Tag Archives: informational/explanatory

Writing and the Common Core / Iowa Core


In preparation for providing professional development on the English Language Arts (ELA) Standards, I specifically studied the Writing Standards.  The more I read, the more I wondered about my own writing skills.

What’s the big deal?  Are your students currently able to write at a level consistent with the language of the Common Core as outlined in the following excerpt?

“Note on range and content of student writing

 For students, writing is a key means of asserting and defending claims, showing what they know about a subject, and conveying what they have experienced, imagined, thought, and felt. To be college- and career-ready writers, students must take task, purpose, and audience into careful consideration, choosing words, information, structures, and formats deliberately. They need to know how to combine elements of different kinds of writing—for example, to use narrative strategies within argument and explanation within narrative—to produce complex and nuanced writing. They need to be able to use technology strategically when creating, refining, and collaborating on writing and visual media. They have to become adept at gathering information, evaluating sources, and citing material accurately, reporting findings from their research and analysis of sources in a clear and cogent manner. They must have the flexibility, concentration, and fluency to produce high-quality first draft text under a tight deadline as well as the capacity to revisit and make improvements to a piece of writing over multiple drafts when circumstances encourage or require it.” (page 41 Common Core/page 54 Iowa Core)

Resources Available to Enhance Your Understanding of Writing:

  • ELA Core Anchor and Grade Level Standards (Iowa Core in my case)
  • Common Core Standards Appendix A
  • Common Core Standards Appendix C – Writing Samples
  • The seven book series:    Getting to the Core of  Writing: Essential Lessons for Every   (Kindergarten through Sixth Grade) Student.  Authors:  Richard Gentry, Jan McNeel and Vickie Wallace -Nesler.  The resources are aligned with the Common Core State Standards and are embedded with six traits quality writing.
  • Energize Research Reading and Writing:  Fresh Strategies to Spark Interest, Develop Independence, and Meet Key Common Core Standards, Grades 4-8 by Christopher Lehman. The book is designed to help students become critical thinkers.
  • The three book series:  So, What’s the Story?: Teaching Narrative to Understand Ourselves, Others, and the World (Exceeding the Common Core State Standards) by James Fredricksen, Jeffrey D Wilhelm and Michael Smith, Get it Done!: Writing and Analyzing Informational Texts to Make Things Happen (Exceeding the Common Core State Standards) by Jeffrey D Wilhelm, Michael Smith and James Fredricksen,  and Oh, Yeah?!: Putting Argument to Work Both in School and Out (Exceeding the Common Core State Standards) by Michael Smith, Jeffrey D Wilhelm and James Fredricksen
  • Teaching Argument Writing, Grades 6-12: Supporting Claims with Relevant Evidence and Clear Reasoning  by George Hillocks, Jr.
  • Numerous other texts on my shelves including authors Jim Burke, Kelly Gallagher, and Lucy Calkins

Deconstucted standards available include:

See North Carolina’s deconstructed ELA standards with narratives and prompts HERE.

See Kentucky’s deconstructed standards  HERE for ELA.

Added 12/2/2012 @ 3:21 pm CST http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/classroom_qa_with_larry_ferlazzo/2012/12/response_a_napkin_curriculum_for_writing.html?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

My most important takeaway ~ All of these authors are talking about writing beyond task completion in school!!!

What resources are YOU using to improve teaching AND learning in writing?

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