September 28, 2011

National Writing Project Find a Site

Click the link and go to an interactive version of this map that details writing project sites across the country.  You are not alone!

Click the link and go to an interactive version of this map that details writing project sites across the country. The classroom can be a lonely place. However, you are not alone even if the teacher's room in your school is a dispirited trench.

Reach out and connect with like minds!

September 18, 2011

Helping teachers become writing teachers.


How this class came to be:

My first formal online learning experience was in 1996. I took an online class offered by the Milken Family Foundation that was mentored by the great Lajeane Thomas of ISTE and Louisiana Tech renown. Thanks to LaJeane I returned to school and earned an online masters degree focused on online teaching and learning.

I began teaching online in 1999. I wrote and started teaching my 6-Traits class in 2001 for the University of Northern Iowa. I moved the class to the University of Wisconsin Stout in 2005. I've taught the course nearly every semester for the past 10 years.

The two essential drivers that make this class work are a very strong sense of community that encourages teachers to share methods and practice scoring of papers using a number of databases that provide expert feedback. It's all about hands on discovery of highly practical ideas. My litmus test is: "Will this work on Monday morning?" I also enjoy helping teachers discover that they've been teaching with the traits all along. Learning the vocabulary of the traits helps everyone understand the bigger picture of writing instruction.

I learned about 6-Traits and the writing process when I was an elementary teacher in the 80's. Later, as a district Language Arts coordinator, I worked with the Northern Nevada Writing Project to train dozens of teachers. This early exposure to the writing process, combined with 25 years in the classroom and 10 years online make this online class a rich experience.

I love teaching this class. It's a chance to connect with teachers from around the world and share practical methods and materials about 6-Traits and the writing process.

I also publish the 6-Traits Resources Facebook Page as a way to share ideas about writing and teaching.

If you now of anyone who would be interested in this class pass it on? 

Helping teachers become writing teachers is one of the most satisfying things in the world. ~ Dennis

University of Wisconsin-Stout of EDUC 744 Teaching and Assessing Writing with the 6-Traits. 
For more information:

September 12, 2011

Fall 2011: Online Class: Teaching and Assessing Writing with the 6-Traits

EDUC 744 3 graduate credits 

EDUC 744 920 Elem (PK-4) 3 graduate credits September 26 – November 18, 2011

EDUC 744 909 Middle School-Adult 3 graduate credits September 26 – November 18, 2011

Learn to teach and assess writing with the 6-Traits of writing
(voice, ideas, word choice, organization, sentence fluency and conventions). Learn to use the 6-Traits with the writing process to teach revision strategies. Help learners meet higher standards and improve test scores.

What students are saying:

 "I began this course thinking of myself as something of a blank slate with regards to the teaching of writing. I felt that writing was often a hit or miss proposition in my classroom. Today I see that while there are certainly holes in my second grade writing instruction, I'm actually doing more then I thought. I'm not starting from square #1. Today I'm able to categorize and organize what I'm already doing, plus add new things, using the framework of the 6 traits."

"I feel very fortunate to be taking a course like this so early in my teaching career. Someone mentioned to me recently that while there are many great ideas within the 6 trait model, it's easy to slip back into one's old ways of doing things. Perhaps I'm lucky in that I have no old ways to slip back into."

"I've had several important realizations as a result of work we've done these past weeks. The first is the specific connections that I now make between reading and writing. Naturally I was always aware that a connection existed. I knew on some level that reading to my kids was beneficial to their writing development. But too often the reading was undirected and without a plan. Today I have an arsenal of literature with which I can model, discuss, and teach specific traits in a focused way. And I don't have to teach writing alone. I now have the great authors of the world to help me. I can point to a piece of literature and say to my kids, "Take a look at what this author has done. We can do something similar in our own writing."

I've been teaching this course online for almost ten years.  It remains my favorite course because I get to help teachers from around the world transform their thinking about teaching writing.  Join us!  It's a remarkable experience in community, sharing, and new learning! ~ Dennis O'Connor

Collaborative Writing Platform: Thumbscribes

Posted from Diigo. The rest of 6-Traits Resources group favorite links are here.

Twitter: One way to find your writing process

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Primary Sentence Fluency Whales Passing

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.