This Access Center resource is intended to help teachers implement writing instruction that will lead to better writing outcomes for students with and without writing difficulties. We provide research-based recommendations, activities, and materials to effectively teach writing to the wide range of students educators often find in their classrooms. There are three apparent reasons why so many children and youth find writing challenging. First, composing text is a complex and difficult undertaking that requires the deployment and coordination of multiple affective, cognitive, linguistic, and physical operations to accomplish goals associated with genre-specific conventions, audience needs, and an author's communicative purposes.
She has a fantastic idea for a new assignment. Before she can give this assignment to her students, Mrs. Jones needs to get a few things on paper. She starts by writing up a prompt. Jones smile as her fingers fly across the keyboard, crafting the language that describes what students will do.
Jones creates an empty table with four columns — one for each level of proficiency — and five rows that break down the areas that will be assessed. Four rows, five columns. Jones prepares to fill all twenty cells.
Jones slump down in her chair. Jones, you rely on densely packed analytic rubrics to assess student work.
But creating these rubrics — trying to imagine every possible scenario that will result in an assignment being labeled as a 1, 2, 3 or 4, or whatever terminology might stand for those numbers — can be both soul-crushing and time-consuming.
And do students even read these rubrics? Having been on the receiving end of multi-page, multi-cell rubrics stuffed to the gills with 9-point font, I would say no. I did not read all of those cells. I looked at the third and fourth columns, where expectations met and exceeded expectations were described, and I did everything I could to make my work satisfy those criteria.
The other two columns got little more than a glance. Make learning a conversation Might there be a better way? The answer is yes, and its name is the single-point rubric.
Instead of detailing all the different ways an assignment deviates from the target, the single-point rubric simply describes the target, using a single column of traits. For some, this alternative might cause apprehension: But when I used analytic rubrics, I ended up having to do a bunch of writing anyway, squeezing my comments into the cells to provide more specific feedback, or adding a long note at the end summarizing the factors that influenced the score.
With a single-point rubric, the farce of searching for the right pre-scripted language is over, leaving you free to describe exactly what this student needs to work on.
The open columns on either side leave plenty of room to comment on exactly what this student needs to do to improve their work, or to pinpoint the ways they have gone above and beyond. Only in cases where feedback is never part of the plan: But a teacher aspires to more than that.
And different aspirations require different tools.
You and me and Mrs. We can do better. The following two tabs change content below.Five Steps to Teaching Any Character Trait.
The only chance many of today's students have to learn the traits of solid character is from a caring, committed teacher.
Practical Homeschooling Articles / Columnists 1,+ free articles on how to homeschool, college at home, math, science, history, reading, unit studies, classical education, much more! Qualities of strong writing instruction. In order for teachers to support all students' writing ability development, certain qualities of the writing classroom must be present.
Our Evan-Moor Daily 6-Trait Writing Workbook for Grade 6 will help your students develop important writing skills that will benefit them in all aspects of learning.
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