Evaluation for 3.b.3
Over the course of the year, composition convention skills are applied in increasingly complex contexts, with opportunities for students to publish their writing.
The materials approach the teaching of grammar, punctuation, and their usage through in-context practice. Specifically, the usage of grammar and punctuation occurs throughout the drafting, revising, and editing stages of the writing process across all units. The materials ask teachers to set an editing focus based on their observations of common errors in students' conventions, grammar, and/or punctuation. Students are provided an editing checklist to use for editing their draft. Peer editing of essays occurs as well. The writing cards included with each unit contain a convention’s check card and an editing checklist to be used during the Writing Workshop by students. The Editing Checklist and Conventions Check card are available to students as they work through the writing process each week. The materials do not teach grammar, punctuation, and their usage out of context, rather the teacher must design instruction based on the editing focus identified in their students’ writing.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Unit 1, a lesson introduces the idea of brainstorming as students begin a fictional writing piece based on My Teacher is an Alien, the book they’d been reading throughout the unit. Specifically, students consider “what other conflicts could explore this same issue/teach a similar theme?” and “what about the way the author designed these characters or the conflict would you like to imitate in your own story? Why?” The materials include an editing handout for students to use when editing their own writing. Using this resource student analyze their word usage, sentence structure, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, quotations, apostrophes, and verb agreements. The materials also include a mini lesson called “Why Edit?” The lesson starts with the value of conventions and allows the teacher to select a writing process to teach from the resources found in the materials.
In Unit 2, the students participate in formal writing following the complete writing process. The project for the unit is informational writing. The students complete the entire process of drafting, revising, editing and publishing. The students write on unit-specific topics and are provided with writing cards to use throughout the process. The writing cards provide steps to complete each area of the process as well as tips for better writing. In addition to the writing cards, students are provided with graphic organizers to help in the process. Information for the writing process is found through research the students conduct on their chosen topic. Students work on the editing process with a heavy focus on grammar. The students focus on capitalization, spelling, punctuation and grammar. Students also focus on sentence structure such as simple, compound, complex and compound/complex sentences. This practice is found within each section of the writing process. The writing lessons focus on editing and explicitly discuss word usage and grammar. The teacher selects a student to model and determine in a writing piece if first, second, or third narrator is consistent along with proper verb agreement. Additionally, the lesson leaves room to review nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs where needed.
In Unit 3, the teacher models how to revise a theme statement. Specific think aloud questions include “could someone argue against it?” and “if not, what can I change to make it more debatable?” The materials outline the final editing process. The teacher is instructed to use the editing card and work through the conventions step by step. Teachers coach and observe during this time to give students ample opportunity to practice and apply conventions in their writing piece. The teacher also uses a student volunteer to model the editing process including verb-noun agreement and consistency in “person.” If appropriate, nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and prepositions are reviewed. The students then read their work out loud to their partners and work together to improve the grammar in their pieces.
In Unit 4, students complete the entire process of drafting, revising, editing and publishing for argumentative writing. Students organize their writing based on chosen unit-specific topics that they research. Writing cards assist the student in the process with guides and graphic organizers. The material present lessons on the publishing process for the argumentative piece researched throughout this final unit. These lessons include information on bibliographies, about the author page, and visuals. Materials include a publishing card checklist for students.
The students apply grammar conventions to the entire writing process. The students model, practice, and apply point of view, verb agreement, singular, plural, common and proper nouns, subjective, objective, possessive pronouns, past, present, and future verbs, comparative and superlative adjectives, adverbs, prepositions and prepositional phrases. Students also focus on sentence structure such as simple, compound, complex and compound/complex sentences. The materials emphasize correct use of punctuation as well in the writing process.