Help me with my research paper
With respect to the narrative genre, mini lessons focus on the craft of writing regularly modeled through the use of mentor texts as instructional support tools to help writers hone their craft. Each mini lesson is followed by independent writing, to which a substantial portion of class time is dedicated. During independent writing students brainstorm, write, edit, and confer with writing partners or with me. As noted above, the writing workshop is intended to be learner-centered, an environment in which active learning and inductive instructional methods are fundamental characteristics. To that end, I use the metaphor of the maleta, a Spanish term for suitcase, to reinforce the idea of meaning-centeredness in the learning process. A maleta represents a reservoir of the cultural and social experiences that students bring to school. As a primer to the narrative genre, I have students construct a maleta and fill it with clippings and other symbolic representations of their experiences that can be used as story seeds. These objects might represent dreams, wonderings, special places, important events or milestones, family stories, and other joyful or even frightening events that continue to linger or have been definitive in their lives.
The writing workshop as described herein is primarily implemented at the elementary grade levels and not commonly reported in the academic literature as an approach to teaching writing in higher education. Nevertheless, I wanted to engage my teacher candidates in the writing process, much in the same way that they might engage their own students. While the workshop approach is a worthwhile way to teach writing, it is also pedagogically demanding. Writing conferences as a form of assessment significantly facilitated my efforts. Making this decision as our teacher candidates were about to enter a field where more rigorous accreditation standards, curricular mandates, and assessment prevail, seemed like errant behavior.
In the beginning, it was apparent that students were heavily focused on my evaluation of their stories and less on the craft of writing.
If writing was going to be a recursive and creative process, using analytic rubrics with narrow criteria and levels of performance to grade writing was reductionist in nature and weakened the heart of the writing process. Initially, some students could not loosen the grip on rubrics and found the ambiguity that resulted in placing less emphasis on formal assessments during the writing Gair Slaying the Writing Monsters 447 Figure 1 Writing Workshop Components process disconcerting. To provide students with some measures of success, I implemented a holistic rubric as a summative assessment to grade the capstone project. In contrast to an earlier analytic rubric in use, this type of rubric is designed to provide writers with a wider description of the characteristics that exemplify a level of performance and emphasizes what they can demonstrate rather than their shortcomings. For instance, the holistic rubric that was applied as the summative assessment is focused on the building blocks of the narrative genre (e. The primary diagnostic tool or form of assessment of student writing was accomplished through writing conferences, or conferring, as otherwise recognized in the literature in the field of language arts. At first, the writing conferences served more or less as benchmark points to help me with my research paper help me with my research paper loosely gauge progress - essentially an informal assessment practice of floating around the classroom and proving emotional support or positive reinforcement.
I restructured the manner in which I conferred with students and began to function mainly as a writing coach who learned to focus more on the writer than the writing - sage advice heeded from the work of Calkins and Fletcher.
Oftentimes students are hesitant to share their writing because it requires some risk-taking (something that does not come easily to all students), and as such, appreciate an accepting audience.
In receiving a piece, I put corrective tendencies aside and describe the effect that the writing has on me as a reader, and not as an instructor. It is also an opportunity to ask questions that may help expand the writing. In doing so, I periodically draw on my qualitative research skills in interviewing wherein I position myself as learner and exhibit a degree of naivete, along with the practice of analytic listening. Thirdly, during each conference I sit side-by-side the writer signifying that a collegial interaction is about to take place. I also have green, yellow, and pink highlighters ready for use. A green highlighter is used to mark the effective use of craft traits and what the writer does well, the yellow to highlight suggestions and elements of writing in need of revision, and pink to indicate underdeveloped parts or draw attention to writing conventions such as grammar, punctuation, spelling, and overall readability that need to be addressed later during the editing phase. To give the reader a sense of the dialogue, a selective transcription of a conference with a writer at the revision phase of the writing process is provided in the Appendix. After reflecting on this writing conference and others, I help me with my research paper added my journal notes to highlight certain common practices of which I became more aware and proficient in, with each new cohort of students.