Creating Writers Book

Connections Essay

In this essay, I plan to cover the four ideas of writing and how they relate to each other. The four ideas of writing are The Writing Workshop, The Six Traits of Writing, Writing Across the Disciplines, and the ELA Common Core. All four ideas are different in their own ways, but the connection between them is much greater than when they are on their own. All are useful tools when considering learning the process of writing as students and as teachers. In the next couple pages, I hope to educate you on the purpose of all of the ideas and the importance of writing in general.

Writing Workshop

“Instead of some short-lived novelty, a tack-on gimmick that gives you but one more thing to try, the traits become a way for writers to think and talk about writing, writer to writer” (Spandel, 2013, pg. 31). The Writer’s Workshop promotes independence, is all about getting the business of writing done, honors the process of writing, and the focus is on process more than product, according to our Creating Writers book. A huge part of the Writing Workshop is that it is a routine and also modeling!“Allowing for differences, that usually has three core parts: An Introduction, Writing Time, and Sharing Time” (Spandel, 2013, pg. 45).

Time management is huge in the management of writer’s workshop. It is important to have a designated area for Writer’s Workshop. Each student must also have appropriate access to the supplies needed for the workshop. You can start the workshop with a mini lesson to engage the students. Afterwards, the students can do some silent writing time. Teacher/student conferences will be done during this time. An advantage is that the teacher can work with multiple students at once. Then, the students can work in a response group to read each other’s writings and make suggestions. Then it is time to wrap up.

The teacher can observe the students during the writing workshop and talk to them to understand them as writers. They can also ask the students what they would like the teacher to support them with that day, like reading what they have and giving them advice. They can ask leading questions and compliment where they really do well. The teachers can help the students develop big enough ideas to support multiple paragraphs. Students really learn a lot watching the teachers model what they are looking for.

Student-centered classroom are when the students have questions about things like spelling, the teacher can prompt them to use what they already know to decode the spelling.

Teaching for Understanding is when the teacher models what strong writing should look like.

Assessment for Learning is when the teacher has the students talk about what they wrote. Then, the teacher can provide the students with further models of stronger work. Rigor and Relevance is when the teacher has the students apply their writing to their real-life situations. The students use their prior experiences to tell a realistic story that the audience can picture. Teaching for Learner Differences is when the teacher is able to group the students, based on their instructional necessities.

Writing Workshop even works with young writers as well! This is where activation of prior knowledge is needed to gauge what the students know and can do. This would be where the instructor would start. “Our salient no-compromise feature of writing workshop is that it must feel safe. Safe for the shy student, the non-writer, the writer who doesn’t like to share, the beginner, the second-language student – everyone” (Spandel, 2013, pg. 46). Time allotted for writing should be the majority of the workshop, but the schedule is flexible.

The Six Traits of Writing

Six-trait writing program is different, in that it isn’t a program, curriculum, or a formula, but a vision. “A way of thinking and talking about writing that helps teachers, and most important, helps students answer the question all writers must ask: What makes writing work?” (Spandel, 2013, pg. 2). When students start being able to answer this question, they are able to become thinkers and be in charge of their own writing. The Six Traits of Writing honestly do fit in everywhere. They build the students understanding, provide language, give students options, teach them to think, connect reading to writing, and put students in charge, stated by our Creating Writers book.

The Six Traits are the ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and the conventions and presentation. The Standards are based on what is thought to make someone a literate person in the twenty-first century. “The connection to the traits is very strong in Standards 1 through 3 because all three major genres require trait-based skills” (Spandel, 2013, pg. 24). Usually people would think that starting writing instruction through assessment is backwards, but it’s the most effective way found so far.

Writing Across Disciplines

In general, writing is used in every course and helps the students sift through the information they are presented. Writing more often also helps improve a student’s writing. If the students are writing in more than one class, they will be utilizing and practicing those good communication skills. Writing across disciplines also unifies the school faculty. They collaborate together to find ways to implement writing into all courses. “Some common Writing Across Discipline assignments are reports. Literature reviews, project proposals, and lab reports” (Welcome to the Purdue OWL).

ELA Common Core Standards

“Because students must learn to read, write, speak, listen, and use language effectively in a variety of content areas, the standards promote the literacy skills and concepts required for college and career readiness in multiple disciplines” (English Language Arts Standards). The purpose of the college and career readiness anchor standards is to make sure we are producing students who can be successful in college and on the job. Each section of the English Standards begins with the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards, which tells you what the students should know and be able to do to succeed in college and in their career. The progression of the core standards links to the college and career anchor standards by looking at how kids can take information that they are presented with and understand what to do with it.