Writing with the Common Core

www.sharemylesson.com, the website created by the American Federation of Teachers, has enlisted the aide of a number of distinguished academics to assist with the implementation of the Common Core.  Dr. Louisa Moats, a contributing writer of the Common Core State Standards, is one of these academics and she has shared a webinar to help teachers address the Common Core writing standards. Moats notes that writing is the most difficult of all language skills to develop and takes the longest time to develop.  She adds, it is the skill that the fewest number of students will gain proficiently with.

At minute 12:00, we learn that some of the models of teaching writing in K-12 came from studies of college students and then applied it to elementary schools–we should be skeptical about some of these writing processes or schemes. Moats gets very specific about planning at minute (13:25) noting that students need to write with source material; absent a common classroom experience, children will unnecessarily struggle. Translating—generation of text—(minute 15:20) and Review and Revision at minute 16:50 describe the last two parts of the writing process many of us are familiar with. Moats, however, cautions that revision requires a level of perspective taking, affective intelligence and pragmatic skills that many children may lack—especially struggling students.

At minute 43:00, Moats outlines how she would take students through the writing process. It starts with 1) picking a topic from a shared experience 2) setting a goal and making sure that students have generated a word bank and 3) assistance with organization so that students have an acute sense of what the final product will look like.

The webinar is well-worth watching and can be viewed here. The PowerPoint can be downloaded here.

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About Aaron Grossman

I am a 5th grade teacher at Roy Gomm Elementary in Reno, Nevada. I started working with elementary students as part of the Montana Reads program and AmeriCorps. In 2001, after graduating from the University of Montana and moving to Reno, Nevada, I student taught at Rita Cannan Elementary before receiving a 6th grade position at Veterans Elementary. I moved out of the classroom to be a Literacy Coordinator, then an Instructional Coach, and finally a School Improvement Program Coordinator. In 2011, I began working on the Nevada Academic Content Standards in the district’s Curriculum & Instruction Department. I returned to the classroom for the 2015-2016 school year to teach 4th grade at Huffaker Elementary. Before returning to the classroom, I helped develop the Core Task Project that has been featured by National Public Radio, the Gates Foundation, American Radio Works, Eduwonk, the Fordham Institute, Vox, and the Center for American Progress. In 2014, I received the Leader to Learn From Award for my teacher-centered initiative and work to bring college, career, and civics ready outcomes into Northern Nevada classrooms (here). In 2015, I was appointed by Governor Sandoval serve on the Statewide RPDP Council. The same year, Nevada’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction Steve Canavero placed me on the state’s State Improvement Team. This year I will be part of the National Council on Teacher Quality’s Teacher Advisory Group. I am Google Certified Educator and a Nevada Teacher Ambassador. I believe strongly that teaching content is teaching reading and I make sure my students have ample opportunities to work with social studies, history, science and art outcomes. I do what I can to blend the learning for my students and this blog is part of that effort. You can contact me at coretaskproject@gmail.com
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One Response to Writing with the Common Core

  1. Susan Y. says:

    Thanks for the shout out on the Louisa Moats webinar! We have an entire Common Core series that ran Oct – Dec and have made all recordings available online — all free! http://www.sharemylesson.com/recordings – The Share My Lesson Team

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