Beginning at minute 5:52, Dr. Anita Archer frames her presentation on Providing Explicit Instruction on Writing Arguments by outlining her “principles.” They include 1) breaking down complex skills into obtainable skills; 2) providing explicit instruction that involves modeling and guided practice; 3) providing immediate, quality feedback; providing judicious practice; and carefully considering motivation. With respect to breaking down complex skills, Dr. Archer suggests first having students write the body of an argumentative essay before writing the introduction (minute 12:57). With the introduction written, students would go back to the body and then write a conclusion. Dr. Archer does qualify that this “breaking” down technique is more likely to be used with Tier 3 student then Tier 2 students; and more often with Tier 2 students then Tier 1. In other words, you may not have to or want to do this with all students.
At minute 18:45, Dr. Archer outlines the research supporting the use of feedback to promote good writing. She continues with an example in which students take only a small part of a rubric to engage in peer editing. In turn, all student are able to gain access to quality feedback instead of always waiting to hear something from a teacher. The key is “highly focused” peer feedback. The slide, linked here, outlines some of that research.
Dr. Archer addresses the issue of motivation at minute 30:02. It is Dr. Archer’s assertion that compared to reading, solving math equations, and speaking in class, writing is the most difficult to get kids motivated for. She continues that to get students motivated they need to a have a perceived probability of success, an interest in the topic, and “narrow” choice.
Minutes 35:00 through 44:50 focus on the use of rubrics. Dr. Archer draws from checklists and Trait Scoring during this time. Oddly, she suggests that student’s do “close readings” of rubrics, which hardly consistent with what close reading is.
Dr. Archer continues with several strategies to use with decontextualized prompts.