Evaluation for 3.b.3
Over the course of the year, writing skills and knowledge of conventions are applied in increasingly complex contexts, with opportunities for students to publish their writing.
The materials provide opportunities for students to engage in the stages of the writing process (planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing); however, the materials do not provide instruction for publishing written products. In addition, the materials provide flexible grammar tools that allow teachers to target their instruction to specific students' needs. Those needs can be defined either through the formative writing opportunities in the book, or through the grammar diagnostics found on the LaunchPad platform.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The materials provide a “Grammar Workshop” section in the appendix. The fourteen workshops cover topics such as active and passive voice, capitalization, commonly confused words, parallelism, and subject-verb agreement. For example, students first identify errors in isolated sentences before revising errors in isolated sentences. Students then identify and revise errors in a paragraph before returning to a piece of their own writing and revising for the grammatical principle.
Diagnostics in the LaunchPad platform provide an individualized study plan for students and teachers. The exercises increase in difficulty; for instance, there are activities called “Avoiding Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers 1,” “2,” and “3,” with each designed to be progressively more difficult.
“Grammar Girl” podcasts offer a self-study opportunity for students, covering a wide range of writing, grammar, and punctuation topics. The podcasts do not provide interactive components nor any associated tasks for students. The teacher can assign the “Grammar Girl” podcasts to individual students or the whole class. The podcast titles do not always use the same language as the style guide, which may cause difficulty in identifying the relevant podcast.
LearningCurve interactive lessons are available to allow students to practice recognizing correct and incorrect applications of conventions in the format of multiple-choice questions; however, students are not called upon explicitly to apply those conventions in their own writing within the platform.
Chapter 2 focuses on writing with appropriate grade-level genre characteristics and craft within the writing process. Each section provides a definition and examples as well as an activity for students to apply their learning of the concepts. In the “Sentences” section, the materials provide examples and students practice revising sentences with comma splices or fragments. To apply to their own writing, students are tasked to “Return to the story activity titled ‘The Trip’ that you completed on page 45. Try inserting a sentence fragment somewhere in your revision. Share your sentence fragment addition with a partner. Discuss the thinking behind the idea and placement of the fragment.” In the “Paragraphs” section, the materials guide students through planning, drafting, and revising a paragraph. The chapter also includes a section on punctuation that briefly describes punctuation marks and recommends students “see the Grammar Workshop on commas in the back of the book” for more practice.
In Chapter 5, students engage in a writing workshop to compose a fictional text. Students work through each stage of the writing process of planning, drafting, and revising by creating a setting, characters, conflict, point of view, and an opening to the text. The materials also detail the steps of writing an analytical essay, from gathering evidence through drafting a paragraph and expanding to an essay. For each step, the materials provide information, models, and suggested tasks. The last step addresses the topic of revising and editing the initial draft, and the materials provide an editing and revision checklist, as well as a direction to see the Grammar Workshops in the appendix if students “need more help with grammar and style.” The materials do not mention publishing these writing pieces.
In Chapter 6, students plan and draft an argumentative essay by considering topic, audience, appeal, text organization, counterargument, and conclusion. In Workshop 2, students are guided through the steps of topic, claim, audience, points, evidence, rhetorical appeals, counterarguments, an introduction, and a conclusion. The final section, titled “Your Draft,” guides students to revise by stating: “By this point, you have all of the pieces of your argument: claim, counterclaim, evidence, appeals, introduction, and conclusion. When you put all of them together, be sure to consider such important details as: Putting your strongest evidence first, using transitions between ideas and paragraphs to help your reader move through your argument easily. Some common transitional words and phrases for argument writing are most important, additionally, however, therefore, on the other hand, and so on, addressing the counterclaim somewhere in the middle of your essay, sandwiched between your evidence, and maintaining the most appropriate and effective tone for your audience and your purpose.” The materials do not mention publishing these writing pieces.
In Chapter 11, Workshop 3: Writing an Analysis of Mythology, the materials provide step-by-step instructions for planning and drafting a literary analysis, along with models and activities. During the final step of the process, the materials direct students to revise and edit their essays, with brief advice on this process. The materials do not mention publishing these writing pieces.