Thank you #TWTBlog Authors for this series last week, “Assessment Strengthens Writers”. Last night’s Twitter Chat was simply amazing and if you weren’t there, you can check out the storified version here.
The questions that vaulted us into the twittersphere were:
But this morning, I’m stuck on “How do I use assessment to strengthen my own writing?”
And every one of those questions MATTER!
- What assessment tools and strategies do I use?
- How do I deep track of my progress on assessments?
- How do I use on-demand writing to inform my progress?
- How do I collaborate with colleagues on my assessments?
- How do I communicate my growth to myself?
- How do I see my growth in writing over time?
- Where does self-assessment fit into the life of a writing teacher?
Much has been written about the need for writing teachers to write. October 20 was #WhyIWrite.
What has been written about the need for writing teachers to self-assess and to work collaboratively with others in order to grow their own skills? Today this space is dedicated to thinking about how best to continue to “Walk the Talk” and to grow and strengthen my own writing.
If one of my claims is that . . .”My writing improves as my volume of writing grows.”
How will I measure that?
How DO I measure that?
I have some work to do in order to answer these questions.
How will you “Strengthen Your Writing”?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
“QUOTE OF THE DAY
“You learn to write by writing. It’s a truism, but what makes it a truism is that it’s true. The only way to learn to write is to force yourself to produce a certain number of words on a regular basis.” –William Zinsser in On Writing Well.”
This was part of Stacey’s call to post quotes this morning! Do you REALLY believe it? What’s the evidence? Is it the number of words you write? Is it the amount of time you write?
Is your threshold for evidence AT LEAST what you would expect from your students? Think about how often you require students to write “on demand” . . .
But . . . they get to choose what they write about!
“It’s still an on demand.”
“But that’s required for IEP/Progress Monitoring . . . “
“Whatever you “require” for your students, you should meet or exceed as the teacher! The March Challenge to write for 31 days straight is basically equal to requiring a weekly on demand during the school year. And think of the stamina that is built up.”
Are you writing as much as your students?
Should you be writing MORE?
Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy at “Two Writing Teachers” for creating a place for us to share our work.
Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsey for creating a place for us to work collaboratively.
What a fun day today as a fourth grade team reviewed opinion on-demands and worked on scoring them. Conversations were rich as we focused on evidence of what the students “can do” and then moved on to consider the implications for instruction.
Instruction will include how students can use the Units of Study checklist to evaluate their own work and set goals. Two definite areas that we saw for instruction were “leads” and “transitions” so that led our thinking to possibilities for charts. (I like to “develop” them electronically in order to have a copy with me for reference as I move from building to building.) Two charts that we are considering as we have students “reflect” on their own writing include:
The first column in “rising steps of complexity” are examples of opening paragraphs. The text boxes on the arrows name the student move(s) used.
This second chart is about transition words. “Because” is tricky when it is used at three different levels. Is it the only transition word used? If so, probably not a “3 Star” use of transitions. Because is a perfect direct link for a reason “why” but has less value as a transition as we move up the steps and through the grade levels.
After students self-assess their own writing, they can set goals and have some model words/text to help them visibly see what their targeted learning looks like. Visible targets for students? Increasing the likelihood that students can meet the targets – progressions that “show” students how to write better!