Thursday, May 5, 2011

Writing Program Review @ BES

We've written, reflected, walked-through, and reflected some more... and then some more. Here is what you all have said about our year of writing and progress over time.
Our PLC Celebrations

Next Steps
As Teachers of Writing 2010-2011
Students seem to:
• enjoy writing
• have developed a love for writing
• have an understanding of the writing process and the different reasons for writing
• write in all content areas
• have a basic understanding of genres when entering 4th grade and build upon this throughout the year
• have a better understanding of writing to an audience and how writing to a different audience can affect their  
     piece• are more aware of the correct use of grammar and conventions
• have more schema when asked to write to a prompt
• have stamina when it comes to their writing pieces
• show growth as writers in their progress from picture writers’ to sentence writers
• use of model text before starting a unit (their noticings),
• show their awareness level of audience
• use of family journals

As teachers we feel:

we've created a culture where students love to write
• we are using more graphic organizers to help support our students in writing.
• we have started to help students determine importance in writing and not writing everything
• are all having our students reflect and explain more of their thinking in all subject areas.
• that a lot of our students’ demonstrate to learn and reflective writing is done on note cards/paper and collected, so they wouldn’t be in a notebook to look at. Is there a standard for our notebooks?

And yet, we are also committed to improving writing at BES and know the indirect and direct impact meeting those goals will have on student learning. So we have Next Steps.

We will...
continue to model effective writing to learn strategies and hold kids accountable for organization SO THAT students will have effective organized practices for recording and accessing information for future use.

• incorporate more common texts for students to read in content areas SO THAT students will have an opportunity to write about their thinking and new learning and how their thinking has changed throughout the unit of study.

• look for more authentic opportunities (e.g., contests, magazines, newspapers), for student to publish their writing SO THAT students are writing for a real world purpose.

• intentionally incorporate more technology into the writing process (e.g. PhotoStory, PPT, Wordle, Glogster, etc.) in various content areas SO THAT students have multiple opportunities and outlets to demonstrate their learning using 21st century technologies.

• include more cross grade-level experiences for our students and opportunities for them to collaborate outside of the writer's workshop SO THAT they learn to grow from one another and we further foster collegial student relationships for the purpose of growing.

• continue to meet in PLCs to share new ideas and strategies for collaborating. Share WPSs SO THAT we continue to learn and grow from one another and our instruction will improve.

• offer more feedback to students SO THAT they will have more specific and descriptive information with which to grow as learners

• include reflection opportunities that are more integrated across content areas SO THAT students can synthesize their new learning and make meaning in other disciplines and real world contexts.

We're on our way. We've got a plan. Yes, we are the B.E.S.T.!!!!!

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