The 7 Keys to Common Core Writing Success
Suzanne Klein
Saturday, March 24

I was drawn to this breakout session not only because Common Core was included in the title, but because writing is an area of challenge for my school, and from what I understand from my peers for many others. Write-Steps is a Common Core based program that teaches writing to elementary-age students.
 
How many schools have a dedicated "writing time"? One of the things I picked up early on in this session is that it is not just the process but also an attitude that will make the difference. If teachers are afraid of or unsure how to go about the teaching of writing, the time that is dedicated to writing will continue to be negligible. It seems that most everyone thinks it is important but the proof is really in the intentional time it is given. Ms. Klein said "You get what you give." Schools will continue to get low scores on writing skills if they continue to give it lip service in regards to time. The minimum recommendation to just meet the new Common Core Standard is 50 minutes three days a week for K-1 and 50 minutes four days a week for grades 2-5.

The group had a great discussion on why it is so hard for teachers to implement writing instruction. One of the biggest obstacles is time. Many teachers feel they don't have the time as it would cut into other curriculums they feel are more important. The group felt that the teachers themselves do not feel like they are competent in the area of writing. Scoring writing samples is another area that keeps teachers away from giving time to writing instruction.

It is evident that that the new Common Core Standards will increase the rigor required when state assessments are conducted.

Writing will take on a new level of importance with the upcoming Common Core State Assessments! Write-Steps has been updated to meet the new Common Core. I would encourage you to check out the Write-Steps website for more specific information.
 
David M. Hanson, elementary principal, Wyndmere Public Schools, North Dakota
 

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