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The Direct Instructional Writing Process in Grades 3 – 8

Appropriate for Teachers in grade 3-8
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Course Description:

Teachers are facing a critical need to find ways to improve students’ writing.  How do we actually teach writing skills?  Unfortunately, there has been little professional development around how to teach writing vs. assign writing.  This course will provide educators with specific methods of teaching the elements of effective writing in grades 3-8.

Teachers will leave the course with:
•  Lessons for teaching purpose, organization, and details in both fiction and nonfiction writing;
•  Writer’s Notebook prompts for students to collect ideas, practice different writing strategies, and expand topics;
•  Lessons for students to “read like a writer;”
•  Strategies for integrating grammar into writing instruction;
•  Strategies for writing across the curriculum;
•  Frames for teaching multiple writing genres;
•  Structures for conferencing;
•  Tools for giving effective feedback to help students improve their writing.

About this Workshop:

Course Goals:  Teachers will:
•  Develop lessons for teaching purpose, organization, and details in both fiction and nonfiction writing in grades 3-8.
•  Research how students can use Writers’ Notebooks to collect ideas, practice different writing strategies, improve writing fluency, and expand topics.
•  Create a Writer’s Notebook as a model.
•  Develop lessons for student analysis and discussion of author’s craft in both fiction and nonfiction writing; generate methods for teaching students to “read like a writer.”
•  Integrate grammar into writing instruction.
•  Construct structures for teacher and peer conferencing.
•  Identify factors in giving effective feedback to help students improve their writing.
•  Use Critical Friends protocols to evaluate student work.
•  Incorporate student reflection and goal setting in writing instruction.
•  Apply strategies for writing across the curriculum.
•  Reflect on essential beliefs and key purposes in teaching writing.
•  Identify obstacles in teaching writing and generate solutions for overcoming them.
•  Differentiate between revising and editing.

Required Texts:

Participants will read two texts.

Buckner, A.  Notebook Know-How, Strategies for the Writer’s Notebook.  Portland, Maine:  Stenhouse Publishers, 2005.
Ray, K.W. The Writing Workshop.  National Council Teachers of English.  2001.

About the Instructor

Martha Dubuque is an educators with 20+ years of classroom experience. She previousley was the Co-Principal at The St. Johnsbury School. Before that she was Principal at the Walden Schools and taught 6th grade at Hardwick Elementary. In addition, she is a workshop presenter on Standards Based Instruction, Literacy, Middle School Best Practices, and an adjunct instructor for Johnson State College. Martha was named Vermont Teacher of the Year in 1999. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education.