Sunday, September 30, 2012

Just a quarter of students deemed proficient on national writing exam - Courtesy of ASCD Smart Brief

  • Only about 25% of the eighth- and 12th-graders taking the National Assessment of Educational Progress writing assessment last year scored at the proficient level or higher. Students took the exam, known as the nation's report card, on laptops as part of a new format that requires answering questions and essay writing. Students also were evaluated based on how often they used editing tools, such as spell-check and copy-and-paste functions, so students with experience doing assignments on computers performed better on the test. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (9/14)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Writing focus turns struggling school into model of reform - courtesy of ASCD Smartbrief

New Dorp High School in Staten Island, N.Y., seemed on the brink of closure in 2009 when principal Deirdre DeAngelis and her staff began focusing on analytic writing throughout the curriculum. Teachers began by showing students the basic parts of speech and essay structure. Test scores have since increased with more students taking college preparatory classes and the graduation rate is expected to reach 80%, increasing from 63% before the writing program started. The Atlantic online (9/20)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Great blog for writing ideas for everyone!! Courtesy of Choice Literacy

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The Big Fresh Newsletter from Choice Literacy
Literacy teachers are part of a global community. If you want a reminder of how much our work matters, look no further than photographer Steve McCurry's blog.  His post To Fly is filled with gorgeous pictures of readers from around the world, interspersed with quotes you'll want to savor and share:
McCurry's photo essay on writing, Just Write, is also hauntingly beautiful:

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A writing teacher shares his tough approach - Courtesy of ASCD Smartbrief

  • Here is a great article on high school writing.  The focus on self expression versus impressing others is key - and provides a point of view many of us will value. 

  • High-school English teacher Rick Cannon pushes his students to express themselves through writing and not just to impress others, columnist Jay Mathews writes in this blog post. Cannon turned one struggling student into a writer, who now teaches the craft. "Writing is a solitary, late night, early morning sort of thing," Cannon instructs in his first handout to his 11th-grade students. "Unless you're a literary genius -- a Shakespeare or a Crane -- it's never a one-shot deal, always revision, revision, revision, over time." The Washington Post/Class Struggle blog (8/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story