Analyzing Writing Data
Elaine Williams Allen
August 23, 2012
A balanced literacy program should contain culturally responsive writing alongside its culturally responsive reading. It is a long held belief among educators that better readers make better writers, and through daily practice this can become a reality. This paper will examine the three stages of writing, and the writing portion of the Trophy Reading ...view middle of the document...
Providing genuine opportunities for students to write daily was also recommended. One of the opportunities advocated by Jocson and Cooks (2011) was to incorporate popular culture into the learning process as it relates to the real –life experiences of students.
Existing Literacy Program
The writing portion of the Trophies Reading Series is a scripted, sequenced teacher directed instructional approach. It provides systematic, explicit instruction in spelling, grammar, usage, and mechanics in daily lessons. Students plan and revise their writing by prewriting, drafting, revising, and proofreading. They use graphic organizers, checklists, and rubrics. There is a section called Writers Craft which incorporates the traits of good writing: focus/ideas, organization, voice, word choice, development, effective sentences, effective paragraphs, and conventions. There is a writing station contained within the classroom utilized during center time for small group work. Additionally, during whole class time the teacher models what should take place for the lesson.
Usefulness of the Literacy Audit Tool
National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) issued several principles to guide teachers for effective writing practices: everyone has the capacity to write, people learn to write by writing, writing is a process, writing is a tool for thinking, writing grows out of many different purposes, conventions of text are important to readers and therefore to writers, writing and reading are related, writing has a complex relationship to talk, literate practices are embedded in complicated social relationships, composing occurs in different modalities and technologies, and assessments of writing involves complex, informed human judgment. The Matrix reflects these principals in its assessment of a literacy program. Under the section for Reading /Writing Connections, I would add a line item for Popular Culture, and Using Technology to Aid the Writing Process.
Results from the Matrix showed the Trophies Series were in agreement with several key areas: Reading/ Writing Connections features are essential or as important to a high degree with the exception of discussions about individual and social issues of literacy rated to a low degree(teacher displayed signs of discomfort while attempting to discuss a racial issue for writing purposes); Student Role category of portfolio development, and process journal was rated as less important to a low degree/presence ( students did not have portfolios of their work);very little independence through risk taking was displayed since students were told what to write from a prompt; Assessment category of formal standardized and unit tests received a rating of essential to a high degree from Trophies (all tests were scripted), but not from the Matrix; Professional Resources and Development ( teacher query revealed all aspects were rated as essential to a high degree) however, there is a...