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Working with the chart. Fill out the blanks with community/student characteristics ... Newspaper formats: advice, astrology, cartoons ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: presenters name goes here


Developing Writing Skills in Afterschool
and Professional Development for 21st Century
Community Learning Centers
  • (presenters name goes here)

  • Effective writing is essential, not merely to
    the nations economic well-being but to its
    future as a vibrant, informed, and humane
    democratic society
  • - National Commission on Writing, Writing and
    School Reform (2006)

Who We Are
  • U.S. Department of Educations Office of
    Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE)
  • Southwest Educational Development Laboratory
  • Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL)
  • National Center for Research on Evaluation,
    Standards and Student Testing (CRESST)
  • Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning
  • SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina
    at Greensboro (SERVE)
  • WGBH Educational Foundation (WGBH)

Goal of the Partnership
  • Improve afterschool academic enrichment,
    teaching, and training in six areas literacy,
    mathematics, science, the arts, technology, and

Following this session on writing in afterschool,
participants will be able to
  • Locate resources for afterschool writing at the
    online Afterschool Literacy Toolkit
  • Identify key points from research on writing
    instruction K-12
  • Apply experience with writing strategies to
    afterschool activities and instruction
  • Consult additional resources focused on writing
    in afterschool

  • Speaking in pairs
  • Try to remember something you wrote when you were
    a K-12 student (alone or with a group) that
    really engaged and excited you
  • What was the writing activity?
  • Why do you remember it?

What do we think about this statement?
  • If students are to make knowledge their own,
    they must struggle with details, wrestle with the
    facts, and rework raw information and dimly
    understood concepts into language they can
    communicate to someone else. In short, if
    students are to learn, they must write.
  • - National Commission on Writing, The Neglected
    R (2003)

National Commission on Writing conducts surveys
of US employers to report
  • In US companies and government agencies
  • Two-thirds of salaried or professional employees
    are responsible for writing
  • 80 of companies in FIRE sector assess writing
    during hiring process
  • 91 of state agencies ask for writing samples
    when hiring professionals 50 when hiring
  • Remedying writing deficiencies costs US firms as
    much as 3.1 billion annually
  • - NCW Reports A Powerful Message from State
    Government (2005) A Ticket to Workor a Ticket
    Out (2004)

National testing creates alarm
  • National assessments in both reading and writing
    show that less than half of students perform at
    proficient or advanced levels in either skill
    (most students show basic or below basic skills)
  • Writing scores are significantly lower than
    reading scores, but between 1998 and 2002 the
    scores do show some improvement
  • Lets look at the data.

Reading Improvement Lagging (especially in
middle school)
  • National results show reading scores are
    improving some at the fourth grade level, but
    only slightly for middle school students

Source National Assessment for Educational
Progress, Reading Report Card, 1998/2005
Most Students Behind in Writing
  • Almost all students lack ability to create prose
    that is organized, precise, engaging, coherent or
  • --National Commission on Writing Report, 2006

Source National Assessment for Educational
Progress, Writing Report Card, 2002
National Commission on Writing looks at the
  • 97 of elementary students write 3 hours or less
    each week
  • 49 of 12th graders assigned papers of three or
    more pages once or twice/month
  • 39 say they never or hardly ever get
    assignments over one page
  • Extended research papers rarely required

National Commission on Writing makes policy
  • Most pertinent to afterschool programs
  • Amount of time students spend writing should
    double and occur daily
  • Out-of-school time should be used more for
  • Students should be encouraged to write across the
  • Technology can provide important supports to the
    development of student writing

Afterschool Training Toolkit

Quick Tour of the Literacy Toolkit
  • About Literacy in Afterschool
  • http//
  • Quality Literacy Instruction
  • Resources and References
  • Promising Practices in Literacy
  • Based on research and relevance to afterschool
  • Book Discussion Groups and Literature Circles
  • Read Aloud
  • Story and Literature Dramatizations
  • Writing
  • Family Literacy Events
  • One-on-One and Small Group Tutoring

Tour through the writing practice
  • Each of the promising practices sections contain
  • Explanation of the practice
  • Sample age appropriate activities
  • http//
  • Video demonstrations (two from middle school)

Looking at writing activities
  • My First Book, K-2
  • Recycling, 3-5
  • Require analysis of models (stories, poems,
    features of a book)
  • Include discussion to help children ask
    questions, make connections, and create stories
  • Do not specify collaborative writing activities,
    but can be set up that way

Current research supports these primary
instructional elements
  • Four with large effect sizes (.82-.70)
  • Writing strategies (planning, generating,
    revising and editing)
  • Summarization
  • Collaborative writing
  • Specific product goals (purpose, audience, and

Secondary instructional elements
  • Two with medium effect sizes (.55-.50)
  • Word processing
  • Sentence combining
  • Five with small effect sizes (.32-.23)
  • Pre-writing
  • Inquiry activities
  • Process writing approach
  • Study of models
  • Writing for content area learning
  • -Graham and Perin, Writing Next Effective
    Strategies to Improve Writing (2007)

Activity 1 Project-based writing
  • View the video Writing Analyzing media
  • http//
  • Consider these questions
  • What can we tell about student/community
  • What works about the writing they are they doing?
  • How can this project be extended?
  • Working with the chart
  • Fill out the blanks with community/student
  • Frame an idea for a student/community writing

Activity 2 Daily practice with journals
  • Journals are personal summaries of your unique
    response to experience
  • What you notice
  • What moves you
  • What really matters that you want to remember
  • Journals can contain ideas, perceptions,
    memories, facts, quotes, images, slang, lists,
    descriptions, and odds and ends of all kinds

Activity 2 Initiate the habit of writing
  • Prompt Listen to the poem,
  • You Reading This, Be Ready, by William Stafford
  • Use your unique personal response to the poem to
    write about this moment in time
  • What you notice
  • What matters to you
  • (4 minutes, then discuss)

Activity 3 Freewriting unplug the critic
  • Different from a journal because of shared or
    collective prompts, freewriting and can be
  • Creative (suggesting a poem/story)
  • Applied to content areas (history, science,
  • Used as brainstorming for assignments (debates,
    theme papers, descriptions)
  • A very effective writing warm-up

Activity 3 (cont.) Freewriting practice
  • Write for 4 minutes without stopping on this
  • No one in the room ever expected that
  • If your brain flatlines, just write waiting,
    waiting, waiting until something comes to you
  • Forget about grammar and punctuation
  • Keep moving forward (no going back, rereading, or
    making corrections)

Activity 4 Collaboration and model study
  • Some common short forms for collaboration
  • Poems haiku, limericks, book extensions
  • Media ads jingles, scenes, songs
  • Newspaper formats advice, astrology, cartoons
  • Mini-fiction One person writes a line, next
    person writes the next line, etc.
  • Music lyrics new verses/familiar song, or
    original songs

Activity 4 (cont.) Group limericks
  • Review the limerick form on handout 4
  • Work with your table to create a limerick about
  • You have 4-5 minutes
  • Prepare for a limerick slam, each group reading
    aloud in unison

Parting Thoughts What afterschool writing can
  • Create low pressure occasions for writing
  • Instill the habits of writing
  • Elicit and praise individual student voices
  • Practice the process of drafting, revising, and
  • Continually use writing to illuminate projects
  • Share writing with families and community

Evaluating this Session
  • Please note that you leave this session with
  • Knowledge of Web site resources for writing in
    the Afterschool Literacy Toolkit
  • Sample activity forms
  • Experience with writing activities
  • Resources for continuing/initiating the practice
  • (look at Handout 5)
  • Thank you for coming! Please fill out the
    evaluation form and indicate
  • What worked/ didnt work for you?
  • What will you use at your site?

Please contact me directly for
  • Answers to questions
  • Additional materials
  • Implementation advice
  • Tips on the toolkit
  • (your contact information here)
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