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Feedback That Moves Writers Forward

Feedback That Moves Writers Forward
How to Escape Correcting Mode to Transform Student Writing

Foreword by Katherine Bomer

Additional resources:

May 2017 | 280 pages | Corwin

“Patty McGee should be called the 'Writer Whisperer.' She offers brilliant advice for helping struggling writers, accomplished writers, and all those in between.” 
—Debbie Silver, Co-author of Teaching Kids to Thrive

The number one challenge of student writers today isn’t word choice, logic, voice, or even grammar and spelling—it’s buy-in. In Feedback That Moves Writers Forward, Patty McGee shares how to’s for teaching that changes the writing-as-obligation vibe for good. She demonstrates the way feedback can inspire students to reach new heights as writers. With Patty’s help, you learn to:

  • Resign from your position as Corrector-in-Chief and be amazed as students eagerly take over responsibility for refining their writing
  • Apply the research on growth mindset and goal setting, whether you use a writing program or a workshop model
  • Use tone, trust, and language to quicken students’ discovery of their writing identities and take risks when they are stuck
  • Use student work to deliver clear, just-in-time feedback during planning, drafting, revising, and editing 
  • Use the online printable forms for delivering customized feedback with just the right wording 
  • Balance grading and feedback
  • Help writers reflect so they are better able to apply what they learned about content, craft, and style to their future writing

One of the bravest things we can do as teachers is to admit when a long held practice isn’t working. Error-focused feedback is one such practice. So put down the red pen, pick up this book, and learn to say the right thing at the right time to develop fearless, original, and intentional writers—in any content area.

How This Book Works for Writing Teachers of All Stripes
Chapter 1. Effective Feedback in Writing: What We Know Works
Feedback: The Research Support

Why Don’t We Live the Research?

The Way Forward

Growth Mindset and Feedback

Making Space and a Place for Effective Feedback

Wrapping It Up

Chapter 2. “Integrading”: How to Live in a Grading World and Still Give Feedback
Grading Versus Feedback: What Are the Differences?

One Historical Perspective of Grading and Feedback

Designs to Help Feedback and Grading Play Nicely in the Classroom

Translating These Tools Into Different Grading Systems

What to Grade? A Subjective Answer to an Important Question

Wrapping It Up

Chapter 3. Feedback Fundamentals
Fundamental 1: Discover the Writer’s Identity

Fundamental 2: Set the Tone

Fundamental 3: Use Formative Assessment

Fundamental 4: Deliver Feedback That Has the Power of Three

Wrapping It Up

Chapter 4. When Writers Are Stuck: Feedback to Support Risk Taking
The Iceberg Illusion: The Bulk of the Writer’s Work Is Beneath the Surface

Risk Taking: How Students See It

When Writers Feel Stuck Coming Up With Ideas: Strategies to Try

When Writers Feel Stuck Elaborating: Strategies to Try

When Writers Feel Stuck With Taking Risks: Strategies to Try

Wrapping It Up

Chapter 5. When It Is Time to Stretch and Grow: Feedback for Goal Setting
Goal Setting: A Few Essentials

How to Set and Use Goals Effectively

Feedback on Goals From Classmates

Teacher Feedback on Goals

Designing Written Feedback

Wrapping It Up

Chapter 6. When Writers Need Ownership and Agency: Feedback to Support Choice Making
A Need for Choice, Now

Originality, Ownership, and Agency

Research Support

The Trust Fall of Developing Writers

Building in Choice as Part of Feedback

Feedback That Offers Choices in Research Writing

Feedback That Offers Choices in Text Structure

Feedback That Offers Choices in Elaboration

Feedback That Offers Choices in Grammar and Conventions

Wrapping It Up

Chapter 7. Feedback Comes Full Circle: Reflecting for Learning
Reflecting for Learning

Reflection as Feedback

Writer-Centered Reflecting

Writing-Centered Reflections



Videos with QR Codes
There will be three marginal QR codes in the book to three videos. No companion website

“Anyone who teaches ANY sort of writing (ahem, social studies and science teachers too) must read Feedback that Moves Writers Forward: How to Escape Correcting Mode to Transform Student Writing and take Patty McGee‘s ideas to heart as she explores the language teachers can use to motivate students in the classroom.” 

Joy Kirr
Teachers Going Gradeless (blog)

“I’ve always believed that true success in the classroom relies heavily on relationships. If you aren’t connected to a student, you don’t have much. In [Feedbck That Moves Writers Forward] Patty McGee says, ‘Essential to effective feedback is to know our young writers-who they are, what makes them tick, and how they identify their strengths.’ She goes on to say that this identity is so important because ‘when a writer possesses a positive and strong writing identity, he or she is more inclined to invest in writing with passion and engagement.’ The book has many suggestions for ways to get to know your writers and even examples that show the power of knowing a writer’s identity.” 

Where’s the Joy (blog)

“Writing identity, growth mindset, and ownership and agency are central themes throughout the book. What stood out to me is the way Patty McGee makes the case that teacher language about students as writers and student writing is one of the biggest factors in a student’s growth. . . . If you’ve ever found yourself unsure of what to say in a conference, [Feedback That Moves Writers Forward] is the book for you! McGee offers helpful language for teachers to use with writers in all situations. I was struck by how supportive and strategic the words she suggests were- tweaks in phrasing that will make all the difference.”

Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski
Two Writing Teachers (blog)

“[Feedback That Moves Writers Forward] changed my mindset from teaching writing to teaching writers. It’s a subtle difference, but an important one.. . . Planning scaffolds, real world examples, prompts will all become part of our regular learning. Students loved the JK Rowling example of planning for one of the Harry Potter books (Order of the Phoenix). The practical processes, reflection, conferencing, and feedback that Patty describes in the book have already helped me begin to meet students where they are with their writing.
I loved seeing them struggle with planning timelines, the collaboration and sharing of ideas, and actual writing that has been evident in our first few days back for term (or trimester) three. They value what they are writing because it has meaning to them, and because they themselves will be self-assessing, students are carefully editing as they go.”

Abe Moore

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ISBN: 9781506349923

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