Reflection: Writing Across the Disciplines What Is the Arctic Tundra? Day 1 of 3 - Section 7: Independent Writing


One of the shifts in the CCSS that I am very grateful for is the integration of reading and writing. Now, students get to write about what they read. This is a different practice from our previous basal programs, which separated reading and writing topics.

What benefits have I observed? Many. All five pieces of writing discussed below demonstrate various qualities worthy of recognition.

For example, this piece demonstrates a good logical recounting of the first part of the story. I like her incorporation of the factual information from the tundra video. She has a good command of sentence structure, too, as well as good spelling.

This piece demonstrates understanding of the two characters: Julie and Amaroq. Even though she does misspell Amaroq, it doesn't impede her comprehension of the storyline. There are some spelling errors, and this student (along with others) will need another grammar lesson on plurals.

This writing sample shows good usage of capitalizing proper names, and of logical recounting. I would say the piece needs a conclusion sentence, because it feels as if he just ran out of time. He does capitalize Mother and Father, which is interesting, because the story does not. This indicates to me to have a brief discussion about why he chose to do this, since he doesn't capitalize the word sister. But his errors do not impede comprehension.

In the next piece, the student chose to write a list of sentences, but his sentences are focused on Amaroq's story and give two good details about the character. The rest of the sentences demonstrate a good understanding of the key detail of the setting.

The final piece shows appropriate details of the story, but the writing is not as organized as it could be, and the student needs reminders of when to capitalize.

As I read their work, I make notes about what skills my students need and create mini lessons to teach either in small groups or whole group. This is one way their writing informs me.

  Writing Across the Disciplines: Reflecting on Student Writing, Part 1
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What Is the Arctic Tundra? Day 1 of 3

Unit 6: Habitats: Exploring the Regions Of Our World
Lesson 1 of 9

Objective: SWBAT: Ask and answer questions to understand an informational and literary text.

Big Idea: The Arctic tundra, a place of unusual beauty, is the setting for a heartwarming tale of a boy and a wolf.

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