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Casework in K–6 Writing Instruction

Connecting Composing Strategies, Digital Literacies, and Disciplinary Content to the Common Core

by Jenifer Jasinski Schneider (Volume editor)
Textbook X, 249 Pages
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Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Decisions, Decisions …
  • Why Cases?
  • Case Creation
  • How to Use the Cases
  • Final Thoughts
  • Key Terms
  • Balanced Literacy
  • Cognitive Models and Self-regulation
  • Demand Writing or Prompted Writing
  • Direct Instruction
  • Language Experience Approach
  • Process Writing
  • Traits Models and Assessment Systems
  • Word Study
  • Writing Workshop
  • Common Core Crosswalk
  • Sample Activities
  • Bibliography
  • 1. Creating Illustrations and Text during Writing Workshop (Kindergarten)
  • Abstract
  • Setting
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Writing
  • Text Types and Purposes
  • Production and Distribution of Writing
  • Research to Build and Present Knowledge
  • Speaking and Listening
  • The Case
  • Introducing Writing Workshop: Purposes and Practices
  • Audience Assistance
  • Luis’s Letters and Sounds
  • Discussion Questions
  • Reflections
  • Structuring Spaces and Instruction to Support Text Construction and Analysis
  • Phonemic and Phonological Awareness and Phonics
  • From Mechanics to Meaning
  • Incorporating Illustrations and Artwork
  • Final Thoughts
  • References
  • 2. Exploring Identity through Word Choice: Using Multicultural Literature to Create Connections (Kindergarten)
  • Abstract
  • Setting
  • Common Core Standards
  • Writing
  • Production and Distribution of Writing
  • Reading
  • Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
  • Speaking and Listening
  • Comprehension and Collaboration
  • Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
  • Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
  • The Case
  • Writing to Extend Reading
  • Independent and Guided Writing
  • Publication
  • Discussion Questions
  • Reflection
  • Multicultural Literature
  • What’s in a Name?
  • Word Choice
  • Technology
  • Final Thoughts
  • Children’s Literature Cited
  • Multicultural Literature Resources
  • Website Resources
  • Bibliography
  • 3. Not Your Grandmother’s Writing Lesson: Teaching Concepts and Conventions through Digital Interactive Writing (First Grade)
  • Abstract
  • Setting
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Writing
  • Text Types and Purposes
  • Production and Distribution of Writing
  • Research to Build and Present Knowledge
  • The Case
  • Discussion Questions
  • Reflections
  • Working on Multiple Literacy Strategies
  • Family as Built-in Audience
  • The Digital Whiteboard
  • Final Thoughts
  • Bibliography
  • 4. Using Mentor Texts to Write Personal Narrative Small Moment Stories (First Grade)
  • Abstract
  • Setting
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Writing
  • Text Types and Purposes
  • Production and Distribution of Writing
  • Research to Build and Present Knowledge
  • The Case
  • Selecting a Mentor Text
  • Drawing Attention to Author Strategies
  • Imitating Authors
  • Modeling and Sharing Writing
  • Trying it Out
  • Questions
  • Reflections
  • Mentor Texts and Literary Borrowing
  • Sensory Writing through Sensory Deprivation
  • Final Thoughts
  • Children’s Literature Cited
  • Website Resources
  • Bibliography
  • 5. Graphic Organizer or Fill-in-the-Blank Exercise: Teaching Expository Text Structures Using Fictional Characters (First Grade)
  • Abstract
  • Setting
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Writing
  • Text Types and Purposes
  • Production and Distribution of Writing
  • The Case
  • Discussion Questions
  • Reflections
  • Questioning Silence
  • Pre-text, Mentor Text, or Fill-in-the-Blank Text
  • Brainstorming and Copying Word Lists
  • Modeling
  • Final Thoughts
  • Children’s Literature Cited
  • Bibliography
  • 6. Telling Our Stories: Blogging with Primary English Language Learners (First Grade)
  • Abstract
  • Setting
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Writing
  • Text Types and Purposes
  • Production and Distribution of Writing
  • Research to Build and Present Knowledge
  • The Case
  • Questions
  • Reflections
  • The Value of Oral Language
  • Writing and Technology
  • Final Thoughts
  • Websites Cited
  • Bibliography
  • 7. Three Reasons Why: Teaching Writing through Repetitive Text Structures (Second Grade)
  • Abstract
  • Setting
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Text Types and Purposes
  • Production and Distribution of Writing
  • Research to Build and Present Knowledge
  • The Case
  • The Review
  • The Plan
  • Teacher Modeling: Recalling Rules
  • On Their Own
  • Discussion Questions
  • Reflections
  • Time
  • Topic Choice
  • Talk
  • Modeling Strategies
  • Final Thoughts
  • Bibliography
  • 8. “There’s no electricity in Cracker Country”: Writing from Experience (Second Grade)
  • Abstract
  • Setting
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Writing
  • Text Type and Purposes
  • Research to Build and Present Knowledge
  • The Case
  • Revisiting Cracker Country
  • Shared Writing
  • “Independent” Writing
  • Discussion Questions
  • Reflections
  • Planning with Lists
  • Purpose and Audience
  • Talk
  • Quality versus Quantity
  • Final Thoughts
  • Bibliography
  • 9. “I HATE writing!”: The Role of Applied Phonics and Teacher Conferences in Composition (Second Grade)
  • Abstract
  • Setting
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Writing
  • Text Types and Purposes
  • Production and Distribution of Writing
  • Research to Build and Present Knowledge
  • Phonics and Word Recognition
  • The Case
  • Teacher Modeling
  • I Can’t Write
  • Writing on Their Own
  • Discussion Questions
  • Reflections
  • Spelling is important
  • Spelling Is a Developmental Process
  • Conferencing and Phonics at the Point of Need
  • What about Balance?
  • Final Thoughts
  • Children’s Literature Cited
  • Bibliography
  • 10. Too Many Traits, Too Much Time: Trying to Teach Writing with Technology (Third Grade)
  • Abstract
  • Setting
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Reading Literature
  • The Case
  • Questions
  • Reflection
  • Brainstorming
  • Modeling
  • Closure and Review
  • Time
  • Lesson Scope
  • Technology
  • Final Thoughts
  • Children’s Literature Cited
  • Bibliography
  • 11. A Mexican Party in the Sky: Glitches in Composing with Digital Media and Disciplinary Content (Third Grade)
  • Abstract
  • Setting
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Writing
  • Text Types and Purposes
  • Production and Distribution of Writing
  • Research to Build and Present Knowledge
  • The Case
  • Sharing an Example
  • Modeling the Planning Process
  • Planning a Video: Students Have a Go
  • Hamsters in Mexico
  • Stop and Start Again
  • Discussion Questions
  • Reflection
  • The Call for Composing Multimodal Texts
  • Glitches and Hitches
  • Final Thoughts
  • Bibliography
  • 12. The Writing Runaround: Using Explicit Instruction to Teach Ideas and Organization through Modeled Writing (Fourth Grade)
  • Abstract
  • Setting
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Writing
  • Text Types and Purposes
  • Production and Distribution of Writing
  • Research to Build and Present Knowledge
  • The Case
  • Discussion Questions
  • Reflection
  • Discourses of Power, Control, and Direct Instruction
  • Discourse
  • Standards or Standardization?
  • Final Thoughts: The “At-Risk” Learner
  • Bibliography
  • 13. “This isn’t what we normally do”: Test Preparation and the Teaching of Writing (Fourth Grade)
  • Abstract
  • Setting
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Writing
  • Text Types and Purposes
  • Production and Distribution of Writing
  • The Case
  • Discussion Questions
  • Reflections
  • Differentiated Instruction
  • Collaboration
  • Student Choice
  • Mentor Texts and Genre Knowledge
  • Final Thoughts
  • Children’s Literature Cited
  • Bibliography
  • 14. “Honey, what does that mean?”: Conferencing with a Struggling Writer (Fourth Grade)
  • Abstract
  • Setting
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Writing
  • Text Types and Purposes
  • Production and Distribution of Writing
  • Range of Writing
  • The Case
  • Questions
  • Reflections
  • Conferencing Impressions
  • Guidance or Guessing
  • Final Thoughts
  • Children’s Literature Cited
  • Bibliography
  • 15. Hot and Spicy Words: Motivating Writing and Vocabulary Development (Fifth Grade)
  • Abstract
  • Setting
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Writing
  • Text Types and Purposes
  • Production and Distribution of Writing
  • Range of Writing
  • The Case
  • Meet the Teacher
  • The Lesson
  • Discussion Questions
  • Reflection
  • Connectedness
  • Reflective Practice: Attending to Vocabulary and Word Choice
  • Final Thoughts
  • Bibliography
  • 16. Negotiating American History: Bilingual Learners Collaboratively Compose Information Texts (Fifth Grade)
  • Abstract
  • Setting
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Writing
  • Text Types and Purposes
  • Production and Distribution of Writing
  • Research to Build and Present Knowledge
  • Range of Writing
  • The Case
  • Sharing Information and Reading Complex Texts
  • “Sharing” and Translating Research
  • Composing Text
  • Discussion Questions
  • Reflections
  • Language Navigation and Translation
  • Academic Literacies
  • Collaboration and Discussion
  • Final Thoughts
  • Bibliography
  • 17. Cloudy or Cumulus: Collaborative Composition and Storyboarding to Produce Print and Digital Science Texts (Fifth Grade)
  • Abstract
  • Setting
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Writing
  • Text Types and Purposes
  • Production and Distribution of Writing
  • Research to Build and Present Knowledge
  • Speaking & Listening
  • Comprehension and Collaboration
  • Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
  • The Case
  • Conducting Research and Composing Text
  • Visually Mapping and Producing a Film
  • Discussion Questions
  • Reflections
  • Collaboration and Preparation
  • Planning
  • Sequencing through Storyboarding
  • Science Information Text
  • Final Thoughts
  • Bibliography
  • 18. The Rights to Write: How the Constitutional Convention Helped Students Compose (Sixth Grade)
  • Abstract
  • Setting
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Writing
  • Text Types and Purposes
  • Production and Distribution of Writing
  • Research to Build and Present Knowledge
  • The Case
  • Questions
  • Reflections
  • Informational Writing
  • Mentor Texts
  • Social Studies Integration and Writing to Learn
  • Final Thoughts
  • Children’s Literature Cited
  • Bibliography
  • 19. Getting a Clue: Textual Toys and Shifting Designs for Digital Composition (Sixth Grade)
  • Abstract
  • Setting
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Writing
  • Text Types and Purposes
  • Production and Distribution of Writing
  • Speaking and Listening
  • Comprehension and Collaboration
  • Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
  • Language
  • Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
  • The Case
  • Planning the Concept
  • Filming Characters as Objects
  • Revising Characters through Performance
  • Composing Murder through Shots, Angles, and Acting
  • Editing in iMovie
  • Discussion Questions
  • Reflections
  • Common Core Standards
  • Traditional Literacy Skills Modified
  • Final Thoughts
  • Website Resources
  • Bibliography
  • List of Contributors
  • Index

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Introduction

JENIFER JASINSKI SCHNEIDER

This book is filled with writers—some struggling, some successful, some just doing what’s assigned. This book is also filled with teachers—some struggling, some successful, some doing what’s assigned. The purpose for sharing these cases of excellent and not-so-excellent writing instruction is for teachers to learn what is important about teaching writing—thinking. Thinking is paramount. Children must spend their days learning and engaged, thinking with their minds, words, bodies, and imaginations; otherwise, what’s the point? Similarly, teachers must spend their days fully engaged, enjoying the learning process, and understanding how to bring the best out of every child through deep knowledge of language (oral, visual, and written) and execution of explicit instruction regarding the purposes, forms, symbols, structures, and social-cultural uses of written text.

Decisions, Decisions …

It is important for teachers to think about what they teach, how they teach, and why they teach. Why do we ask students to write about imaginary classroom helpers versus field trips or the water cycle? When we create writing tasks, do we consider which assignment would be the most meaningful and supportive of student communication goals, or are we more often asking children to write without genuine purposes? Why do we ask students to write in silence? Is it based on conjecture that writers need silence in order to think or is it because teachers need quiet respites from too noisy children? When we make classroom choices to allow or disallow talk, do we understand the role of talking in idea development and the ways in which oral language interconnects with written language?

The decisions teachers make have very real effects. The cases in this book make this fact very clear. By using classroom examples to look closely at the ← 1 | 2 → relationship between teaching and learning, between writers and writing, between teaching and assigning work, you will understand; teachers are paramount.

Why Cases?

With the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010), students are required to demonstrate increasing sophistication in all aspects of language use, from vocabulary and syntax to the development and organization of ideas. Students should also be able to understand increasingly complex content and tap into multiple sources as they share disciplinary knowledge. It is demanding work.

Correspondingly, teachers must develop parallel sophistication in their writing instruction. The best approach to professional development of expert writing instruction is through apprenticeship and modeling with opportunities for reflection and development. However, in the absence of real-life field experiences, the lack of expert mentors in the classroom next door, and the limited time or opportunity to co-teach, cases provide an alternative. Similar to the use of case law comparisons in law school, or hospital rounds in medical school, educators can use cases to look closely at situated classroom practice.

Case Creation

Casework in K–6 Writing Instruction: Connecting Composing Strategies, Digital Literacies, and Disciplinary Content to the Common Core is a collection of cases that provides a unique approach to a methods text on the topic of writing instruction in elementary classrooms. I solicited examples from colleagues all over the United States, and some from those who are close to home, to gather individual teaching cases that capture a range of K–6 instructional scenes. The contributing authors found teachers who use print and media-based tools for the purposes of meeting literacy and disciplinary goals. They found teachers who follow various approaches and work with diverse students. They found teachers who are willing to allow others to observe, critique, and learn from them.

How to Use the Cases

In real life, teachers make choices and they also make mistakes. Using cases to share examples of realistic (and often imperfect) writing instruction ← 2 | 3 → provides the space for teacher educators, preservice teachers, and in-service teachers to discuss teaching choices with the goal of improving practices.

 Each case provides a glimpse into a different classroom scene.

 The cases are ordered by grade level, providing readers with an opportunity to consider developmental issues and instructional connections.

 The cases are contextualized, providing demographic information on the school, the students, and the teacher.

 Each case is anchored to relevant Common Core State Standards.

 The cases are followed by analytic reflections intended to connect the cases to research and theory. In other words, readers can find out more information and engage in additional reading on topics that matter.

 The analytic reflections serve as a point/counterpoint opportunity for case readers. Readers may certainly agree with the analytic summary or take a counterpoint stance. Either way, the case serves as the data for decision making and a jumping-off point for further discussion.

 The key terms, crosswalk, and index help readers identify topics of interest (e.g., phonics, second language learners, technology). Some topics are featured more often than others. For example, “talk” is discussed repeatedly. However, the ways in which teachers use talk (e.g., no talking, quiet whispering, supervised buddy talk, or authentic student discussions) varies across the cases.

 This book shows preservice and in-service teachers how other teachers have implemented particular methods and strategies. It provides a safe place to discuss teaching choices and children’s responses to teaching.

Each case is different but organized in similarly structured chapters to assist you in making comparisons. Therefore, each chapter includes the following: an abstract, demographic information about the participants, a listing of the relevant Common Core Standards, the case, reflective analysis of the case, and a bibliography. The case section of each chapter includes a description of a teaching episode presented through actual classroom dialogue, observational descriptions, writing samples, and photographs.

Final Thoughts

As you read this book, I hope you gain appreciation for the range of possibilities for the teaching of writing. I hope you undertand the impact of teaching decisions and the results of your practice. I hope you see your writing instruction in a whole new way so that your teaching routines become clear and purposeful choices. Most of all, I hope the cases make you think. ← 3 | 4 →

Key Terms

Across the cases, teachers consistently borrowed procedures and routines from common instructional models. Rather than repeat information about these approaches within each chapter, the following summaries provide a brief introduction to the range of strategies used within the specific cases.

Balanced Literacy

Fountas and Pinnell outline a balanced approach to teaching writing built around the gradual release of responsibility model (Pearson & Gallagher, 1983). In balanced literacy approaches, students learn writing strategies, genre characteristics, and writers’ craft lessons as their teacher engages in instruction that begins with the highest level of support (modeled writing), to joint responsibility for text production (shared writing or interactive writing), to student-generated/teacher-supervised text production (guided writing), and finally to independent writing.

Modeled Writing. While modeling writing, the teacher uses think aloud strategies to share her or his decision-making process during the act of writing (Regan & Berkeley, 2012). Modeled writing provides the highest level of support because the teacher writes as the students observe and question. The teacher owns the content, the direction, the wording, and all other authorial choices.

 Chapters 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18

Shared Writing. In shared writing situations, the teacher serves as the writing model and functions as the person responsible for text transcription and development (McKenzie, 1985). However, unlike modeled writing, in which the composition belongs to the teacher, in shared writing the students collaborate with the teacher, making decisions regarding idea selection, sentence construction, and other aspects of writing that can be shared.

 Chapters 4, 8, 13, 17, 19

Interactive Writing. Interactive writing is a technique for fostering the reading and writing skills of emergent learners. Developed by teachers and researchers from The Ohio State University (McCarrier, Pinnell, & Fountas, 2000), and building on Moira McKenzie’s (1985) work in shared writing, interactive writing encourages students to take turns contributing to the creation of a class text. Through interactive writing, teachers provide supportive opportunities for students to explore features of words and sounds within ← 4 | 5 → a meaningful, authentic framework (Button, Johnson, & Ferguson, 1996). In interactive writing, the teacher “shares the pen” and asks students to demonstrate their decision-making process as they transcribe portions of text for the class.

 Chapters 1, 3, 6

Guided Writing. Releasing still more responsibility, in guided writing the student writes and the teacher converses with the student to determine his or her plans for writing. The teacher observes the child write and then scaffolds the writer with specific strategy instruction. The teacher moves from student to student offering encouragement and feedback as the children apply the recommended strategies.

 Chapters 1, 2, 4, 9, 13, 14, 17

Cognitive Models and Self-regulation

Cognitive approaches and models of writing are based on gaining access to the thoughts of student writers and shaping behavior toward productive strategies. Self-regulated Strategy Development (Harris & Graham, 1999) focuses on teaching explicit strategies to the level of mastery. Students are also taught knowledge and self-regulatory procedures such as goal setting, self-monitoring, and self-instruction. Teachers systematically use procedures and routines to reduce the executive demands of writing, allowing students to apply the skills they have already mastered (Bereiter & Scardamalia, 1982). To this end, in a meta-analysis of writing research, Graham, McKeown, Kiuhara, and Harris (2012) found that explicit strategy instruction, including explicit teaching of strategies for planning, drafting, and revising text, as well as strategies for creating images and transcribing text (spelling, letter formation) enhance the quality of students’ writing.

 Chapter 1, 8, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19

Demand Writing or Prompted Writing

Demand writing or prompted writing refers to the instructional strategies and assignments borne from high-stakes testing. For example, prompt analysis and the teaching of formulaic structures are commonly used in classrooms that focus on test writing (Calfee & Miller, 2007; Hillocks, 2002; Thomason & York, 2000). In contrast to a focus on writing to a prompt, Graves (1976) ← 5 | 6 → advocates for choice, citing the continual use of prompts as “writing welfare.” There is merit to his argument as children have stated they prefer prompted writing because they “don’t have to think” (Schneider, 2010).

 Chapters 2, 5, 7, 12, 13, 14

Direct Instruction

Direct Instruction (Rosenshine, 2008) is characterized by increasing time on task, teacher modeling of strategies through thinking aloud, teaching content in a series of small, isolated steps, lessening the initial difficulty of the task, and providing scaffolds and support.

 Chapters 5, 12

Language Experience Approach

The language experience approach (Hall, 1970) is based on a shared experience among the students. Once the students experience the phenomenon, they are encouraged to talk and write about it, creating a series of class texts that can be used as subjects for independent writing and for reading and editing activities.

 Chapters 1, 6, 8, 17, 19

Process Writing

In the early 1970s, Graves (1975) studied young students’ writing and he identified similar patterns and recurring activities in their behavior. Rather than examining their products, he made interpretations about their processes which he terms the “phases” of writing: (1) the prewriting phase, (2) the composing phase, and (3) the postwriting phase. Graves’ process model gained prominence with curriculum developers as these “phases” of writing could be clearly articulated and taught. Eventually, Graves’ analysis evolved into a stage model for writing including the steps of planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. Although Graves and others state that writing is a recursive process and the stages are neither discrete nor hierarchical, the application of process writing often works counter to Graves’ original findings. Many classroom teachers follow prescribed steps and view writing as a five-phase process.

 Chapters 2, 3, 5, 6, 11, 13, 16, 17, 19 ← 6 | 7 →

Traits Models and Assessment Systems

Cooper and Odell’s (1977) Evaluating Writing marks the move away from grammar assessment as the primary means of determining writing ability to the direct assessment of student writing using specific procedures such as holistic, analytic, and primary trait scoring (Huot, 1990). Evaluative rubrics have also gained prominence in classrooms due to the Northwest Regional Educational Lab’s promulgation of the 6+1 Trait assessment model (Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, 2008) as well as the need for teachers to evaluate student writing for testing purposes (Hillocks, 2002). Although teachers often use evaluative rubrics to assess student writing, the most common problem with writing assessment is individual readers are unable to agree about the scores on the same papers (Hillocks, 2002; Huot & Neal, 2006).

Based on the early work of Diederich (1966), six common traits of writing are typically referred to as ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions (NWREL, 2008). A seventh trait, presentation, was added to capture the physical and visual features of text (Culham, 2003). Many classroom teachers not only use writing traits as assessment criteria but also as the content of their instruction.

 Chapters 2, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

Word Study

Summary

Casework in K–6 Writing Instruction is a collection of teaching cases that feature real teachers, real students, and real examples of K–6 writing instruction. Using student/teacher dialogue and reader-friendly narration, each case author describes a teacher’s use of print and/or media-based tools to teach students how to write for literacy and disciplinary purposes. Rather than focusing on one particular method, this book features multiple methods, such as writing workshop, 6+1 Traits, and balanced literacy, presented through authentic classroom examples. The book includes a view of writing instruction across grade levels, disciplines, and contexts. Current and future classroom teachers will be interested in the practical application and various viewpoints presented throughout the book. Casework in K–6 Writing Instruction could be used in teacher study groups, professional learning communities, undergraduate courses, Masters courses, and professional development seminars at the local, national, and international levels.

Details

Pages
X, 249
ISBN (PDF)
9781453913956
ISBN (ePUB)
9781454194347
ISBN (MOBI)
9781454194330
ISBN (Hardcover)
9781433127182
ISBN (Softcover)
9781433127175
Language
English
Publication date
2014 (May)
Published
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2014. 249 pp., num. ill.

Biographical notes

Jenifer Jasinski Schneider (Volume editor)

Jenifer Jasinski Schneider (PhD, The Ohio State University) is an associate professor at the University of South Florida. A winner of several teaching awards, Dr. Schneider is recognized for her work in writing instruction and multimedia composition. She is published in major literacy research journals.

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Title: Casework in K–6 Writing Instruction