Beginner's Guide (and practice) to Becoming a GOOD Writer
My students need a developmentally-appropriate reading-based WRITING curriculum (materials like reading books and pencils) to better prepare them for the rigorous assessments that they will be taking beginning in Kindergarten and throughout their academic careers and beyond.
My school district is an inner city school district in Cleveland, Ohio. My school is a Title 1 school in which all students qualify for free lunch.
Almost 50% of our student population are English Language Learners.
We have recently experiences a slow but steady influx of students whose family have relocated to the area after the well publicized and devastating Hurricane Maria ravished the small island.
These students as well as my "local" students needs a lot of support in order to gain the knowledge and skills needed to be successful to reach the rigorous Common Core State Standards.
Writing is an essential skill in this era of Common Core State Standards and the seemingly never-ending assessments. While most of today's high-stakes assessments are technologically-based, students need to know how to "write." The writing process is a challenging skill, particularly for students from low-income families and those whose first language is not English.
Tara West is a very talented Kindergarten teacher who has created a developmentally-appropriate and "fun" writing curriculum.
The materials (such as journal notebooks, pencils, erasers and crayons), requested are the minimum needed in order for me to accurately, purposefully and properly carry out this curriculum. With the use of high-quality literature (books that describe or model a procedure, thought-process, chain of events, etc.) as the extremely important read-aloud, students will begin a lesson with excellent models of writing. The lesson will continue with step-by-step examples of writing (sometimes as a whole group activity, in small group lesson or even through an individual coaching or modelling session) followed by ample opportunity for practice. Using a notebook journal instead of individual papers, students, parents and I will be able to clearly see the growth of each individual student's writing ability. My students will methodically learn how to create all types of writing, at his/her level as this curriculum also helps differentiate.
Common Core State Standards for Writing in Kindergarten states that by the end of Kindergarten, students should be able to "use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose opinion pieces, informative/explanatory texts and narrate a single or several loosely linked events about a text or topic”. I know that this curriculum and the required (requested) resources will help my students because I have used other resources and curriculum created by Tara West and my students have academically thrived and flourished.
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