How are YOUR students doing in writing? How do you know?
A few years ago the National Writing Project commissioned a public opinion survey entitled “The 2007 Survey on Teaching Writing.” The results are reported here and one quote is also included directly below.
“Americans believe that good writing skills are more important than ever, but they fear that our schools and our children are falling behind. Two-thirds of the public would like to see more resources invested in helping teachers teach writing. And 74 percent think writing should be taught in all subjects and at all grade levels.”
The good news is that the Common Core State Standards do include writing standards that cover ALL subjects and ALL grade levels. Those College and Career Ready Writing Anchor standards are:
Text Types and Purposes
- CCRA.W.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
- 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.
- CCRA.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.
Production and Distribution of Writing
- CCRA.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
- CCRA.W.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
- CCRA.W.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
- CCRA.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
- CCRA.W.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
- CCRA.W.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Range of Writing
- 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.
Last year #TeacherWeek reported that “80% of the U.S. population surveyed think that writing well is more important than 20 yrs ago; 75% think schools should put more emphasis on writing.” Both of these percentages continue to climb steadily upward.
Do you know the answers to these questions?
- Are ALL teachers teaching writing in their content areas?
- Do teachers use the same common language when teaching writing?
- Do students know what the writing learning targets are?
- Do parents and community members know what the student writing learning targets are?
- Are the same rubrics used across multiple content areas and multiple grades?
- Do students write for a variety of purposes, across content areas, throughout the day?
- Are students making progress in meeting the writing anchor standards?
Who have you shared those answers with?
What would your community say about the progress that the students in your school are making in writing? How would they know?