A Workshop on Writing Instruction Presenter: Amy Benjamin Today’s visuals are available to you at www.amybenjamin.com Today’s Topics: Differentiating instruction to meet student needs Difference between revising and editing Using “Reading Rods” to develop sentence sense “Sentence-making Kit” to write and develop complete sentences Writer’s Workshop Model Using pictures to prompt four kinds of writing purposes Suggestions for writing introductions and conclusions A brainstorming technique Solving common writing problems Teaching students to write four different kinds of questions
Where do I need help? Answering the question Organizing my ideas Getting Started; Writing the introduction Development Vocabulary Writing the Conclusion Capitalizing Using punctuation Spelling Writing neatly and clearly
_____________’s Proofreading List When I proofread my pre-final draft, I need to look carefully at these things, which might be problems: • _______________________ • _______________________ • _______________________ run-ons punctuation capitalization spelling: suffixes Word Wall words ie ei homonyms descriptive words indenting repetitive then/than too many “then I” sentence variety: different beginnings spacing, letter heights, careful letter formation subject-verb agreement NO wanna, gonna, cuz, & and other “speaky” “words”
_____________’s Proofreading List When I proofread my pre-final draft, I need to look carefully at these things, which might be problems: • _______________________ • _______________________ • _______________________
_____________’s Proofreading List Alison When I proofread my pre-final draft, I need to look carefully at these things, which might be problems: • ___Complete sentences____________________ • ___capital letters_____________ • _too many times I say I I I ___________________
Writing Tasks: Range Where are we now? Where would we like to be? More complexity Less complexity Evaluate Compare & Contrast Recommend Persuade Draw conclusions Make generalizations List Define Describe Identify Put in order Create categories Apply Illustrate Give examples of Summarize, paraphrase, restate Analyze (take apart + put together)
Scaffolding higher-level tasks Gradual release of responsibility: • Provide a word bank • Provide sentence stems (template) • Provide models; copy the models
The Difference Between Revision and Editing Revision is about transforming: Editing is about correcting: Grammar: Agreement: Subject-verb Pronoun-antecedent Pronoun case Adjectival Adverbial Usage: Proper verb forms Consistency of verb tense Clarity: Placement of sentence elements Spelling Capitalization Punctuation Inadvertently omitted or ineffectively repeated words Overall presentation and “look” of the piece Content: Through the pre-writing and drafting stages, the writer may develop a new conception of where the whole piece wants to go. Organization: The writer may rearrange sentences or paragraphs. The writer will probably want to add transitions: in and out of paragraphs and from sentence to sentence within paragraphs Language: The writer should be upgrading vocabulary to be interesting, varied, and appropriate for the audience. The writer should also be combining sentences, eliminating redundancy, and using other rhetorical techniques that make the language more powerful and efficient.
Meaning: Did you do what the question asked you to do? (Also called: focus, addressing the task Language: Is your word choice (diction) appropriate, efficient, interesting, and varied? Is your sentence structure (syntax) appropriate, efficient, interesting, and varied? Have you written from the appropriate P.O.V? Is your language tone (register) appropriate for your audience? Development: Do you have sufficient supportive information, such as: reasons, examples, anecdotes, textual reference, proof Revision Organization: Editing: Do you give your reader enough transitional words between and within paragraphs? Surface Features, such as: Grammatical mismatches and errors Spelling, capitalization, punctuation Do your introduction and conclusion serve your purpose?
Writer’s Workshop Model Students have open flexible time (usually about forty minutes each day, three or four days a week) for writing. Students design their own writing program, with help from the teacher. Topics, form, and format are chosen by the student. Students draft several pieces, and then choose one of their drafts to take through the remaining phases of the writing process (…revision, editing, publication) Revision: Peer readers respond to the draft Editing: With teacher assistance Publication: Copied neatly or typewritten; illustrated; displayed or published in a book; student sits in the “Author’s Chair” and reads his or her piece to an audience How is your writing class similar to/different from this model? What might you like to adapt? Based on Lucy Calkins’ model from The Art of Teaching Writing
4 Purposes for Writing To Persuade To Inform To Entertain To Socialize
How to use the ACTION FLASH CARDS to expand sentence skills: Have students express what is happening in the action flash card using various sentence forms: Step One: Explain what is happening in your action flash card. Step Two: Now, experiment with many different ways to write your sentence: Ex: Begin with There is/ There are____________ Don’t begin with the or a Write a yes/no question Write a Who? or What? or When? or Where? or Why? question Write a sentence that has an -ING word Write a sentence that has a word in it that you’ve never written before Write a sentence that does not use IS or ARE or WAS or WERE Write a sentence that uses BECAUSE in the middle Write a sentence that use SO in the middle Write a sentence that needs a comma Write a sentence that shows a detail Write a sentence that could be the first sentence of a story Write a sentence that could be the last sentence of a story
Who? Where? Language Development: Students place a picture in the center of this page. They compose sentences that answer the six information questions. Why? What? How? When?
5 Techniques for Writing Excellent Introductions Technique 1: Begin with an anecdote Example: How Are You Being Controlled? When someone in my family needs shoes, we go to the Big Box Store. My mom tells me that before I was born, there were many shoe stores in our town. But they all closed one by one when the Big Box Store opened up.
5 Techniques for Writing Excellent Introductions Technique 2: Begin with a meaningful quotation Example: How I Solved a Problem In the Beatitudes, Jesus said, “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.”
5 Techniques for Writing Excellent Introductions Technique 3: Begin with “news”: Example: Cigarette Advertising to Kids Our guest speaker told us that ninety percent of American smokers started as teenagers.
5 Techniques for Writing Excellent Introductions Technique 4: Begin with background. Example: Illegal Drugs in Sports The United States Congress held hearings to find out about the problem of professional baseball players who have been using illegal steroids to make them bigger and stronger.
5 Techniques for Writing Excellent Introductions Technique 5: Begin with an announcement Example: My Brother I am going to tell you why my brother Kevin makes our family laugh.
And a few techniques you might want to avoid: • Dictionary definition • In this report, I am going to talk about… • Did you ever…..? (flat, uninteresting question)
5 Techniques for Writing Excellent Conclusions Technique 1: End with an instruction to the reader: If….then… Example: How to Care for a Pet If you follow these steps, your pet will be safe and happy, and so will you.
5 Techniques for Writing Excellent Conclusions Technique 2: End with a prediction Example: How to Care for a Pet I predict that if you take good care of your pet, you will want another one soon.
5 Techniques for Writing Excellent Conclusions Technique 3: End with a strong, emotional statement Example: How to Care for a Pet You promised your parents you would take care of your pet, so now do it!!!
5 Techniques for Writing Excellent Conclusions Technique 4: End with a statement that “echoes” your opening statement. Example: How to Care for a Pet Tippy always greets Jason with a wagging tail and a happy face because he knows that Jason loves him.
5 Techniques for Writing Excellent Conclusions Technique 5: End with a question that leaves the reader thinking. Example: How to Care for a Pet Do you think you are ready for the responsibility for taking care of a pet?
A Brainstorming-Organization TechniqueFirst,brainstorm the phrases. Then,sortthem into the three columns: beginning, middle, end. Then, put the phrases in order within the beginning, middle, and end. Then, create sentences. Then, link main ideas together with transitions (and, but, so).
Problem-Solver: Student writing When my students (mistakenly) write this: and I want them (instead) to write this: Here is what I might suggest:
Teaching Students to Write Different Kinds of Questions Topic:_________________________ Yes/No Questions: Require a yes/no answer Begin with: Is/are/was/were Do/did/does
Teaching Students to Write Different Kinds of Questions Topic:_________________________ “Inch” or “centimeter” questions: Require an answer of one or two words Begin with Which one…?/ What kind…?/How many…? Who is…?/What is…?
Teaching Students to Write Different Kinds of Questions Topic:_________________________ “Foot” or “meter” questions: Require you to read a passage and state it in your own words Begin with: Explain…; Summarize… Tell about…
Teaching Students to Write Different Kinds of Questions Topic:_________________________ “Mile” or “kilometer”questions: Require you to find the answer by looking at various sources and draw your own conclusions Begin with: What if…? What do you think about…? Why do you think…? Would you want…?