4 th Grade Writing Workstations

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1 4 th Grade Writing Workstations Making the Most of The Last Weeks Before STAAR! Callie L. Fortenberry, Ed. D. Region 8 ESC (903)

2 2016 Scoring Matrix for 4th Grade Writing

3 Review from STAAR Scoring Session

4

5

6 Why Workstations? So many good ideas, but so little time! Students work on targeted areas of need (differentiated instruction). Students work together in a low stress, cooperative environment. Students work on specific parts within the writing craft, instead of the entire piece. *Workstations should not take the place of concentrated time spent writing.

7 Power Writing (Jeff Anderson) Write as much as you can, as fast as you can, as well as you can. Builds writing stamina and confidence-helps conquer Page Fright Provides students choice, organizes writing task into manageable segments, allows for immediate success and progress monitoring.

8 Switcharoonies / Stretcharoonies Boring to beautiful sentences Said is Dead and Went is Gone mentality Switcharoonies require students to replace simple, boring words with more descriptive, specific vocabulary. Stretcharoonies require students to take a simple sentence and stretch it to a more developed, descriptive sentence. Both enhance student practice with writing more descriptive, powerful sentences. Station is completed with a partner, so stress level is low, but creativity level can be high.

9 Topic and Charge! (Writing Academy) Provides practice locating exactly what the prompt requires Students tend to write on the topic, but many times do not write to the charge. Helps eliminate missing the prompt

10 Object Placement (Writing Academy) To help students frame their essays from beginning to end. Students practice inserting an appropriate object in the introduction and in the conclusion of an essay. Students practice creating object placement sentences for provided prompts.

11 Dead Giveaways (Gretchen Bernabei) Students identify those dead giveaways that make writing weak, such as Throwaway Writing Repetitions Vagueness Station provides practice identifying dead giveaways in writing samples and in revising and editing questions.

12 Sentence Wringers (Gretchen Bernabei) Students will apply the sentence wringer procedure to identify complete and incomplete sentences. Working with a partner reduces stress, increases interest and provides built in support/scaffolding.

13 Idea Collection Station (Multiple Sources) No more I don t know what to write. Provide students with an avenue for organized brainstorming Quick Lists Heart Map I Wonder 100 Things I Love I Can t Imagine Life Without Reverse Bucket List Six Things You Should Know About

14 Color It Up (Gretchen Bernabei) Students color code writing samples, looking for evidence of talking, doing, seeing and thinking in writing. Students add sentences if colors are missing.

15 Straight to the Point STAAR compositions with a controlling idea in the first paragraph consistently score at least a 2. Students will practice rephrasing the charge of the prompt to state the controlling idea clearly in the introduction. Students will practice getting to the point quickly when writing.

16 Twin Writing (Multiple Sources) Providing short, targeted examples for students to imitate keeps this writing activity low stress, yet engaging! Provide a mentor text (single sentences or short paragraph) with writer s craft highlighted. Students notice, discuss, then try to imitate the writer s craft with a topic or sentence. Allow students to work together for increased creativity.

17 Focus Finder STAAR compositions with a controlling idea in the first paragraph consistently score at least a 2. This station provide essays in which students must choose the focus (controlling idea).

18 Proof is in the Pudding (Gretchen Bernabei) Students will test which word is correct by providing a proof word or words. This idea of providing proof can be carried over into journal writing and writer s workshop. A: Read the sentence, please. B: They re going to the store. A: Perfect! How did you spell they re? B: T-h-e-y- -r-e. A: I think you have the wrong they re. B: I m pretty sure it s the right one. A: Can you prove it? B: Yes I can. They are leaving. A: You re so right! It s the right one!

19 O.R.E.O. Essays (Multiple Sources) Some have proposed that expository writing is a type of persuasive writing. The OREO structure works for many expository prompts. Students practice writing one sentence for each letter of the O.R.E.O. acronym. Students build up to creating double and triple stuffed O.R.E.O. essays. Station can be completed individually or with a partner.

20 What shape are you in now? What ideas about writing workstations are squared away for you right now? What ideas or questions are still circling around in your head? What are critical points that you learned today that will impact your teaching?

21 Resources Jeff Anderson s 10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know Gretchen Bernabei s Grammar Keepers: Lessons That Tackle Students Most Persistent Problems Once and for All Texas Teaching Fanatic Released STAAR (Writing) Questions

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