Writing and the Common Core State Standards Joey Hawkins, Vermont Writing Collaborative A bit of reading, thinking, and writing (about complex text) “Disaster in a Massachusetts Mill” At the end of the article, the author uses the word “philanthrope” to describe the northern mill owners. Why does he use this word? Use information from the article and your own knowledge to support your answer. Common Core Literacy: What are the key shifts in ELA? 3. Knowledge Base 2. Evidence matters “The Longest War” • 5th grade report (writing to inform) “2” on 5-point scale (well below standard, but not as low as “1”) • scored • What strengths do you see in this piece? • What weaknesses do you see? So…what barriers got in the way for this student? What does it take for students (or anyone) to be able to produce an effective piece of writing - about anything? • Adequate knowledge and understanding of their subject • An appropriate focus to guide their thinking • A clear structure within which to develop their focus with information and ideas • Control over conventions • Expectation of success (from lots of successful experiences) Effective Writing Common Core Writing Direct Instruction Understanding Backward Design Writing for Understanding Informative / Explanatory Writing Write informative / explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content “Hmmm……seems to have a lot to do with critical thinking and deep understanding!” What could working with Complex textbased complex text and evidence writing to build knowledge look like in the Kindergarten classroom? Unit on Seasonal Changes Focus on how animals survive in winter Backwards Planning: UbD Keeping the End in Mind By the end of the sequence, what does the teacher want kids to know and understand? BIG IDEA / Enduring Understanding Animals have certain behaviors that help them survive. Hibernation is one of these. Focusing Questions and Focus Statements ? Evidence Elaboration ? Focusing Question and Focus Statement Focusing Question How do animals survive in winter? Focus Statement Some animals hibernate in winter. Close Reading Drawing Students Back Into the Text "Let's look for that in this picture." "Does anyone remember what word the author used to tell us …?" "Let me see if I can find that part so we can read it again." "How do you know?" "Where did you see that?" "Help me find that part in the book." Taking Notes Requires Direct Instruction Can Take Important atMany ALL Grade Forms Levels Evidence Elaboration Records Information Evidence Matters How do animals survive in winter? Evidence Elaboration What the animals do to survive in winter. Where do the animals hibernate? Bears Hibernate Snakes hibernate Frogs hibernate log or a lair mud Bats hibernate caves by a pond Many Ways to Take Notes Oral Processing ? Evidence Elaboration Write! ? Evidence Elaboration Group Write Big Books! Individual Write Scaffolded “Chunked” Elaboration in pictures Student work 8. With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question. 2. Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic. Impacting Human History Integrating Content with Literacy and the Common Core in Grades 6-8 Joey Hawkins, Vermont Writing Collaborative Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement • The texts: “Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Dies at 71” (New York Times) Complex text • “Wangari Maathai: Trees for Peace” (Faces) Less demanding text The Student Writing What does a good piece look like? What did it take, on the part of teacher planning and student time and effort, to get it? Addressing the Common Core Shifts ? Evidence Elaboration Backwards Planning: UbD Keeping the End in Mind By the end of the sequence, what does the teacher want kids to know? BIG IDEA / Enduring Understanding Wangari Maathai had a big impact on human history. She made Kenya green again, which in turn helped empower poor Kenyan women. thinking in the final essay students will write? How has Wangari Maathai affected the lives of poor people in Kenya? ? Focusing Question and Focus Statement Focusing Question How has Wangari Maathai affected the lives of poor people in Kenya? Focus Statement Wangari Maathai’s work helped give poor Kenyans trees again, which in turn has helped empower poor Kenyan women. . Take Notes ? Evidence Elaboration Before writing, very close reading! • Remember, the New York Times text is a complex one • As the teacher, I want ALL my students to be able to successfully read and understand this text • Hmmm….how will I do that? • Aha – closely guided close reading! What can guided close reading look like? • First, students read in their heads while the teacher reads the text aloud. • Next, students work with a partner to re-read and answer the textdependent questions. Re-read as many times as you need to – this is NOT a test, it is a LEARN! • When students have finished each question, we’ll discuss as a class. (Remember – this is a LEARN..) Notes Matter!! • If students are going to write precisely and knowledgably, they need a way to “capture their knowledge” • A simple T-chart organizer – with lots and lots of talking – can be a huge help Oral Processing ? Evidence Elaboration More About These Notes • It’s important to give students as much guidance as they need here. • For some students, talking out every idea with a partner is a necessary bridge to writing clearly • Writing is probably the hardest thing we ask kids to do. Struggling kids cannot write what they did not speak – so talking ideas matters Write! ? Evidence Elaboration Provide a model • Often the teacher provides a model of what this kind of thinking / writing can look like. • Remember, we all learn by imitation – basketball coaches show kids how to do foul shots, writing teachers show kids how to write But wait: shouldn’t the writing be independent? Yes, absolutely – once you know your students are capable of that. • If they have had very little instruction with writing, building writing instruction into reading instruction helps both with deep understanding of the reading, and more facility with writing. What questions do you need to have answered to begin to build Common Core writing into your curriculum?