(Voice refers to the author's own unique personality, style, and honesty reflected in the writing.) Each of these traits is scored on a five-point scale. For example, organization is scored using the following guidelines: 5 The organization enhances and showcases the central idea or storyline. The order, structure or presentation of information is compelling and moves the reader through the text. 3 The organizational structure is strong enough to move the reader through the text without undue confusion 1 The writing lacks a clear sense of direction. Ideas, details or events seem strung together in a loose or random fashion-or else there is no identifiable internal structure. (Spandel culham, 1993) to promote agreement between raters, each of the guidelines above is further defined by specific criteria (or rubrics). A rating of 3, for example, requires these attributes: The paper has a recognizable introduction and conclusion.
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General questions the classroom teacher can ask regarding a composition's organization include: Is there a good beginning living sentence? Is there a clear ending? Is there a logical sequence of subtopics or events? Cohesion questions include: does the writer stick to the topic? Is it clear what words like it, that, and they refer to? Does the writer use key words that cue the reader to the direction of the discourse (First, then, therefore, on the other hand )? Originality is assessed through questions like: Did the writer attempt humor? Did the writer present a unique point of view? Analytical scales are the best way to lend some objectivity to evaluation of content. One can choose from a general rating scale, appropriate to almost any resume writing assignment, or one tailored to a specific genre or text structure. Spandel and Culham (1993) developed an analytical trait scoring guide for six aspects of writing, three of which address content: Ideas and content, organization, and voice.
For the purpose of evaluation, this total can be compared with those of proficient writers of the same age or grade level. However, total words may be used best in monitoring the student's progress, comparing performance with his or her own previous fluency. A resulting iep objective might be written like this: After a group prewriting discussion with the teacher, daniel will write original narrative compositions of 40 words or more. A rough guideline for setting the criterion can be established from research reported by deno, mirkin, and Wesson (1984) and Parker and Tindal (1989 If write the total number of words is less than 20, aim for doubling it by the end of the school year. If the number of words is between 25 and 30, aim for a 50 increase. If the number of words is between 35 and 45, aim for a 25 increase. If the number of words is greater than 50, choose another objective. Content Content is the second factor to consider in the writing product. Content features include the composition's organization, cohesion, accuracy (in expository writing and originality (in creative writing).
Reversal of the directional pattern (right to left and return down right). Correct directional pattern. Correct directional pattern and spaces between words. Extensive text without any difficulties of arrangement and spacing assignment of text A simple curriculum-based measure of fluency is total number of words written during a short writing assignment. When fluency is the focus, misspellings, poor word choice, and faulty punctuation are not considered. Attention is only directed to the student's facility in translating thoughts into words. A baseline of at least three writing samples should be collected and the total number of words counted for each.
He has a concept that a message is conveyed. A message is copied. Repetitive use of sentence patterns such as "Here is a". Attempts to record own ideas. Successful composition Directional Principles Record the number of the highest rating for which there is no error in the sample of the child's writing:. No evidence of directional knowledge. Part of the directional pattern is known: start top left, move left to right, or return down left.
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In some instances quantifiable measures are used; in others, qualitative assessments seem more appropriate. Fluency The first writing skill a teacher might assess with a beginning writer is fluency: being able to translate one's thoughts into written words. As concepts of print and fine motor skills develop, the student should become more proficient at writing down words and sentences into compositions of gradually increasing length. The developmental route of very young writers involves trying to understand what written language is about as they look at books, become aware of environmental print, and put pencil to paper (Clay, 1982). Then children try to relate their experiences in writing using invented spelling. As they begin to construct little stories they explore spelling patterns and develop new language patterns. Clay (1979, 1993) recommends a simple rating scale for emerging writing skills that focuses on language level (from only letters to sentences and paragraphs message quality, and directional principles (Figure 2).
Rating a child's early attempts at writing (Clay, 1993) Language level Record the highest level of linguistic marriage organization used by the child:. Word (any recognizable word). Word group (any two-word phrase). Sentence (any simple sentence). Punctuated story (of two or more sentences). Paragraphed story (two themes) Message quality record the number for the best description on the child's sample:. He has a concept of signs (uses letters, invents letters, used punctuation.
No, i put similar ideas together, yes. No, i chose the best ideas for my composition. No, i numbered my ideas in logical order. No, i wrote down my ideas in sentences. No, when I needed help I _did the best I could _looked in a book _asked my partner _asked the teacher, i read my first draft to myself. No, i marked the parts I like, yes.
No, i marked the parts I might want to change. No, i read my first draft to my partner Yes no i listened to my partner's suggestions Yes no i made changes to my composition Yes no i edited for correctness Yes no i wrote the final draft in my best writing Yes no simple. A writing product fulfills its communicative intent if it is of appropriate length, is logical and coherent, and has a readable format. It is a pleasure to read if it is composed of well-constructed sentences and a rich variety of words that clearly convey the author's meaning. When various conceptual models of writing are compared side by side (Isaacson, 1984) five product variables seem to emerge: fluency, content, conventions, syntax, and vocabulary. Too often teachers focus their attention primarily on surface features of a student's composition related to the mechanical aspects of writing, or conventions. A balanced assessment should look at all five aspects of a student's writing. The following are simple methods for assessing each product variable.
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Similar self-assessments or observation checklists could be constructed for other conceptual models of the writing process. Using a five-step conceptual model for student and teacher observation of the writing process. Power looking at How i write. My comments, teacher Comments, i chose a good topic, yes. No, i read about my barbing topic, yes. No, i thought about what the readers will want to know. No, i wrote down all my ideas on a "think sheet".
Educators have reached little consensus regarding the number of steps in the writing process. Writing experts have proposed as few as two (Elbow, 1981) and as many as nine (Frank, 1979). Englert, raphael, Anderson, Anthony, and Stevens (1991) provided a model of a five-step writing process using the acronym power: Plan, Organize, write, edit, and revise. Each step has its own substeps and strategies that become more sophisticated as the students become more mature as writers, accommodating their mmu style to specific text structures and purposes of writing. Assessment of the writing process can be done through observation of students as they go through the steps of writing. Having students assess their own writing process is also important for two reasons. First, self-assessment allows students an opportunity to observe and reflect on their own approach, drawing attention to important steps that may be overlooked. Second, self-assessment following a conceptual model like power is a means of internalizing an explicit strategy, allowing opportunities for the student to mentally rehearse the strategy steps. Figure 1 is a format for both self-observation and teacher observation of the writing process following the power strategy.
obstacles to getting thoughts down on paper? How does the student attempt to spell words she does not know? Does the student reread what she has written? Does the student talk about or share her work with others as she is writing it? What kind of changes does the student make to her first draft? In order to make instructionally relevant observations, the observer must work from a conceptual model of what the writing process should.
The second type, instructional assessments, are used for the daily tasks of planning instruction, giving feedback, and monitoring student progress. The third type he referred to as official assessments, which are the periodic formal functions of assessment for grouping, grading, and reporting. In other words, teachers use assessment for identifying strengths and weaknesses, planning instruction essay to fit diagnosed needs, evaluating instructional activities, giving feedback, monitoring performance, and reporting progress. Simple curriculum-based methods for assessing written expression can meet all these purposes. Process, product, and purpose, curriculum-based assessment must start with an inspection of the curriculum. Many writing curricula are based on a conceptual model that takes into account process, product, and purpose. This conceptual model, therefore, forms the framework for the simple assessment techniques that follow. Simple ways to assess the process. The diagnostic uses of assessment (determining the reasons for writing problems and the student's instructional needs) are best met by looking at the process of writing,.
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A teacher's first responsibility is to provide opportunities for writing and word encouragement for students who attempt to write. A teacher's second responsibility is to promote students' success in writing. The teacher does this by carefully monitoring students' writing to assess strengths and weaknesses, teaching specific skills and strategies in response to student needs, and giving careful feedback that will reinforce newly learned skills and correct recurring problems. These responsibilities reveal, upon inspection, that assessment is clearly an integral part of good instruction. In their review of the existing research on effective instruction Christenson, Ysseldyke, and Thurlow (1989) found that, in addition to other factors, the following conditions were positively correlated to pupil achievement: Assessment, therefore, is an essential component of effective instruction. Airasian (1996) identified three types of classroom assessments. The first he called "sizing-up" assessments, usually done during the first week of school to provide the teacher with quick information about the students when beginning their instruction.