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How can we improve our Writing?

West Rockhill Elementary May 2017


Lucy Calkins on the Common Core

Main Point: Start @ 1:20


Narrative: How can I score a 4?
Distinctly established situation/theme that orients the reader
and introduces the narrator and/or characters
Effective narrative pattern that sequences events and provides a
conclusion
Thorough elaboration that effectively supports the storyline
Effective use of narrative techniques to develop experiences and
events
Effective use of transitions
Precise control of language that conveys experiences and events
using concrete words, phrases, and sensory details*
Consistent control of sentence formation
Few errors may be present in grammar, usage, spelling, and
punctuation; errors present do not interfere with meaning
PSSA Writing Rubric
The information provided on the PSSA rubrics
is a lot to process
All of the elements of writing are
blended into a single score (1-4)
Introduction Grammar
Sequence Usage
Transitions Spelling
Conclusion
Theme Punctuation

Narrative
Techniques

Storyline
/ Details
Recommendation #1
Make the scoring rubric more
granular and concrete for the
students.
Understanding each part of the whole
Trying to comprehend every aspect of writing
simultaneously can get overwhelming.
Break the writing expectations into smaller
more concrete parts.
Five Domains of Writing
Focus what you have to say
(controlling idea) of an essay
Content developing ideas
through clear supporting
detail and evidence
Organization presenting
the supporting details in a
specific order
Style the author's choice of words, sentence
structures, and voice in an essay
Conventions properly using grammar, mechanics,
and spelling
Recommendation #2
Make scoring developmentally
appropriate.
Narrative Grade 1 Grade 5
Purpose Write narratives to develop real or Write narratives to develop real or
imagined experiences or events. imagined experiences or events.

Focus Establish who and what the narrative Orient the reader by establishing a
will be about. situation and introducing a narrator
and/or characters.
Content Include thoughts and feelings to Use narrative techniques such as
describe experiences and events. dialogue, description, and pacing, to
develop experiences and events or show
the responses of characters to situations;
use concrete words and phrases and
sensory details to convey experiences
and events precisely.
Organization Recount two or more appropriately Organize an event sequence that unfolds
sequenced events using temporal words naturally, using a variety of transitional
to signal event order and provide some words and phrases to manage the
sense of closure. sequence of events; provide a conclusion
that follows from the narrated
experiences and events.
Style Use a variety of words and phrases. Write with an awareness of style. Use
sentences of varying length. Expand,
combine, and reduce sentences for
meaning, reader/listener interest, and
style.
Age Appropriate
Adapt the rubric to the
expectations of each grade-level
Introduce academic vocabulary
and reinforce its meaning and use.
Allow students to help you write
rubric in language they can
understand.
Kid-Friendly Language
Recommendation #3
Take it one step at a time.
Focus on one domain at a time
Ensure students have good base from last
year and build on that foundation.
Logically walk through increased expectations
for each domain.
PA Narrative Writing Standards
Narrative Grade 1 Grade 2
Purpose Write narratives to develop real or Write narratives to develop real or
imagined experiences or events. imagined experiences or events.

Focus Establish who and what the narrative Establish a situation and introduce a
will be about. narrator and/or characters.

Content Include thoughts and feelings to describe Include thoughts and feelings to describe
experiences and events. experiences and events to show the
response of characters to situations.

Organization Recount two or more appropriately Organize a short sequence of events,


sequenced events using temporal words using temporal words to signal event
to signal event order and provide some order; provide a sense of closure.
sense of closure.

Style Use a variety of words and phrases. Choose words and phrases for effect.
PA Narrative Writing Standards
Narrative Grade 1 Grade 2
Purpose Write narratives to develop real or Write narratives to develop real or
imagined experiences or events. imagined experiences or events.

Focus Establish who and what the narrative Establish a situation and introduce a
will be about. narrator and/or characters.

Content Include thoughts and feelings to describe Include thoughts and feelings to describe
experiences and events. experiences and events to show the
response of characters to
situations.
Organization Recount two or more appropriately Organize a short sequence of
sequenced events using temporal words events, using temporal words to signal
to signal event order and provide some event order; provide a sense of closure.
sense of closure.

Style Use a variety of words and phrases. Choose words and phrases for effect.
PA Narrative Writing Standards for Conventions
Grade K Capitalize first word in sentence and pronoun I. Recognize and use
end punctuation. Spell simple words phonetically.
Grade 1 Capitalize dates and names of people. Use end punctuation; use
commas in dates and words in series. Spell words drawing on
common spelling patterns, phonemic awareness and spelling
conventions.
Grade 2 Capitalize proper nouns. Use commas and apostrophes
appropriately. Spell words drawing on common spelling patterns.
Consult reference material as needed.
Grade 3 Eligible Content items identify parts of speech; regular & irregular
nouns; regular & irregular verbs; simple verb tenses; subj/verb
agreement; conjunctions; simple, compound, & complex sentences;
etc.
Grade 4 More Eligible Content items relative pronouns; progressive verb
tenses; helping verbs; prepositional phrases; identify fragments &
run-ons; freq. confused words; speech/quotes punctuation; etc.
Grade 5 More Eligible Content items conjunctions, prepositions, and
interjections; verb tense to convey various times, sequences, states,
and conditions; etc.
Recommendation #4
Be consistent.
Inter-Rater Reliability
Assessment of writing is subjective, so work
with peers to establish clear criteria when
determining how to score each essay.
Exchange a few sample papers and confirm
consistent scoring.
Then, adapt
instruction to
focus on areas
where class is
struggling.
Recommendations
Concrete Create rubrics using the 5
writing domains.
Appropriate Align the rubrics with
expectations for each grade-level in kid-
friendly language.
Growth-oriented Teach the domains
one step at a time, focusing on areas of
growth in each grade.
Consistent Inter-rater reliability to
ensure teachers are on the same page.