Today’s post is Text Structures for Different Types of Writing. I designed this tool for teachers, but there are many pages that will also be good resource materials for students. In this handy guide, you’ll find a quick overview of the text types (i.e., Argumentative, Informational, Narrative) in the Common Core State Standards. AFter that, I’ve included my content cards for the following five text structures: compare/contrast, cause/effect, problem/solution, sequence, and description.
Check these out to see if they are something you can use! Here’s the link: http://datadeb.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/001_text_structures-deb-wahsltrom.pdf
I am a fan of Kelly Gallagher’s Article of the Week. His website is loaded with weekly articles you can use to give students interesting topics to which they can write.
I recently read an article in Education Week and asked the author, Anothy Cody, for permission to turn his article, Color Coded High School ID Cards Sort Students by Test Performance, into an assignment for students.
I set up the assignment in a modified version of Article of the Week. I modified the directions and numbered each of the lines in the text. The numbered lines support students in citing the text during classroom discussions.
Download the assignment: Assignment: Argumentative Paper
The assignment includes a Writing Checklist, which you can download separately.
Details and examples are one of those areas that students have struggled with when writing. Being able to cite details and examples is a skill that is valuable in reading, writing, thinking, and speaking. What are some of the things we might want to make sure students learn when we ask them to think about details and examples? We might want them to know what kinds of things are details: facts, quotes, statistics, firgurative language, the information in a visual, sensory details, and more. We also want students to know some of the things they can do with details: compare and contrast ideas, support a point of view, oppose a point of view, make a decision, describe a character, make inferences, make prediections, and more. As always, I’ve got a pdf copy for you – just print it out and share it with your students (and fellow educators).
Content Card, Details
A quick-write is a literacy strategy that can be used in any content area. In this activity you give students a topic or let them choose one of their own and then give them five minutes or so to write quickly about the topic.
I’ve included brief directions for using Quick-Writes with your students and an example of how to have students fill in their writing logs.
Download the materials now and give the technique a try!
Writing is a tool for thinking and learning. It doesn’t matter what content area you teach, you’ll find many opportunities to help students think through writing.
This quick overview gives a couple of ideas for having students write about data from a line graph.
Download the overview sheet and examples of having elementary students write about data.
You’ve likely heard about using data to inform student achievement. You’ve also likely used assessment data from your state tests to try and do that. There are many ways to use data, including the kinds of data you collect in your classroom. This short piece describes how to use data from a rubric to form flexible groups for instruction. Download the pdf to learn more about how to use this data strategy.
You may also want to download a copy of the kindergarten rubric that is used in this strategy.
This three-page handout has an example of a developmental rubric that can be used in kindergarten.
Download the pdf of the kindergarten rubric and ideas for its use.
You may also want to see my post related to using the data from this rubric to form flexible groups.
Have you ever struggled with helping students write a good conclusion? This is a simple and powerful activity I designed to help students understand the difference. Download the pdf of the strategy, which includes directions, a template, and an answer sheet for this activity. I designed this for the elementary level, but this is easily adapted to the secondary level by using more sophisticated examples. The Hot Miss phrase is from Amy Hooper, a wonderful teacher at Axton Elementary in Virginia.
One of the things kindergarten teachers like to track is how students are coming along with writing their names. So here is an idea for doing that. What is great about this tracking sheet is that the interventions are built in! I’ve put in a few illustrative examples to show you how to connect interventions and strategies to the data. Notice how simple using data really is.
I’ve included a number of things you may want to download and try: The overview sheet with tips about using the tracking chart, the tracking chart in a PowerPoint so you can customize it how you wish, and the tracking chart in EXCEL for those who might like to keep the records electronically.
This is a response technique to give students practice in answering recall and some critical thinking types of questions. Rapid Response Cards are any type of response cards you use with your students. They are called Rapid Response Cards because they are a quick way to obtain responses from all of the students in your class at one time. You can ask a question and have everyone hold up an answer. This is a terrific way to assess students on the questions you ask. This is a quick and effective technique to use when you want to check for understanding. Prepare a master set of response cards – use black ink on bright yellow cardstock for cards that are easy to see. (You may even want to laminate the response cards so that they will “wear” well.)
Download theses pdfs: Overview sheet, black and white template, yellow template.