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180 Days to Successful Writers
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180 Days to Successful Writers
Lessons to Prepare Your Students for Standardized Assessments and for Life



December 2005 | 296 pages | Corwin
In today's high-stakes environment, standardized test scores determine much more than student performance. Scores are linked to school status, the amount of funding a school receives, and ultimately a teacher's job security. Which means teachers not only need to teach their students how to write well for practical purposes-they must also teach them how to write well on timed tests. Luckily, it is possible to do both using one curriculum.

This book provides teachers with a writing curriculum that prepares students for standardized writing tests while helping them develop skills for lifelong writing success. Adaptations for gifted students and for low-performing students are also provided. Finally, a way for teachers to provide direct quality writing instruction that allows them to meet testing demands in time and with confidence!

 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
1. No-Brainers and Bosses: Laying the Foundation
Curriculum Overview

 
Goals

 
Instruction Framework

 
Preparing to Teach

 
Week 1 Lesson Plans (Focus: Pretests and Prompt Differentiation)

 
 
2. Pickle Sandwiches and TCUPSS: Beginning Expository Writing
Week 2 Lesson Plans (Focus: The Expository Writing Process)

 
 
3. Rainbow Words and Awe-Inspiring Adjectives: Enhancing Expository
Week 3 Lesson Plans (Focus: Author’s Voice)

 
Week 3 Lesson Plans (Focus: Author’s Voice)

 
Week 5 Lesson Plans (Focus: Pace and Independence)

 
 
4. It all Started With a Tier Cake: Directing Narrative Structure
Week 6 Lesson Plans (Focus: Narrative Story Structure)

 
 
5. Ask for Likely Similes and Vivacious Verbs: Enhancing Narratives
Week 7 Lesson Plans (Focus: Syntax)

 
Week 8 Lesson Plans (Focus: Strong Verbs)

 
Week 9 Lesson Plans (Focus: Similes)

 
 
6. Dressing Things Up: Independent Writing
Week 10 Lesson Plans (Focus: Metaphors)

 
Week 11 Lesson Plans (Focus: Quotations)

 
Week 12 Lesson Plans (Focus: Sensory Details and Skeleton Plans)

 
Week 13 Lesson Plans (Focus: Hooks and Correcting Slang)

 
Week 14 Lesson Plans (Focus: Timed Writing)

 
Week 15 Lesson Plans (Focus: Anecdotes)

 
 
7. The Improvement Process: Diagnosing and Fixing Problems
Week 16 Lesson Plans (Focus: Grammar and Using a Rubric)

 
Week 17 Lesson Plans (Focus: Clarifying Problems)

 
Week 18 Lesson Plans (Focus: Elaboration)

 
Week 19 Lesson Plans (Focus: Conferencing and Self Reflection)

 
Week 20 Lesson Plans (Focus: Organization)

 
Week 21 Lesson Plans (Focus: Planning Difficult Prompts)

 
Week 22 Lesson Plans (Focus: Common Grammar Problems)

 
Week 23 Lesson Plans (Focus: Style, Voice, and Elaboration)

 
 
8. Timers and Deadlines: Preparing for a Test
Week 24 Lesson Plans (Focus: Reviewing the Basics)

 
Week 25 Lesson Plans (Focus: Writing Papers from Given Plans)

 
Week 26 Lesson Plans (Focus: Cooperative Writing)

 
Week 27 Lesson Plans (Focus: Studying for a Test)

 
 
9. Beyond Tests and Essays: Applying Expository Writing Knowledge
An Overview of the Projects

 
Adapting the Original Framework

 
Planning the Remaining School Year

 
Expository-Related Projects

 
Project #1: Newspaper Writing

 
Introducing Newspaper Journalism

 
Editorials, Part One

 
Editorials, Part Two

 
Interviews and Feature Articles, Part One

 
Interviews and Feature Articles, Part Two

 
Breaking News Articles

 
A Mini School Newspaper

 
Project #2: Subject Reports

 
Introducing Subject Reports

 
Research

 
Writing Subject Reports

 
Project #3: List Poetry

 
Personal List Poem

 
Contrasting Lists Poem

 
Object List Poem

 
 
10. Beyond Tests and Stories: Applying Narrative Writing Knowledge
Narrative-Related Projects

 
Project #1: Autobiography

 
First Few Years

 
Family, Home, School, and the Future

 
Project #2: Chapter Books

 
Character Sketches

 
From Outline to Story Draft

 
Project #3: Plays

 
Introducing Plays and Sketches

 
Three-Act Plays (Group Lesson)

 
Three-Act Plays (Independent Practice)

 
Project #4: Narrative Poetry

 
One Sentence Narrative Poems

 
Humorous Story Poems

 
Real Life Ballads

 
 
11. Writing Outside the Lines: Advanced Lessons
Using This Chapter

 
Advanced Narrative Writing

 
Point of View: Who Is Telling the Story?

 
Tense: Once Upon a Time in the Future

 
Characterization, Part One: Nose Pickers and Football Quarterbacks

 
Characterization, Part Two: What Color Are Your Socks?

 
Setting: It was a Dark and Stormy Night

 
Hooks: Beyond Bangs

 
Plot and Pace: And Then What?

 
Plot and Pace: And Then What?

 
Symbols and Themes: What’s Your Drift?

 
Putting it all Together: The Complete Package!

 
Advanced Expository Writing

 
Essay Topics: My Own Prompts

 
Non-Prompted Writing: Organized Free Writing

 
Knowledge-Based Writing: I’m the Expert – Listen to Me

 
Contemplations: What’s Your Theory?

 
 
12. Going School-Wide: Ideas to Create a Spiraling Curriculum
Specific Writing Goals

 
Adapting the Curriculum

 
Kindergarten

 
The Graphic Organizer

 
Sample Lessons

 
Suggested writing Topics

 
First Grade

 
The Graphic Organizer

 
The Graphic Organizer

 
Suggested Writing Topics

 
Second Grade

 
The Graphic Organizer

 
Sample Lessons

 
Suggested Writing Topics

 
 
Resources
 
Index

"Teachers who lack a clearly articulated instructional plan for teaching writing skills will appreciate this year's worth of lessons presented in a logical, linear format."

Curriculum Connections, Fall 2006
School Library Journal
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Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Chapter 1


Karen Donohue

Since earning her MEd from the University of Florida in 2000, Karen Donohue has worked to develop and implement a writing curriculum for elementary students. She has experience with Early Intervention programs with students in first-, third- and fourth-grade classrooms in both Reddick Collier Elementary in Reddick, Florida and Pine Forest Elementary in Marietta, Georgia. With student writing becoming a benchmark for students as young as first grade, Karen has researched, developed, and taught Staff Development courses for K-5 teachers. Her workshops titled "Writing to a Prompt (Grades K-5)," "Write Way to Success (Grade 3-5)," and "Writer... More About Author

Nanda N. Reddy

Nanda Reddy earned her MEd from the University of Florida in 1999 and subsequently worked as a fourth grade teacher in Marion County, Florida. At her school, she served as a team leader and worked to develop a writing curriculum to accommodate the pressures of standardized tests and student writing needs. Nanda taught the curriculum at the school, and for that, she was honored as Rookie Teacher of the Year. She has workshopped this material under the titles "Teaching Reluctant Writers" and "Teaching Kids to Write" in both Florida and Reno, Nevada, where she now resides. Nanda, a member of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE),... More About Author

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