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DEVELOPING THE WRITING I.Q.* PROGRAM:*(I = Impact of content, Q = Quality of language) A Strengths-Based, Best Practices Process Journal and Resource Guide for Teachers K - 12

By Jim Evers

Dominican College Writing Project

DEVELOPING

THE WRITING I.Q.* PROGRAM:*(I = Impact of content, Q = Quality of language) A Strengths-Based, Best Practices Process Journal and Resource Guide for Teachers K - 12

By Jim Evers

Dominican College Writing Project

DEVELOPING THE WRITING I.Q. PROGRAM: A Strengths-Based, Best Practices Process Journal and Resource Guide for Teachers K - 12 __________________________________________ by Jim Evers Copyright ! 2004 James L. Evers All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission of the author. Printed by Dominican College Writing Institute 470 Western Highway Orangeburg, NY 10962 845-359-7800 Ext. 210

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION...................................................................................................1 10 Bane of Superintendent's Day Three Principles for Teachers of Writing What You Can Expect from Using This Process Journal Why a Common Curriculum is Needed Some Classroom Issues Putting Marks on Papers Rubrics and Guides Writer's Guide and Assessment tool Back Ground of the Writing I.Q. Program Being a Writing Coach Where the Content of this Publication Came From Professional Writing Final Thoughts Suggested Structure for Seminar Charge to Teachers

PART ONESEMINAR PROCESS AND CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT JOURNAL........11

Section One:EXPLORING LOCAL REALITIES.....................................................................................11 Step 1. Clarifying Your Thoughts About writing....................................................11 Step 2. Collecting Local Best Practices...................................................................14 Step 3. Identifying Other Widely-Used Best Practices...........................................16 Step 4. Reviewing Key Resources..........................................................................16

Section Two:BUILDING THE WRITING IQ GUIDE AND ASSESSMENT TOOL Step 1. Critiquing Collected Writing Samples........................................................22 Step 2. Putting it All Together in a Writing I.Q. Writers Guide and Assessment Tool....................................................................................................26

Step 3. Using the Tool and Coaching Writers........................................................31 Self-coaching/Assessing Peer coaching/Assessing Teacher Coaching (conferencing) and Assessing Parent Coaching and Assessing Workbook Section Three: EXPLORING KEY REALITIES OF WRITING..................................................................35

PART TWOA REVIEW OF BEST CLASSROOM PRACTICES AND KEY RESOURCES.....45 Review Section One: BRIEF EXPLANATIONS OF WIDELY-USED BEST PRACTICES...................................46 A. Writing-As-Process..........................................................................................46 B. Writers Workshop..........................................................................................52 C. MiniLessons....................................................................................................55 D. Portfolios..........................................................................................................57 E. Self/Peer/Teacher Coaching and Conferencing.................................................59 F. Talk-Write........................................................................................................61 G. Free Writing.....................................................................................................63 H. Speed Planning.................................................................................................65 I. Demand writing................................................................................................65 J. Writers Journal/Journaling..............................................................................67 K. Genre................................................................................................................69 L. MultiGenre......................................................................................................71 M. Writing Across The Curriculum.......................................................................73 N. Handbooks.......................................................................................................75

O. History of English

Language...........................................................................77P. Suggested Supportive

Practices........................................................................79 Building a Data-Base of Best Practices Creating a Colleague Mentoring Program Training the Parents Review Section Two: SUMMRAY OF KEY RESOURCE Books.................................................................................................................................81 Web Sites...........................................................................................................................85

PART THREEWHAT NEXT: EXPLORING THE STEPS NEEDED TO SUSTAIN AN EFFECTIVE WRITING PROGRAM............................................................................87

APPENDIXCase Report Using the Writing I.Q. Program........................................................90 Author's Background and Acknowledgements.......................................................92 Demand writing.................................................................................................* Helping Your Child to Be A More Effective Writer in School............................* Common Errors and Mistakes to Avoid in Using English..................................* Brief History of The English Language..............................................................* *For copies of these contact the author at: www.jamesevers.com

INTRODUCTION Superintendent's Workshop Days: Often the Bane of Good Practices In the 35 plus years that Ive been in education, I remember how often I disliked many of the training programs offered on Superintendents Day. Ed Joyner, Executive Director of Yales School Development Program (Commer Schools) once named these days as drive-by training. Rightly so. They usually focus on the educational fad of the day or on a topic that one of the administrators is working on for his or her doctorate. But, what I disliked most about those workshop days was that the speakers/trainers, though considered experts, never seemed to have an interest in what we were already doing. Rather than building on what was already working well or already in place, these presenters often implied that we were off track, and they had something better. By not focusing first on what was already working, these programs implied to teachers that the administration did not value what the teachers had been doing.U U

That the presenters may indeed have had something better, to me, is beside the point. The lack of respect for what teachers were already doing was rude, and that rudeness undermines staff morale and the value of the any existing good practices. Even some of the weaker practices in a school may have some qualities that are of value, but no practice can be improved effectively through insult. Instead, let's move existing practices forward by finding the hidden good qualities in them and then build on those qualities. That's what will happen in this publication. I begin with the premise that what you already are doing vis- a- vis the teaching of writing has significant value for helping you build an even more effective program.

Three Principles for Teachers of Writing: Because I worry about the way young writers are being taught and judged in their writing in many schools, I am working from three strongly-felt personal principles for teachers of writing: 1. Anyone who teaches writing at any level should also be doing some writing, preferably for publication, or at least for personal practice and/or for personal guidance such as journaling. 2. Anyone who teaches and assesses writing has an obligation to let students know and understand the writing standards they are expected to meet and for which they will be assessed. 3. Anyone who teaches writing could be more effective if she/he stopped thinking of her/ himself as a teacher of writing and began thinking of her/himself as a writing coach. What you can expect to gain from using this journal: 1. You can expect to gain a renewed confidence in your own best practices for teaching writing. 2. You can expect to gain a broader understanding of the teaching of writing in your classroom, in your school, in your district, and in schools in general. 3. You can expect to gain a set of common terms, practices, and assessments selected cooperatively by you and your colleagues. 4. You can expect to gain a writers guide/assessment tool that will be cooperatively created for use by students, teachers, and parents. 5. You can expect to gain a personal journal of resources, ideas, and best practices.

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Why a common curriculum is needed: As students encounter new teachers each grade year, they discover that not all teachers teach writing in the same way, nor emphasize the same elements of writing, or use the same terms. Developmentally , this is not as helpful to the students as would be an approach that at least included a few consistent common practices, terms, and assessments.U U U U

For example, in non-fiction essays, teachers usually ask for a key sentence that states the topic of the essay. Some call this the topic sentence, others call it the theme sentence, still others call it the controlling ide