Thursday, August 20, 2015

Writing Across the Curriculum

"Students should be writing in every classroom!"

Man, if I had a dollar for every time I heard that in a faculty meeting or professional development workshop.

As a teacher, I totally agree with this statement. However, that's all it is…a statement! You can't just tell someone how to do something and expect them to be able to do it well without any direction or experience. That's setting everyone up for failure.

As a new Spanish teacher many years ago, I was asked to incorporate writing in my classroom. I did as I was told, but I knew it was simply superficial and had no positive impact on student learning. Now, as a literacy teacher, I feel partly responsible for guiding other content teachers in effectively incorporating writing in their classrooms. This is especially important with the new Common Core assessments, where students are require to write on tests in all content areas.

POW TIDELL is a mnemonic device that students can use to respond to any constructed response essay questions. 

The first part, POW, helps students with the writing process as a whole with three broad, simple steps. 

The second part, TIDELL, provides students with some guidelines for the construction of the essay, as well as, reminders for editing.

The best thing about using POW TIDELL across the curriculum is that it provides a common guideline for teachers, especially those who do not have formal training in teaching writing. In addition, it gives students clear, consistent expectations s they move from class to class. I am grateful to have this mnemonic device integrated at my school this year and look forward to seeing positive results. 

Do you have any tips to share about writing across the curriculum? 
Has it worked in your school, or is it just another mandate?

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