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180 Days to Successful Writers
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180 Days to Successful Writers
Lessons to Prepare Your Students for Standardized Assessments and for Life



February 2006 | 296 pages | Corwin
In today's high-stakes environment, standardized test scores determine much more than student performance. Scores are linked to school status, the amount of funding a school receives, and ultimately a teacher's job security. Which means teachers not only need to teach their students how to write well for practical purposes-they must also teach them how to write well on timed tests. Luckily, it is possible to do both using one curriculum.

This book provides teachers with a writing curriculum that prepares students for standardized writing tests while helping them develop skills for lifelong writing success. Adaptations for gifted students and for low-performing students are also provided. Finally, a way for teachers to provide direct quality writing instruction that allows them to meet testing demands in time and with confidence!

 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
1. No-Brainers and Bosses: Laying the Foundation
Curriculum Overview

 
Goals

 
Instruction Framework

 
Preparing to Teach

 
Week 1 Lesson Plans (Focus: Pretests and Prompt Differentiation)

 
 
2. Pickle Sandwiches and TCUPSS: Beginning Expository Writing
Week 2 Lesson Plans (Focus: The Expository Writing Process)

 
 
3. Rainbow Words and Awe-Inspiring Adjectives: Enhancing Expository
Week 3 Lesson Plans (Focus: Author’s Voice)

 
Week 3 Lesson Plans (Focus: Author’s Voice)

 
Week 5 Lesson Plans (Focus: Pace and Independence)

 
 
4. It all Started With a Tier Cake: Directing Narrative Structure
Week 6 Lesson Plans (Focus: Narrative Story Structure)

 
 
5. Ask for Likely Similes and Vivacious Verbs: Enhancing Narratives
Week 7 Lesson Plans (Focus: Syntax)

 
Week 8 Lesson Plans (Focus: Strong Verbs)

 
Week 9 Lesson Plans (Focus: Similes)

 
 
6. Dressing Things Up: Independent Writing
Week 10 Lesson Plans (Focus: Metaphors)

 
Week 11 Lesson Plans (Focus: Quotations)

 
Week 12 Lesson Plans (Focus: Sensory Details and Skeleton Plans)

 
Week 13 Lesson Plans (Focus: Hooks and Correcting Slang)

 
Week 14 Lesson Plans (Focus: Timed Writing)

 
Week 15 Lesson Plans (Focus: Anecdotes)

 
 
7. The Improvement Process: Diagnosing and Fixing Problems
Week 16 Lesson Plans (Focus: Grammar and Using a Rubric)

 
Week 17 Lesson Plans (Focus: Clarifying Problems)

 
Week 18 Lesson Plans (Focus: Elaboration)

 
Week 19 Lesson Plans (Focus: Conferencing and Self Reflection)

 
Week 20 Lesson Plans (Focus: Organization)

 
Week 21 Lesson Plans (Focus: Planning Difficult Prompts)

 
Week 22 Lesson Plans (Focus: Common Grammar Problems)

 
Week 23 Lesson Plans (Focus: Style, Voice, and Elaboration)

 
 
8. Timers and Deadlines: Preparing for a Test
Week 24 Lesson Plans (Focus: Reviewing the Basics)

 
Week 25 Lesson Plans (Focus: Writing Papers from Given Plans)

 
Week 26 Lesson Plans (Focus: Cooperative Writing)

 
Week 27 Lesson Plans (Focus: Studying for a Test)

 
 
9. Beyond Tests and Essays: Applying Expository Writing Knowledge
An Overview of the Projects

 
Adapting the Original Framework

 
Planning the Remaining School Year

 
Expository-Related Projects

 
Project #1: Newspaper Writing

 
Introducing Newspaper Journalism

 
Editorials, Part One

 
Editorials, Part Two

 
Interviews and Feature Articles, Part One

 
Interviews and Feature Articles, Part Two

 
Breaking News Articles

 
A Mini School Newspaper

 
Project #2: Subject Reports

 
Introducing Subject Reports

 
Research

 
Writing Subject Reports

 
Project #3: List Poetry

 
Personal List Poem

 
Contrasting Lists Poem

 
Object List Poem

 
 
10. Beyond Tests and Stories: Applying Narrative Writing Knowledge
Narrative-Related Projects

 
Project #1: Autobiography

 
First Few Years

 
Family, Home, School, and the Future

 
Project #2: Chapter Books

 
Character Sketches

 
From Outline to Story Draft

 
Project #3: Plays

 
Introducing Plays and Sketches

 
Three-Act Plays (Group Lesson)

 
Three-Act Plays (Independent Practice)

 
Project #4: Narrative Poetry

 
One Sentence Narrative Poems

 
Humorous Story Poems

 
Real Life Ballads

 
 
11. Writing Outside the Lines: Advanced Lessons
Using This Chapter

 
Advanced Narrative Writing

 
Point of View: Who Is Telling the Story?

 
Tense: Once Upon a Time in the Future

 
Characterization, Part One: Nose Pickers and Football Quarterbacks

 
Characterization, Part Two: What Color Are Your Socks?

 
Setting: It was a Dark and Stormy Night

 
Hooks: Beyond Bangs

 
Plot and Pace: And Then What?

 
Plot and Pace: And Then What?

 
Symbols and Themes: What’s Your Drift?

 
Putting it all Together: The Complete Package!

 
Advanced Expository Writing

 
Essay Topics: My Own Prompts

 
Non-Prompted Writing: Organized Free Writing

 
Knowledge-Based Writing: I’m the Expert – Listen to Me

 
Contemplations: What’s Your Theory?

 
 
12. Going School-Wide: Ideas to Create a Spiraling Curriculum
Specific Writing Goals

 
Adapting the Curriculum

 
Kindergarten

 
The Graphic Organizer

 
Sample Lessons

 
Suggested writing Topics

 
First Grade

 
The Graphic Organizer

 
The Graphic Organizer

 
Suggested Writing Topics

 
Second Grade

 
The Graphic Organizer

 
Sample Lessons

 
Suggested Writing Topics

 
 
Resources
 
Index

"This book provides a clear day-by-day instructional plan, including materials, objectives, step-by-step lesson plans, references for students, graphic organizers, prompts, and writing samples."

Sonya Campbell, M. Ed., Teacher
Washoe County School District, Reno, NV

"The book is eminently practical and written with the kind of detail and clarity that allows every reader to move toward greater success in the teaching of writing...even under today's high pressure circumstances."

Paul S. George, Distinguished Professor of Education
University of Florida

"The strategies introduced in this book have worked exceedingly well with my own students. Teachers will marvel at how their students will grow as confident, successful writers when taking this systematic approach."

Susan Kuhn, Teacher
Seminole County Public Schools, Sanford, FL

"I was most impressed with the extension lessons. As a teacher of gifted students, I am constantly questing well designed writing projects that encompass multiple skills and styles. (These) lessons, without modification, (are) valuable learning devices."

Sue Gonyou, English Teacher
Gifted Talented Program, Swope Middle School, Reno, NV

"Addressing the needs of students who are missing basic literacy tools while also challenging students whose abilities are more developed, this book provides a compendium of teaching ideas for students to write for multiple purposes and in multiple genres, . . . (with) innovative avenues for teachers to work collaboratively with each other in shaping a writing program that makes sense for their own classrooms."

Jane S. Townsend, Associate Professor
Language, Literacy & Culture, University of Florida, Gainesville

"180 Days to Successful Writers is just the kind of instructional resource that teachers have been waiting for! This book provides simple, practical advice for developing an effective writing program in elementary classrooms . . . (and) a framework of step-by-step daily instruction."

Devonne Harper, Ed.D., System-Wide Elementary Literacy Coach
Marietta City Schools, GA

"The structured lesson plan format, the use of graphic organizers, and the incorporation of the writing process are key strategies that should be utilized to promote higher levels of writing. With all of the current research on the importance of writing across the curriculum, this book is a 'must have' for educators everywhere."

Dr. Kelley Castlin, Principal
Pine Forest Elementary School, Marietta, GA

"Donohue and Reddy . . . have provided a tested, skill-oriented program to alleviate the stress associated with teaching writing, and empower teachers with the confidence and stucture necessary for success."

Tiffany DellaVedova, Teacher & Writing Program Coordinator
Boca Raton Preparatory, FL

"This book demystifies the writing process with a research-based, systematic and methodical approach. It gives teachers well planned, thorough lessons that . . . will guide students and give them the critical stepping stones to become proficient, confident writers in all genres.

Kathleen E. Huntley, M.A.Ed.
Writing Coach, Reading Teacher

"I am so excited to have this program in written form. It has made such a difference in my students' writing abilities."

Elizabeth Thomas, Interrelated Teacher, Special Education
Pine Forest Elementary School, Marietta, GA

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Chapter 1


Preview this book

For instructors

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