Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Writing Walkthrough 2015

Over the past 5 years, our staff has come together to analyze student writing. We have one purpose: to make evidence-based noticings about the writing that is taking place at Buckner Elementary- Kindergarten-Fifth grade so as to determine successes and establish next steps.

Each year we participate in this school-wide analysis, we grow our writers. We see evidence of this when we look at our students' notebooks, drafts, published pieces, and reflections, and d
ata has proven this to be true. Just looking at the last three years of our K-PREP scores, On Demand writing scores have improved 15%! Your efforts to learn more and try new things in the classroom ARE paying off!

Yesterday, we came together to read the writing of our students K-5. Through careful analysis, each of you sat with a team of teachers from a variety of grade levels to consider how Buckner students are growing as writers. You considered four different lenses as they traveled around the library taking in the collections of writing. 
Focus area 1: Opportunity and Variety- How frequently and in what ways are students asked and offered opportunities to write?  
Focus area 2: Expectations-What Common Core expectations (quality writing) do students display? Are students able to demonstrate quality writing in every content area?
Focus Area 3: Feedback- What types of feedback are students offered? Specific? Use of rubrics? Teacher, Peer, other?
Focus Area 4: Other Noticings: What other noticings do you have: technology? interests? etc.

The process was amazing! You spent time dedicating yourselves to reading the student collections, talking about the positive things they notice evidence of, and wrote down specific feedback for that grade level team to consider. 

The outcome was powerful! You stood in a circle around the library and shared a statement with the entire staff about the writing they noticed happening at Buckner. Here is a sampling of the powerful noticings: 

    Sharing our feedback with one another.
  • Wow! Such a variety in all content areas! 
  • Engaging topics and organized thoughts! 
  • "Stoplight"  (organized, coherent, and developed) paragraphing evidence! 
  • Specific feedback and question to push students’ thinking deeper  
  • Writing opportunities are occurring across all content areas and in all classrooms, including related arts!
  • The caliber of student writing showcased intentional emphasis on writing standards in all grade levels and across all genres. Yeah!
  • I was so impressed with our growth in regards to mechanics/conventions and sentence structure. * Our school-wide focus for this year! 
  • The expectations for writing are incredible across all content areas

We also took time , as a staff, to name next steps and goals for our writing instruction. We are a growth-minded group, and we always strive to learn more and support students in every way possible. As soon as I compile the results of their suggestions for next steps, I'll post it.

Keep supporting your writers all the time: in writer's workshop, reading workshop, math workshop, science, social studies, related art, pull-out settings, etc.!  You are models and supporters of student growth- ALWAYS. That's because you are the B.E.S.T.!
Thanks for ALL you do! 

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