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Literacy Retreat 2016


Scaffold Writing Skills

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Click an image to link to the resources for that mode of writing.

Different purposes spark different writing topics.

  • Use your reading to kick off a new writing unit. A short picture book provides students a foundation for understanding what a new genre includes.
  • Kristina’s favorite mentor texts are organized by genre (e.g., expository, letter writing, narrative, persuasive/opinion, and poetry). NOTE: Page 3 of this download includes titles suggested for the developmental stages of writing that primary teachers target (drawing, labeling, listing).

Compare mother lodes to mini-units.

Modes are NOT created equal.

Grades 2-12: Sample mini-unit scaffold

Grades PK-1: Sample mini-unit scaffold

Scaffold instruction with each mini-unit.

Scaffold independence with each mini-unit.

Create kid-friendly writing rubrics with your students. This concept is reinforced in a February 2012 ASCD Education Update newsletter and based on the Informing Writing: The Benefits of Formative Assessment by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Build and update your 6-Traits analytic writing rubric with student input. This customizeable Word document is set up for a 5-point rubric with the Smekens 6-Trait icons in place.

Convert scores to grades using the Rubric Calculator. Identify which writing traits to score, set the point values, and then click a student’s scores based on your rubric. Calculate the totals, add comments, and print the score sheet.

Take note primary teachers of how these Darian, IL kindergarten teachers grew their kid-friendly writing rubric! As they added a level to their rubric, they added another section to the caterpillar’s body. And then, toward the end of the school year, when they knew they would be adding their FINAL LEVEL, they made it the “Butterfly” level. Too cute!

Download a list of skills tied to Persuasive / Argumentative Writing.

Skills within argumentative writing

Download a list of skills tied to Informative Writing.

Develop & Pump up ideas

Download a list of skills tied to Narrative Writing.