but the sharing is oral.
    • Students think about a question, write a response, then share with their partners.

$2 Summaries

  • With each word worth 10 cents, write a $2 summary of the learning from the lesson.
  • This can be scaffolded by giving students specific words related to the learning that they must include in their summaries.
  • This can be increased to any amount of money.

Headline Summaries

  • Similar to $2 summaries, have students write a newspaper headline that gives the main points of the lesson.

Shaping Up Review

  • Students will synthesize major concepts from the lesson using four different shapes.

Your Writing Tool Box

  • Writing Tasks
  • Types of Writing
  • Quality
  • Checks
  • PARCC Writing Forms
  • Unique to 6-12
  • Writing Strategies
  • Motivational Strategies
  • On
  • Demand
  • Informative/
  • Explanatory
  • Argumentative/
  • Opinion
  • Content
  • Organization
  • Anecdotes
  •  Apologies
  •  Complaints
  •  Editorials
  •  Interviews
  •  Satires
  •  Spoofs
  •  Testimonials
  • *All PARCC writing forms are useful for grades 6-12.
  • Read-Sketch-Write
  • Somebody Who
  • GIST
  • ABC summary
  • The Last Word
  • Think Pair Share
  • Think Pair Write
  • $2 Summaries
  • Shaping Up Review
  • Shared Events
  • Yourself as a Model
  • Hold Off on Grading
  • Casual Talk to Generate Writing
  • Think Like a Football Coach


  • US
  • Them

Thank your for a great session!

  • Thank your for a great session!
  • Cindy Gipson
  • Shelita Brown
  • Stacy Sanchez

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