by George Newell
Ms. Hill was aware of the literary scholarship on the short story “Indian Camp,” and its emphasis on the theme of loss of innocence. But this secondary ELA teacher decided to focus her students’ explorations on the theme of dominance. She supplanted authorized literary knowledge (the renderings of literary scholars) with knowledge derived from her students’ concerns for social justice, her own readings of the story which are connected to her history as an African American woman and her experiences (and her knowledge of others’ experiences) of racism. As Ms. Hill orchestrated a text-based discussion of dominance in “Indian Camp,” she framed the social construction of knowledge in terms of claim, warrant, evidence, and counter argument. However, she located those categories not in traditional argumentative structures used in classrooms but in terms of “arguing-to-learn.”
This blog provides a brief overview of a new framework for teaching and learning literature in secondary schools, like what was observed in Ms. Hill’s classroom. This framework is an inquiry-based approach to engage students in communicating and exploring ideas about literature. More information on the practice and research behind this framework are found in two resources featured below that are offered by The Ohio State University Argumentative Writing Project.
National WRITE Center
-Adapted from National WRITE Center's survey results.
Friday, March 13, 2020: What better day to close schools down and send us all home to begin our new careers––as online teachers. As I made the long drive home that afternoon from Middle College High School, I had no idea how long we would be teaching from home. Instead of seeing the quarantine as an obstacle, I thought of it as an opportunity to examine the different types of writing we assign and how these assignments might (or might not) be adapted to remote teaching for the juniors with whom I spend my days—online, of course.
Over the course of this and upcoming blogs, I will examine each one of these types of writing assignments in more detail and within the context of teaching online during such difficult times as we currently face. For now, it seems that we should all expect to be grappling for some time with the challenges and constraints that come with teaching online or, as seems the likely scenario in the fall, some balance between in-person and online.
-- A summary of Steve Graham’s article “The Science of Writing is the science of Reading and Vice Versa”
by Jiali Wang
by Jazmin Cruz
A 2020 study conducted by Graham, Kiuhara, and MacKay shows that writing about classroom content can enhance learning for students in grades 1-12. The study revealed that writing about content was equally effective across multiple subjects in supporting students’ comprehension and application of content knowledge.
by Jazmin Cruz
Students can be supported synchronously or asynchronously during online writing instruction in the following ways.
by Jiali Wang
The drafting process can be challenging for students and online instruction may make it even harder for teachers to monitor students’ drafting process. Padlet can help teachers support and monitor students’ process-based writing.
by Jacob Steiss
Given how important it is for students to assess their own progress as writers, many of us might be wondering how to facilitate this self-assessment during virtual or online instruction.
The “Lit and Tech” blog, written by @JenRoberts1, has made available an easy and insightful way to engage students in self-assessment using Google Forms. While the form has a number of important questions to engage students in focused self-reflection, the blog also allows you to make a copy of the form to modify for your own instructional needs. Find the form here.
by National Writing Project
The National Writing Project (NWP) is a network of sites anchored at colleges and universities and serves teachers across disciplines, from early childhood through university. They provide professional development, develop resources, generate research, and act on knowledge to improve the teaching of writing. NWP sites share a set of principles and practices for teachers’ professional development. In addition to developing a leadership cadre of local teachers (called “teacher-consultants”) through invitational summer institutes, NWP sites design and deliver customized in-service programs for local schools, districts, and higher education institutions, and provide a diverse array of continuing education and research opportunities for teachers.