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6 Trait Writing Professional Development


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Title: 6 Trait Writing Professional Development

6 Trait WritingProfessional Development
The Need for Excellent Writing Instruction
  • Why is writing important?
  • To complete academic assignments
  • To develop communication skills for academic and
    professional success
  • To succeed in high-stakes assessments

Preparing for Common Core State StandardsWriting
Performance Tasks
Example Prerequisite Example Prerequisite Example Prerequisite Grade-Level Standard Sample Performance Task
Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text. Students quote accurately and explicitly from Leslie Halls Seeing Eye to Eye to explain statements they make and ideas they infer regarding sight and light. RI.5.1
Make inferences
Be able to quote a resource
Determine the main idea and details
Which is your situation?
  • System A
  • Teachers assess student work using their own
  • Teachers seldom get together to evaluate student
  • There is no schoolwide or districtwide system for
    assessing the quality of student work.
  • System B
  • Teachers assess student writing using a common
  • Teachers frequently get together to evaluate
    student writing.
  • A schoolwide or districtwide system for assessing
    student writing yields useful data on
    instructional needs.

The 6-Traits
  • Is a model of assessment and instruction designed
    by teachers and based upon best practices.
  • Is best learned through intensive professional
    development since it is not a specific program
  • Does not require purchasing additional materials,
    but is dependent on teacher implementation

The 6-Traits
  • Help students
  • understand what is working well and what needs to
    be improved in their writing.
  • use a common language for discussing the quality
    of writing.
  • Help teachers
  • diagnose specific strengths and weaknesses of
    student writing
  • assess and use assessment for focus of
  • improve overall writing in the classroom

Research Base for 6-Traits
  • 1972- Bay Area Writing Project
  • 1984- Beaverton School District, Oregon
  • 1994- Arter, Spandel, Culham, and Pollard. Six
    classrooms of fifth grade students were studied
    and the treatment group showed substantial growth
    in the three traits that were explicitly taught.
  • 1999 -Teams scored 930 pieces of student writing.
    The sum of the six trait scores as a predictor of
    success was accurate for 79 of students.
  • 2000- Kent School District, WA (NWREL) The study
    tracked student growth in writing achievement in
    third grade over a period of three years. The
    study showed an increase in the number of
    students meeting benchmark standards in all
    traits, up to to 32.2.

6-Traits Writing Training for Teachers
  • Components
  • Ideas
  • Organization
  • Voice
  • Word Choice
  • Fluency
  • Conventions

Builds Teacher Collaboration
Guides Writing Instruction
How do you evaluate quality writing?
Student and Teacher Rubrics
6-Traits Ideas
  • IDEAS Content of the message
  • State, clarify main ideas
  • Be an observer
  • Show, dont tell
  • Get rid of dead wood
  • Focus on the subject

6-Traits Organization
ORGANIZATION Internal structure
  • Logical and chronological order, transitions
  • Spend time on a good lead
  • Link ideas together in paragraphs
  • Beginning, middle, end

Organizational Maps

6-Traits Voice
  • VOICE connection between writer and reader
  • Express interest and personality
  • Make the reader feel and respond
  • Match voice to purpose
  • Understand the audience
  • Be yourself

6-Traits Word Choice
WORD CHOICE selection of words
  • Select specific and precise words
  • Collect quotations
  • Match word choice to purpose and audience
  • Think of a picture

Example of Stretching with Word Choice
The lioness stalked. The famished, angry lioness
stalked. The famished, eager lioness stalked
through the tall grass. The famished, eager
lioness stalked through the tall grass, looking
for food. Looking for food, the famished,
striped tiger stalked through the grass.
Word Choice

6-Traits Sentence Fluency
SENTENCE FLUENCY how words are connected
  • Construct and combine sentences
  • Vary sentence structure and length
  • Edit incomplete or choppy sentences
  • Read other writing aloud

6-Traits Conventions
  • CONVENTIONS Punctuation, spelling, grammar,
  • Correct misspellings, fragments, run-on sentences
  • Correct usage issues or overuse of words
  • Edit for punctuation and grammar

Ninth Tenth Grade Text Types and Purposes
  • Write informative/explanatory texts to examine
    and convey complex ideas, concepts, and
    information clearly and accurately through the
    effective selection, organization, and analysis
    of content.
  • Introduce a topic organize complex ideas,
    concepts, and information to make important
    connections and distinctions include formatting
    (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures,
    tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding
    comprehension. IDEAS
  • Develop the topic with well-chosen, relevant, and
    sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete
    details, quotations, or other information and
    examples appropriate to the audiences knowledge
    of the topic. IDEAS, VOICE
  • Use appropriate and varied transitions to link
    the major sections of the text, create cohesion,
    and clarify the relationships among complex ideas
    and concepts. ORGANIZATION
  • Use precise language and domain-specific
    vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic.
  • Establish and maintain a formal style and
    objective tone while attending to the norms and
    conventions of the discipline in which they are
    writing. CONVENTIONS
  • Provide a concluding statement or section that
    follows from and supports the information or
    explanation presented (e.g., articulating
    implications or the significance of the topic).

Pearsons 6-Trait WritingDistrict Training
  • This two-day onsite district institute will
    prepare teachers to
  • Develop skills and strategies to incorporate 6
    Traits into their writing curriculum to enhance
    learning of ideas, organization, voice, sentence
    fluency, and conventions.
  • Teach and assess writing using rubrics
  • Plan for differentiated instruction to meet
    student needs.

Pearsons 6-Trait Writing District Training
  • Compare examples of writing and identify the
    strengths and weaknesses of each
  • Explore components of good writing instruction
    and assessment
  • Define the 6 traits integration to the core
  • Model instruction and provide examples of what it
    looks like in literature.
  • Assess own writing
  • Review methods for teaching each trait
  • Present and discuss lesson ideas for each trait.
  • Use rubrics and score examples of student
  • Review methods for converting rubric scores to

Pearsons 6-Trait Writing Resources
Benefits of 6-Trait Writing Training
  • Provides a common language and framework for
    writing instruction
  • Not dependent on a specific curriculum
  • Can be used within the writing process
  • Gives teachers autonomy to choose literature and
    writing prompts
  • Aligned tools for assessment and instruction
  • The research shows instruction in 6 Traits can
    improve students writing.

Why Professional Development from Pearson?
  • Content aligned to Common Core State Standards to
    help students improve writing and meet standards
  • Ongoing support provided (coaching and modeling
    options) to improve classroom instruction
  • Author-approved, expert trainers, mentored by
    Vikki Spandel
  • Access to Vikki Spandels textbooks and resources
  • A wealth of resources and solutions in available
    to the district

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