Writing Practices

         Writing is a basic component in our classroom, covering every content area.  Students are engaged in creating authentic narratives, reflective observations in science, and analytical responses to historical inquiries, as well as other genres of written expression.
         While writing their personal narratives, students are exposed to a variety of literary strategies designed to help them to express themselves in more depth and detail than had been previously demonstrated.  Building upon their earlier writing experiences, they are learning the structure of story and how one may take many forms.  We use shared literature as models for effective writing and we are constantly referring to the many examples we observe in the stories that we read together, as well as in the books that are read independently.
        Writing time is a period of immersion.  Students are gathering ideas, revising, re-visiting prior iterations of their work, peer advising, and altering the directions of their pieces.  At the same time, student-teacher conferences are held, continuously, in order to: challenge previous practices; help students to identify convolution in their perceptions; and to assist them in highlighting areas in their writing that allow them to utilize new skills in order to engage the reader. This dialogue helps to clarify misunderstandings or misconceptions that a student may have and reveal new possibilities that he or she may want to consider. 
        In these ways, our purpose in writing is not only to create specific product, but to immerse each student in an ongoing, resilient process of reflective contemplation. 
         Plans for this year will likely include projects such as:

                      - Personal Narrative / Writer's Workshop
                      - a study of writing Persuasive Arguments:  In this important study, students will be exposed to the concepts of an introductory paragraph featuring a topic sentence, making multiple arguments and supporting those arguments with multiple examples or evidence, creating a
    conclusion that includes re-stating a form of their original argument and a short statement re-asserting the importance of their message.

     Persuasive Writing Student Sample 1

                        - Book/Movie Reviews:  In this form, students will learn to expand their repertoire of skills by reflecting critically on a favorite book or movie. They will practice communicating the efficacy of its message, its character development, plot, strengths and weaknesses, along with justifications as to why others should, or should not, read or see it.
                                  - Social Studies: During our year, students will write thoughtful, and creative responses to the understandings they acquire during our Government & Constitution unit, as well as in our study of U.S. Immigration in the 19th and 20th Centuries.  Students have opportunities to create newspapers, comic books, diaries, Keynote presentations, plays, monologues, dioramas, and podcasts - among myriad choices. 
                                      Forms of Writing
                         -Capstone Project: Of particular importance is the reinforcement of our many writing skills for application the the year-end's culminating Capstone Project
     Capstone 1 Capstone 2 Parallel Universes
                              - Journal Writing in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering for a Sustainable World:  
           As part of our reflective practice, students will be contemplating, collecting, and discussing ideas during our study of STEM subjects. Sharing their ideas through the use of an author's "inner voice" helps them understand how to muse, as well as communicating through The Scientific Method to document their process and their discoveries.

                                      -Ongoing instruction: We have regular reviews of classwork and homework that features support for the practice and use of: vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and punctuation.