The purpose of this blog is to provide a space to share teaching ideas that deal with writing - K to 12.
Recently, I have been working in schools, implementing the Calkins' Units of Study that are aligned with the CCSS. This program and the rubrics that accompany it are often used as a framework to meet proficiency guidelines.
I will continue to post articles that support these processes.
Please join in.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
As we transition into the CCSS genres, the use of mentor texts is crucial. Here are some great ideas from Choice Literacy. Enjoy!!
The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.
Last week I visited a sixth-grade class led by Justin
Stygles in Norway, Maine. There was lots of marvelous teaching and learning
going on, but what caught my eye was a short article about a football
controversy. It was the week before the Super Bowl, and the New England
Patriots wouldn't be in it because of their loss to the Denver Broncos. The hot
topic from the New England loss a week earlier was a statement by their coach
Bill Belichick, criticizing a Denver player and accusing him of an illegal hit. I asked Justin about the article on the wall, as well as an
argument anchor chart linked to the article. Justin said, "Oh, that was a fun
one. I brought in three short texts the Monday after the game - one from the
Boston newspaper, one from the Denver Post, and one from an impartial sports
site." He went on to explain how he had the class read all three articles to
weigh in on what the correct call should be. Was the play illegal? Was the call
justified? The class reviewed video of the play and studied the NFL rulebook, and students
brought in other articles to support or refute claims by classmates. "It was especially fun hearing from students who weren't
football fans," said Justin. "At first, they said they wouldn't be able to make
a judgment call because they didn't know the game. I told them that put them in
the best position to decide, since they would be truly impartial when they read
the articles, the rule, and viewed the video." They found their status was
elevated because their passion for football or prejudice for a specific team
wouldn't get in the way. Students argued their cases in writing, publishing them
to the class blog, and Justin tweeted them out to the feeds of Boston and
Denver sports sites. It was a week after the assignment, and everyone was still
buzzing about it. Justin's creativity reminded me again of the power of short
texts, and the talent teachers have for tapping into student interests to make
literacy come alive. Short texts are a hot topic now, because they lend
themselves to close reading and strategy work across the curriculum. They are
our focus this week - enjoy!
Founder, Choice Literacy
Free for All
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Katie DiCesare's online course Designing Primary Writing Units with the Common Core in Mind begins
early next month. The ten-day course includes three webcasts, personal
response from Katie, a DVD, and many print and video resources. For
details on registering, click on the link below: