Sunday, January 27, 2013

Student Friendly Writing Checklists

I found these "Student Friendly" Writing Checklists which align really well with our RSU 24  Writing Rubrics.

Leave a Comment and let us know what you think.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Writing in RSU 24: Reflection on the 2 year Writing Initiative

Please share your thoughts, questions and comments.  Just click on Comments below.

What are we doing with Writing Agreements in our individual schools?
  • How are those Writing Agreements working?  ELA folks? Content folks? Specials?
  • What is not working with these Writing Agreements and other Writing Efforts?
  • How should we move forward to sustain Writing?
  • What's ahead next year for RSU 24 Writing expectations?
  • How will we map our Writing Curriculum as a way to continue improving Writing literacy?
  • Should students be writing on demand as in Writing Assessments for the district level?  (Local Assessments in Writing?)
  • Should the RSU adopt the 6-8 ELA Springboard program?
  • ELA students at both high schools are Springboarders?  How is it going?
  • Why not provide RSU 24 Content Teachers a forum for discussing Writing Agreements to inform district decisions?
  • Why not provide RSU 24 Specials Teachers a forum for discussing Writing Agreements to inform district decisions?
  • Both Forums must have a voice!
  •  What will/should Writing Agreements look like in music, art, physical education, guidance (where guidance has a curriculum being taught)?  
  • Are Kid Friendly rubrics in the making?
Today's lengthy and deep discussions were clearly showing that our students are writing a great deal more district wide.  Additionally, our Writing Expectations must be revisited and evaluated for relevance and effectiveness with more buy in and involving more non ELA teachers in the district Writing work.  Conversely, much work lies ahead of us with some shifts in how we agree on Writing Expectations.  Science, math, and social studies teachers need opportunities to lead decision making around these agreements.  6-8 science, math, an social studies Writing must be embedded in the curricula being used...not mandated as in the past agreements.  6-7 Science Programs provide students with tremendous Writing opportunites.  8 Science may look a bit different with the writing piece.  Socials Studies 6-8 offers tremendous Writing opportunities as well.

The Springboard ELA program is a real possibility.   March inservice will include presentations on this program.  No decision was made to adopt!

Atlas Rubicon is a curriculum mapping program new to the district and spreading in popularity.  Stay tuned for more coming to a school near you.  This mapping system is used to map the expectations around literacy, where the gaps might be, where could we use more professional development, etc.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

You are Here!

Literacy Team Members, PLEASE Check In Under Comments

Thursday, January 17, 2013

School Wide Writing Prompt

If you could have 100 of any one thing, what would you want?  Why?  Your writing may be published in the HGS newsletter.

Give students 60 minutes to plan and write this composition.  An additional 30 minutes is okay.  Total of 90 minutes.

At our March 1st PLC's, we'll practice scoring these writings.  

K,1,2 Teachers, please talk among yourselves about the writing directions for your younger writers.  The directions I posted above follow similar directions as those on the 5th and 8th grade NECAPs.  Do what you consider appropriate.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

ELA Grades 6-8 Literacy Forum

Meeting Notes:  Folks who could make it included Lyn Wilson, Valerie Sprague, Jacquie Leighton, Sally Leighton, and Carol Duffy. We missed our other members who could not make it. 
  • Everyone created a blog to begin using.  Valerie, who currently blogs with her sixth grade homeroom, learned more about Comment features and etiquette of commenting. Her Sixth Grade Blog design has a new look.  Sally and Carol both created homeroom blogs as well.  We looked at how to add images and hyperlinks.   We talked about how effective blogging can be when students have an audience for publishing and communicating. 
  • Discussion about the length of literacy blocks for middle school ELA students continues to be a part of our support at the forum.  
  • Lyn shared more about the CCS, the 2013 NECAP.  She brings information to us from the State Literacy folks and keeps us in tune with the Shifts.   Carol and Sally shared info about the writing test samples.  Students will be interacting with multi-media content and demonstrating research skills much more than our current Writing Test.  Carol suggested we look at these samples.
  • Next Meeting Topics:  Sally Leighton will share a Writing Strategy which has helped many of her students elaborate on writing ideas.  VERY effective.  
  • Another topic:  continued topics about blogging and blog features (widgets, adding video, Commenting Etiquette, etc.  See below for last night's Agenda and links we did not time. 
  • Another topic:  a look at the writing test of 2014. 
  • Another topic:   You choose  (-:

Meeting Agenda:
  • Using Blogs in the Classroom
  • Lyn Wilson:  Sharing her resources and insights
  • Other?
Using Blogs in the Classroom: a Wiki    <------- Click

Youtube Intro to Blogging

Commenting Skills:  A Biggie on Blogging

Classroom Blogging Ideas:

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Literacy Team Agenda/Meeting Notes

1.  Explore Close Reading Texts for upcoming Book Talk.

     Book Talk Dates?

2.  Share Action Plan.

3.  Writing Sustainability Plan 1st  RSU 24 Meeting on January 24.  I agreed to attend.  Can I take along your hopes, concerns, questions, suggestions?  These are the topics I was given which will guide the work:
·      Recommendations for specific district level writing expectations
           (ELA, Core Content Classes, Other Classes)
·      Review current rubrics (strengths, needs)
·      Determine the need for “student friendly” copies of our rubrics
·      Review current anchor papers (gaps, usefulness)
·      Determine recommendations for developing district level writing prompt cycle/process

3.  Next Meeting?  Plan for Spring Writing Prompt.  After MCLP?

Meeting Notes:  Present...Cheryl, Renee, Jen, Megan, Jenn, Jacquie, Valerie

1.  We spent some time trouble shooting the access of the blog.  We have a few glitches which Jacquie will talk to IT about.
2.  Jacquie would like to give this blog a chance to serve as a  "venue" for our literacy talks and literacy sharing staff-wide.  
3.  Literacy Team Members:  Please leave a Comment under the Writing Prompt Post to show you are "in" as a Commenter (at least.)  
4.  Jacquie asked about the role of the TEAM given MCLP is ending.  The Common Core Standards and professional development on "unpacking" the standards is needed.  This Team could facilitate that.  When?  Not enough time during Staff Meetings.
4.  Next topic:  A school wide writing prompt as a means to understanding the rubric, looking at student writing K-8, celebrating our 100th day of school, and practicing writing.
5.  Each Literacy Team Member will facilitate blind scoring at a March PLC.  
6.  Our next Lit Team Meeting:  February 26.  We'll plan for the Blind Scoring Protocols.
7.  March will be the month for a Book Talk on Close Reading.   Thursdays seem to be the  best afternoons for most folks.  I'll get back to you on those dates.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

How Important is Teaching Literacy in All Content Areas? | Edutopia

How Important is Teaching Literacy in All Content Areas? | Edutopia

"Let's define literacy. It was once known simply as the ability to read and write. Today it's about being able to make sense of and engage in advanced reading, writing, listening, and speaking."
-Rebecca Alber

Friday, January 4, 2013

Close Reading and the CCSS, Part 1

Close Reading and the CCSS, Part 1: Dr. Douglas Fisher discusses close reading and how it relates to the Common Core State Standards for English/Language Arts.

1. Comments?  Questions?  
2.  What is a way you weave instruction in reading, listening, writing, and speaking into the content you teach? Please share!   


6  Instructional Shifts

1. Text Complexity Standards:  reading, writing, & speaking

2. Nonfiction and Fiction balance  K-5  ;   Nonfiction tips the scales 6-12.

3. Greater Emphasis on Knowledge in the Disciplines:  6-12

4. Close Reading: Understanding and Inferring author's point of view, Author's use of Text features and organizational styles to promote POV. College/Career Readiness depend on annotating and thinking while reading.


5. More Writing From Sources... Expository, Argumentative, Narrative:  Inference Wheel, Summarizing, Quoting, drawing text evidence, etc.  Thinkquiry Toolkit

6. Academic and Content Vocabulary: Tier 2 & Tier 3 words
  Word Clouds: Science Lesson:  <-----CLICK THERE.