Literacy » Writing Across the Curriculum

Writing Across the Curriculum

In an attempt to better understand writing and its many uses in the classroom, we have, as a school, categorized writing strategies into three groups:

1) Writing to Learn (ways to use writing to learn content)
2) Writing to Communicate Understanding (ways to use writing to show what was learned)
3) Writing to Solve Problems (ways to use writing to find answers, especially in math)

Writing to Learn: Note taking (special focus on Cornell notes), Marking the Text, Summarizing, Exit/Entry Slips, Reflection paragraphs; Learning Logs

Writing to Communicate Understanding: Essays (compare/contrast, expository, persuasive, research, critiques); Paragraph on Demand; Summary Paragraphs (used as Exit Slips/Entry Slips); Artist's Statements; Summative Assessment responses

Writing to Solve Problems: Explain the Answer (students explain in writing why they chose an answer and explain why the other choices were not correct); Define the Problem (students will write a step-by-step process to solve a problem)

In addition, many teachers are also using many strategies outlined in Marzano's "Classroom Instruction that Works". These include:
  • Graphic organizers
  • Setting goals and providing feedback (teachers are expected to post the daily learning targets in the classroom)
  • Cooperative learning (AVID tutorials, group work, Socratic seminars, literature circles)
Each teacher has made a commitment to implement writing in one of these three strands this school year in their classroom under the belief that writing a key element of student learning that carries across all subject areas.