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Teaching Writing in the Elementary Classroom*
 
Course Description
    

All students have the capacity to be good writers, and writers learn to write by writing: these are the basic tenets of Teaching Writing in the Elementary Classroom. During this workshop, participants will learn instructional strategies to teach students in the upper elementary grades how to write narrative and informational text. Participants will explore how to teach their students about the traits of good writing through mini-lessons, writing conferences, and using established evaluation criteria. Thinking about writing as a process, participants will consider how to organize instruction to guide students through the many stages of writing and will go through the instructional cycle from writing prompt to revision as they create their final projects.
*This course was designed for participants who are currently teaching in an elementary school or who have previous experience teaching in and elementary school.

 
Course Syllabus
    

All students have the capacity to be good writers, and writers learn to write by writing: these are the basic tenets of Teaching Writing in the Elementary Classroom. During this course, participants will learn instructional strategies to teach students in the upper elementary grades how to write narrative and informational text. Participants will explore how to teach their students about the traits of good writing through mini-lessons, writing conferences, and using established evaluation criteria. Thinking about writing as a process, participants will consider how to organize instruction to guide students through the many stages of writing and will go through the instructional cycle from writing prompt to revision as they create their final projects.

Goals and Objectives

During this course, participants will learn skills and strategies to:

Teach students about the traits of good writing;

Use consistent criteria to evaluate student’s writing and provide feedback;

Learn teaching strategies to help students write narrative and informational text;

Understand stages of the writing process and organize instruction to guide students through the stages;

Plan a mini-lesson for pre-writing and a student conference around revision.

Audience

This course is intended for teachers of grades K-6, ELA coaches, technology specialists, curriculum specialists, and professional development specialists. Participants are expected to have regular access to computers and be proficient with email and web-browsing.

Course Details

This course is divided into seven one-week sessions: an Orientation, and six content-based sessions. Each content session includes readings, activities, and an online discussion among course participants. The time for completing each session is estimated to be between 6.5 to 7 hours, and the total amount of time required for the entire course is estimated to be 45 hours.

Session One: What Is Good Writing?

Session Two: Telling a Story with Narrative Writing

Session Three: Informing or Explaining with Informational Writing

Session Four: Writing is a Process

Session Five: Evaluating Writing

Session Six: Conferring with Students about Writing and Revising

Assessment

Readings and Activities 
Participants are expected to complete the required course readings and activities as posted in each of the session assignment pages. Optional readings may also be completed, but are not mandatory.

Discussion Participation

Participants will be evaluated weekly on the frequency and quality of their participation in the discussion forum. Participants are required to post a minimum of one substantial original posting each session in response to the discussion prompt for that session by Sunday evening. Participants are to respond thoughtfully to a minimum of two colleagues' original postings each session by Monday evening. They are to read all original messages by course participants and enough additional responses to make a total of 50% of the messages posted for that session by Tuesday evening. Postings will be evaluated on their relevance, demonstrated understanding of course concepts, examples cited and overall quality. 

Course Activities

Participants are expected to complete the course readings and activities as posted in each of the session assignment pages. Activities may include exploring websites related to course content, watching online video clips, using specific technology applications, solving problems, and working on the final project. The time for completing each session is estimated to be 6.5 to 7 hours weekly plus additional time to complete the final course project instructional plan. 

Final Project
As a final project, participants will complete a unit plan for a writing assignment, including writing prompts and activities for both narrative and expository writing, a revision plan, and plans for student conferencing. It will be assessed using the final project rubric.

Participants are expected to work independently on the final project throughout the course and should submit a completed final project to the facilitator before the end of the final session of this course. 

Copyright
Copyright guidelines are to be observed throughout the course project and all course activities. All work associated with the course project is to be the original work of the course participant. Fair Use does not apply to the course project.

Grades
All grades in the course gradebook must be a "C" for successful course completion. A grade of "C" indicates that all work has been completed and the work meets the expectations for that assignment. 

The grade scheme for this course will be:
C = all work meets the guidelines provided
I = the work submitted is incomplete and/or does not meet the guidelines provided
N = no work has been submitted 

Course Quizzes and Surveys
Participants are expected to complete an orientation quiz with a score of 90% or higher and an Orientation survey by Sunday during the Orientation session of the course, and a Final Survey by Sunday during Session Six.

Certificate of Completion
Upon successful completion of this course, Teaching Writing in the Elementary Classroom, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion documenting successful completion of the course requirements. Certificates are distributed to each qualifying participant via email and certificates are placed into the Final Project Dropbox shortly after the completion of the course.

Non-degree Graduate Credit Information
Participants in this course are eligible to receive non-degree graduate credits from either West Virginia University, Marshall University, West Virginia State University or Concord University. Credits will be awarded at the end of the semester in which the course occurs. Additional information is available on the course News/Welcome Page.

Standards

Participants will identify specific WV Next Generation Standards as they address content within this course. The NxG Standards may be located by searching a http://wveis.k12.wv.us/Teach21/public/ng_cso/NG_CSO.cfm?tsele1=1, or the entire list may be accessed at http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/policy.php?p=2520.1A.  In addition, participants will also identify WV 21st Century Learning Skills and Technology Tools Content Standards and Objectives at http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/policy.php?p=2520.14.

In addition, this course will help participants meet the following ISTE Educational Technology Standards and Performance Indicators for All Teachers: [show]

2. Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
Teachers design, develop, and evaluate authentic learning experiences and assessment incorporating contemporary tools and resources to maximize content learning in context and to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes identified in the NETS•S. Teachers

5. Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership
Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources.

For more information about Technology Integration visit: http://www.iste.org

About this Course

This course was developed by EdTech Leaders Online at Education Development Center, in partnership with Alabama Public Television, and the e-Learning for Educators project, funded by a US Department of Education Ready to Teach grant. Alabama Public Television is the nation's first educational television network and is the lead agency coordinating the eight state E-Learning for Educators collaboration, comprised of state departments of education and public television stations in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The contents do not necessarily represent the policies of the Department of Education and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

EdTech Leaders Online provides capacity building training and online courses for school districts, state departments of education, and colleges and universities.

Last update: December 2014

© 2011 Education Development Center, Inc., through its project, EdTech Leaders® Online, http://www.edtechleaders.org. All rights reserved.