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Course Syllabus Using Technology to Teach Common Core Writing Skills Credits: 3 Instructor: David Wells Meeting dates and Times: June 30 - August 8, 2013 Final Reflection Due – August 3, 2013 Location: Online in UVM Blackboard Course Description:
The teaching of writing has taken on a new emphasis within the Common Core State Standards. Students in elementary through high school grades must use digital tools to develop their writing skills. Participants in this course will gain a thorough understanding of CCSS ELA-Writing skills and will learn practical skills that will allow them to use digital tools to improve their writing instruction.
 As a result of active participation in this course, students will: 1. Increase their overall understanding of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English Language  Arts. 2. Increase their specific knowledge of the CCSS ELA-Writing skills and applications and how these standards compare with Vermont’s Grade Expectations for Writing. 3. Develop the skills to assess student writing using the CCSS ELA-Writing exemplars and SBAC Performance Task Writing Rubrics. 4. Understand the increased importance of the use of digital tools for the mastery of CCSS ELA-Writing skills and how the use of digital tools can become part of the writing workshop model. 5. Plan a unit of study that aligns with the CCSS and effectively uses digital tools as a central focus of the writing workshop.
Learning Outcomes:
1. Participants will gain an understanding of the CCSS ELA-Writing skills and applications that they will communicate to students, parents and colleagues. 2. Participants will have aligned their instruction of writing to the CCSS. 3. Participants will be able to assess student writing through the lens of the CCSS. 4. Participants will have gained a set of skills and understandings that will allow them to effectively use digital tools in the teaching of writing.
Course Policies/Expectations:
The following are necessary for successful completion of this course: Active participation in online class discussions of readings and literature Completion of readings and assignments Completion of final project
Typically, students should expect to spend at least fifteen hours per week in reviewing online lessons and resources, reading required texts and articles offline, creating and completing assignments, and participating in discussions. Discussion postings should reflect the student’s understanding and transfer of concepts contained in lessons and readings.
Attendance Expectations:
Online participation in Blackboard is expected each week to complete assignments and post discussion messages.
Students are expected to visit the course site at least four times per week 
. Active participation in class discussions of readings and literature
The official policy for excused absences for religious holidays: Students have the right to practice the religion of their choice. Each semester students should submit in writing to their instructors by the end of the second full week of classes their documented religious holiday schedule for the semester. Faculty must permit students who miss work for the purpose of religious observance to make up this work.
Contributions in Class:
Participants are expected to review all links in the Blackboard course posted in the lessons during each week. Participants should also take an active role in class discussions around new information from assigned readings and classroom applications. Participation in discussion forum topics
must be
 timely (within each week’s assignments) with multiple postings per week anticipated. Students should expect to log in to course-related web sites at least four times per week.
 Academic Honesty & Professionalism:
 All students are required to be familiar with and adhere to the “Academic Honesty Policy Procedures” delineated in the most recent edition of “The Cat’s Tale”. (http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmppg/ppg/student/acadintegrity.pdf ).
  Accommodations will be provided to eligible students with disabilities. Please obtain an accommodation letter from the ACCESS office and see one of the instructors early in the course to discuss what accommodations will be necessary. If you are unfamiliar with ACCESS, visit their website at http://www.uvm.edu/access to learn more about the services they provide. ACESS: A-170 Living Learning Center, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405. PH: 802-656-7753, TTY: call 711 (relay), Fax: 802-656-0739, Email: access@uvm.edu, Instant Messenger: UVMaccess. General office hours: 8:30am 4:30pm Monday through Friday. Call to make an appointment.
Required Readings:
Calkins, L. (2012).
Pathways to the common core: Accelerating achievement
. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. (214pp) Common Core State Standards Initiative. (2012).
English language arts standards
. Retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy Goldenberg, L., Meade, T., Midouhaus, E., & Cooperman, N. (2011). Impact of a technology-infused middle school writing program on sixth grade students' writing ability and engagement.
Middle Grades Research Journal 
(2), 75-96. McLaughlin, M., & Overturf, B. J. (2012). The common core: Insights into the k-5 standards.
The Reading Teacher 
(2), 153-164. Hicks, T. (2009).
The digital writing workshop
. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. (176pp)
 SBAC. (2012, December 03).
Performance tasks writing rubrics
. Retrieved from http://www.smarterbalanced.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Performance-Tasks-Writing-Rubrics.pdf  Vermont State Board of Education. (2004).
Grade expectations for vermont's framework of standards and learning opportunities
. Retrieved from http://education.vermont.gov/documents/math_reading_writing.pdf  
Supplemental Readings:
DeVoss, D., Eidman-Adahl, E., & Hicks, T. (2010).
Because writing matters: Improving student writing in online and multimedia environments
. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Richardson, W. (2010).
Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms
. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. Butler, A. M., Monda-Amaya, L. E., & Yoon, H. (2013). The digital media writing project: Connecting to the common core.
Teaching Exceptional Children
(1), 6-14. Pytash, K. E., & Morgan, D. N. (2013). A unit of study approach for teaching common core state standards for writing.
Middle School Journal 
, (January), 44-51. Lamb, A., & Johnson, L. (2012). The power of technology: Unleashing the superhero in each learner.
Teacher Librarian
, (December), 61-66.
Electronic Submissions/Internet Use:
This course requires substantial Internet use given its online format. Online lessons include links to resources and readings associated with online lessons. Class discussion is conducted through an online discussion forum.
 All course assignments are submitted electronically.
 Evaluation/Assessment Grading:
Criteria for how grades are determined are described in the following sections.
Description of Class Assignments:
The following tasks and activities will be used to evaluate/assess participant performance in this course:
Participation, and Discourse
 The success of an online course relies heavily on each person's active participation. Each student will be expected to post his/her thoughts about activities and class readings each week. In addition, students will be expected to respond to the postings of others, to ask in-depth questions, and to help all of us probe deeper. Taking a course is a collaborative endeavor. I believe we benefit greatly from each others reflections and experiences. Students should read the postings of classmates as well as post individual topics for discussion. Each student should visit and read the posts contained in the Discussion Forum at least several times a week to keep up with current conversations.
Peer Feedback
During the completion of the culminating project for this course, you will be asked to review work submitted by someone in class and provide in-depth and constructive feedback to enable the author to improve upon and enhance his/her work.

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