Creating Writers Through Collaborative Team Teaching
On Demand writing instruction is taking place at Whitley Central Intermediate School. Students in the 5th grade are assessed each year in the On Demand Writing portion of the KPREP test. Students are given 30 minutes to respond to a prompt. After choosing which prompt to complete, they have 30 minutes to brainstorm and write a final draft that will be scored. In addition to the 30 minute prompt, students are given a 90 minute passage based prompt. Students are given a passage and then asked to write a response in a given format of either a letter, article, editorial, speech or email.
This is a huge task for the students in 5th grade. In order for the students to do their best, WCIS has chosen to collaborate the writing instruction this year to include Title 1 Reading and Writing Intervention teacher Angie McCullah and District Writing Coordinator Laurel Bowlin.
Mrs. McCullah has been collaborating with the fifth grade teachers and teaching students the writing process. She has taught the students how to read and understand the prompts. She has modeled several prewriting strategies; then allowed students to practice them by selecting organizing strategies that work best for each individual student. She has modeled paragraph writing and taught students how to develop their ideas through the use of prewriting strategies. She has also taught the students the importance of editing and revising their writing. Recently, students have been exploring a passage based prompt using a resource guide from Discovery Education. In this particular writing assignment, students were made aware of the fact that some countries throughout the world are experiencing a garbage crisis. These countries are limited on land and do not have enough room to accommodate for waste. After reading various sources regarding this global problem, students were given a writing task that required them to write a letter to Mrs. Brashear that addresses ways that students and teachers at WCIS can help to eliminate the amount of trash going into local landfills.
In addition to Mrs. McCullah, the fifth grade department at WCIS has also been fortunate to have the help of Laurel Bowling. Laurel has not only introduced several writing organizers, but also provided students with valuable test taking strategies. She has also assisted the teachers in the scoring of the pieces of writing, which is very time consuming, but a needed process in order to further guide our students to success in On Demand Writing. The 5th grade teachers at WCIS would like to thank them for all their time and efforts in helping improve student’s achievement in writing.