Week 6

The models for writing instruction range between content areas. In English educators are given a double block to focus instruction on composing a student’s writing skill. Their attention focuses on structure, mechanics, tone, genre, etc. However, in order for students to succeed, writing isn’t limited to literacy within an ELA block, but incorporated into Math, Science and Social Studies. Content teachers outside ELA try to think of writing as a process students go through. Yes we access students based upon the product at hand, however, we frequently check for understanding through students writing to access the process that goes on within the student to come to such an answer.

         Unfortunately due to CCSS, we design specific writing tasks to access students and look to measure their growth towards the overall standard for the unit. In the article A Snapshot of Writing Instruction in Middle Schools and High schools by Applebee and Langer, they mention, “that teachers across all disciplines are specific in what they look for in their written responses given to students. They illustrate this through rubrics. ELA teachers stress their attention on organization of ideas and outlines for effective planning. This leads to planning through drafts, revision of work based upon feedback, etc. It is the opposite for Science teachers. Based upon our standards our attention primarily is focusing on students demonstrating effective writing with immediate, concrete data to support their claims”  

This implication is spot on within my classroom and across classrooms of my science collegues. We have students conduct labatory experiments, followed by writing a constructive report using details supported by actual evidence from data collected. Within our MOSL (Measure Of Student Learning) we look for data students applied to back up the question being asked. That is how based upon CCSS we access a students knowledge in science, despite the students writing in mechanics and structure.

In the article Using Argument as a Tool for Integrating Science and Literacy, the authors state that “in science an argument is understood as providing a claim about a particular issue and having a reason/evidence from research for that claim” (Washburn and Cavagnetto). This furthers an implicaton that writing should be thought of in terms of process rather than product. We want students to be able to write a claim with proper structure to check their undertanding and process as opposed to using their writing as a product of understanding. Their writing can illustrate their process of thinking that may lead to misconceptions. In the article Subjects Matter by Zemelman and Daniels, they say that science is all about thinking where the facts students are given come from. Which is why we have them explore such facts through experiments as opposed to using detials from science textbooks that lead to memorization instead of critical thinking.

        Unfortunately in my classroom 4 out of 5 classes I teach, I access in terms of product rather than process. This is due to time constraint of having a 45 minute period. As a science educator, using my time effectively is crucial. If my CCSS that I have to push upon my students focuses on providing evidence for claims, I am going to not get worked up on my students’ mechanics in their writing as well as not stress too much on proper structure. It takes time to address skills and teach them strategies for good mechanics and structure, which is time I honestly feel like I don’t have. However, that last class is a MAGNET Robotics program. This class is all about process over product. I even used a modified version of what professor Ardito conducted with us on the thought process with the concept maps. I can’t have students record their thought process as they create or answer questions, but I can have them jot it down. I use it as part of a Do Now. I give them a question and they jot down what is going through their mind and what they are thinking about as they try to answer the question. Next they share among their group and then they share out as a class what they learned from their partners.

Group B

Here is the online home for Group B.
Sub-Group of ED 656 - Fall 2018