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We are waiting for a microphone. As soon as we get one, we will begin! (Isnt writing just a wonderful concept?!)

Building Bridges: Real Kids/Real Classrooms Where Reading and Writing Begin: Oral Language Writers Workshop: Time and Organization The Traits Ideas Organization Voice

Word Choice Sentence Fluency Scoring Papers

Building Bridges
We believe that when children first come to school, they have already started learning to write.
Katie Wood Ray Lisa B. Cleaveland

preschoolers in professional families talk more and use more complex language than do adults in the poorest families
Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experiences of Young American Children Betty Hart and Todd Risley

Writing Goals & Sources High Stakes Tests Ruth Culham Lucy Calkins

We are born with a brain. A mind is developed. Words are the bricks and mortar used to develop the mind. The more words we have, and the earlier we have them, makes ALL the difference.

The reciprocal nature of the language arts

G Effective teachers are actively conscious of the relatedness of these skills.

Listening Speaking Viewing Reading Writing THINKING

The listening vocabulary is the reservoir that feeds the speaking vocabulary, the reading vocabulary and the writing vocabulary all at the same time. Consider the word enormous. If a child has never heard the word, he is unlikely to say the word. And if hes neither heard it or said it, imagine the difficulty when it comes time to read it or write it.
The Read Aloud Handbook Jim Trelease

When we grow our capacity in one of these areas, it enriches all of the areas.

Letter Callers to Word Callers to Meaning Makers Teaching Writing in Grades K-3

Physical Fluency

Identify Rhyme Syllabicate ID Beginning & Ending Sound


Intentional Development of Oral Language

Sight Words Pattern Words WORD STUDY


Good First Teaching

Because we know our children

Oral Language Capacity Book experience Story experience Phonology Phonics Writing experience

muscle development Hand-eye coordination Letter/Sound

Good First Teaching

Anchor Charts for Behavior Writing paper format Writers Workshop: Time & Organization Portfolio Organization

Because we know our children

Behavior/Procedure Anchor charts

EXPLICIT INSTRUCTION and CONTINUED SUPPORT in Writers Workshop format and student behavior.

Writers Workshop Writers Gather Notebooks Open/Pencils Ready Writing Folders closed but on our desk. Eyes up front. Listening for Focus Point. We all attempt Focus Point. Good writers keep on writing!

Your Job Until 10:00 a.m.

Critical elements of successful writing instruction . Not attending to them may well sabotage your best efforts during instructional time.

Shape of Writers Workshop (include times).* Anchor Chart for Behavior Portfolio Goals for First Quarter

*Page 21 of hand-out provides an outline of Writers Workshop format.

Essential Questions

What are the traits? What is the purpose of common language? Who uses this language? Does this approach really work?

Overview of the Traits

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Ideas Organization Voice Word Choice Sentence Fluency Conventions


Why use this language?

Common language = shared understanding.

Performance Informs Instruction

The three primary purpose for reading and grading students papers are:

improve their writing to build their confidence with editing and revision; and to inform you (the teacher) of the writing instruction they (the students) need.


Who uses this language?

First the teacher, then the kids. Tools. Tools. Tools.

Modes of Writing
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Descriptive Narrative Imaginative Expository Persuasive

Sequence Compare/contrast Cause/effect Question/answer Problem/solution and Description

Non-fiction writers use:

six basic structures to inform, show, describe and explain information (Alvermann and Phelps, 19989; Harvey, 1998: Robb, 2004; Vacca and Vacca, 2000).

All modes reflect all Six-Traits

Common Characteristics of Effective Instruction

Focus on academic achievement Clear curriculum choices Frequent assessment of student progress and multiple opportunities for improvement An emphasis on nonfiction writing Collaborative scoring of student work

Instructional Strategy Grammar Models Sentence Combining

Systematically search for sentence forms that suit writing purpose.

Impact -0.30 negative 0.217 small 0.35* strong 0.36*

Criteria to evaluate work. (6-Traits)


Good thinking = Good writing. Learning strategies for transforming raw data into usable information. APPRENTICE MODEL.

0.57* very strong

Free Writing
Writing whatever interests the student.
Research on Writing Composition. George Hillocks, 1986. NWREL



The 6-Trait Writing approach KNOWS this.

The Apprentice Method

Three Ways to Read

Literal Comprehension Inferential Comprehension Analytical Comprehension: Reading Like a Writer

When teachers immerse students in reading and studying the kind of writing they want them to do, they are actually teaching at two levels. They teach students about the particular genre or writing issue that is the focus of the study, but they also teach students to use a habit of mind that experienced writers engage in all the time.
Language Arts January 2006, pg. 242

The Ideas Trait

Selecting an idea (topic) Narrowing the idea (focus) Elaborating on the idea (development) Discovering the best information to convey the idea (details)

Idea: Getting Your Students Involved

Selecting an idea:

Whats an idea? Draw-Label-Caption Making Lists Questions Storytelling: The Personal Narrative The Relatives Came

Notebook Know-How. Aimee Bruckner

Teach me to draw and label.

Illustrating precedes formal writing production.


An Experience



An Experience


Narrative Retelling Characters

Setting 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.


Sequence of Events

How is problem solved?

Lesson Learne d





Expository Retelling


Title ____________________________________________________







PERSONAL CONNECTION: __________________________________________________________



Conflict Problem Decision Issue Dilemma Confusion Pleasant Memory Quandry Worry Scare Embarrassing Moment A sadness

Narrowing the Idea

Strategies: Seeds Not Watermelons Time-lines Six-Boxes

TITLE: ____________________________________________




My name is India Opal Buloni and last summer my daddy, the preacher, sent me to the store for a box of macaroniand-cheese, some white rice and two tomatoes and I came back with a dog. This is what happened: I walked into the produce section of the Winn-Dixie grocery store to pick out my two tomatoes and I almost bumped right into the store manager. He was standing there all red-faced screaming and waving his arms around. Who let a dog in here? he kept shouting. Who let a dirty dog in here? Because of Winn Dixie Kate Di-Camillo

school was just out I had just finished the 3rd grade my mother had finally gotten to sit down! for the evening my teacher had let me help her clean her supply closet I had LOTS of papers the whole front room was layered in paper my mother was finally reading her paper neighbor, Mr. Syriani, came to the screen door strange dog bounded in, started jumping all over Please, get your dog! Thats not my dog - I thought that was your dog!

Elaborating an Idea

The Magic Camera Snapshots Thoughtshots Spinoffs Building a Scene

Building a Scene


We hadnt seen my dad in years and years because he was drinking but when he came back he was with us kids all the time.
Excerpted from 4 pages of writing by a 7th grader on the prompt of A Hero to Me

Able coaches of writing are EXCELLENT LISTENERS

They had an old station wagon that smelled like a real car, and in it they put an ice chest full of soda pop and some boxes of crackers and some bologna sandwiches, and up they came from Virginia. They left at four in the morning when it was still dark, before even the birds were awake.

Youre right, Eva said, wishing Mr. Morley would one day find the poetry in his pudding. Taking his advice, she tried to think up a new way to describe the look of Mr. Morleys mousse. Smooth and dark as midnight. Or maybe more like a mink! Yes, that was it! Eva thought, writing in her notebook.

But Elmer himself wasnt happy. Whoever heard of a patchwork elephant? he thought. No wonder they laugh at me! One morning, Just as the others were waking up, Elmer slipped away.

Response to Literature
Dear David, Our class thinks you should know about these rules. We hope you have a better day tomorrow!
If you need something, ask for help to get it. Take your shoes off before you come in the house.

The Organization Trait


Organizing student thought

Beginning, Middle and End Sequencing thought


Organizing text structure


Signal Words Summary Writing

Narrative Retelling Characters

Setting 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.


Sequence of Events

How is problem solved?

Lesson Learne d

TRANSITION STATEMENTS Just when we finally thought it was done. First Next Then Finally At long last.. Although.. Suddenly Eventhough Eventually The last time we spoke Several hours passed Many hours passed

Expository Retelling


Title ____________________________________________________







PERSONAL CONNECTION: __________________________________________________________





Voice, Word Choice & Vocabulary

Reading like a writer.

The Voice Trait

Voice is the heart and soul, the magic, the wit, along with the feeling of conviction of the individual writer coming out through the words.

Books cant have light. If books could have more, give more, be more, show more, they would still need readers, who bring to them sound and smell and light and all the rest that cant be in books. The book needs you.




Tell something you liked. Ask a question. Give a WISH

The Word Choice Trait

Word choice is the use of rich, colorful, precise language that moves and enlightens the reader.
Vocabulary is background knowledge revealed. Marzano, 2005

Tiers of Vocabulary
(Beck & McKeown)



Domain specific; concepts; words of high stakes tests.

Common nouns and Words of verbs; have to sophisticated teach to ELL and language user. poverty kids.

door, turn, raise your hand,

bruise, fragile, frustrated, beside, under, favorite, confused

circle, line, square, beginning, middle, end, problem, main character

Word Choice Strategies

Sheep weep.

Visualization Sparkle Word Board Expando!!

In the fall of 1777, Philadelphia sat twitching like a nervous mouse. The British were going to attack, but no one knew where or when. Congress had fled inland to York. The Liberty Bell was secreted to Allentown. Folks thought the year resembled a hangmans gallows and took it as a a bad sign. Now, all the church bells were being removed to keep the British from melting them down into firearms.

The Scarlet Stockings Spy

Trinka Hakes Noble

Long, long ago a king arrived in the North. They called him the Red King because he wore a scarlet cloak and his shield was emblazoned with a burning sun. It was said that he came out of Africa. This king was also a marvelous magician and each of his ten children inherited a small part of his power. But when the Kings wife died, five of his children turned to wickedness and the other five, seeking to escape the corruption that surrounded their evil siblings, left their fathers castle forever.
Midnight for Charlie Bones
Jenny Nimmo

Brokenhearted, the Red King vanished into the forests that covered the kingdoms of the North. He did not go alone, however, for he was followed by his three faithful cats leopards to be precise. We must never forget the cats! The manifold and fabulous powers of the Red King were passed down through his descendents, often turning up quite unexpectedly in someone who had no idea where they came from. This is what happened to Charlie Bone and to some of the children he met behind the grim, gray walls of Bloors Academy.

Midnight for Charlie Bones

Jenny Nimmo

The Sentence Fluency Trait

1. 2. 3.

Establishing flow, rhythm, and cadence Varying sentence length and structure Constructing sentences that enhance meaning

The principal followed the trail of sand, and when she arrived, Miss Deaver was teaching the hula to some kids near the front of the room, and a tall, thin, shirtless boy with chestnut hair was just spiking a Nerf volleyball over a net made from six T-shirts tied together. The third-grade trip to the South Seas ended. Suddenly.
Frindle. Andre Clements

Judith Viorst

A giant hand inside my chest Stretches out and takes My heart within its mighty grasp And squeezes till it breaks. A gentle hand inside my chest, With mending tape and glue, Patches up my heart until Its almost good as new. I ought to know by now that Broken hearts will heal again. But while I wait for glue and tape The pain! The pain! The pain!

Strategies for Sentence Fluency

Phrase-Cued Reading Readers Theatre The Poetry Assignment

The Conventions Trait

We know this one!


Morning Message Shared Writing Response to Literature

*Inquiry Traitmost effective

Salutations! Its Wednesday, a joyous day of success! By 9:10 this morning, you should have: the four math problems below completed and ready for correcting, your Social Studies text on your desk along with last night assignment, your permission slip for tomorrows field trip on your desk. Also, in case you forgot, we dismiss at 12:15 p.m. today. Yours until Niagara Falls, Mrs. S.
Our Motto: Busy hands are happy hands!!

An acronym for:

R Role of the writer A Audience for the piece of writing F Format of the material
T Topic of subject of the piece of writing.

S Strong Verb

Scope and Sequence

All grades, all Traits Teach explictly, use globally Adopt K-12 Focus on informational writing

Putting the Traits to Use

Essential Questions: How do I use the 6-Traits to score a paper? How does this information drive my instruction? Will using the 6-Traits method interfere with my students state assessment performance?

The Benefits of Writing Scoring

Writing strengthens understanding and fosters critical thinking* Drives classroom instruction Aligns professional PD
*The strongest writing instruction!

Data Pictures

Individual Instruction Whole Class Instruction

Scheduling Writing Assessment

Write to a common prompt Fall, Winter, Spring Intra/Inter-school

3, 2, 1...
In your notebook 3 - Connections youve made between content and writing 2 - Ideas you plan to try in content area writing

1 - Challenge you think you might

face in implementing your plan(s)

It can change the world, your writing.

Shelly Harwayne, Principal The Manhattan School