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Casework in K–6 Writing Instruction

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


Edited By Jenifer Jasinski Schneider

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.
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11. A Mexican Party in the Sky: Glitches in Composing with Digital Media and Disciplinary Content (Third Grade)




In this case, we share Mrs. Walko’s introduction to filmmaking and the students’ first attempts to use video to share disciplinary content. We noticed that the purpose (i.e., Mexican holidays) was lost because the students were distracted by aspects of filmmaking. Therefore, the exact factors that motivated the students (e.g., digital devices, active learning, visual and audio modes) were the same elements that resulted in diminishing returns.


• Third grade class

• Parochial school: Middle class

• Class: 19 females, 14 males; 24 white, 9 Latina/Latino

• Instructor [Mrs. Walko]: White female, 25 years’ experience, Masters in Curriculum & Instruction (served as the technology specialist for five years until the position was eliminated due to budget cuts)

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