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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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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...

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