Ohio Resource Center
Day 1 Writing Process

Audience, Purpose, and Language Use in Electronic Messages (ORC#: 2753)
With the increasing popularity of e-mail and online instant messaging among teens, a recognizable change has occurred in the language that students use in their writing. This lesson explores the language of electronic messages and how it affects academic writing and more formal communication. Students construct communications appropriate for specific scenarios. Furthermore, this lesson validates students` freedom and creativity for using Internet abbreviations for specific purposes and examines the importance of a more formal style of writing based on audience. (author/ncl)

Community Through Individuality in the Writing Workshop (ORC#: 5184)
This article provides a perspective on using writing workshop as a way to bring out the individuality of students, while also building a sense of community. Writing exposes who we are and allows others to understand us better. By focusing on the writing, not the writer, teachers can establish an classroom atomsphere where students feel comfortable and confident in sharing their work. Another important component of writing workshop is teaching students how to use respectful dialogue in responding effectively to one another`s writing. Meg Peterson, the author of this article, explains that expressing ourselves becomes easier when we have a sense of our audience and can anticipate how they will react. Peterson goes on to assert that the quality of writing is directly related to how comfortable students are with each other. A well-structured writing workshop, which bonds students as a group of writers, simultaneously supports individuals in improving their skills.(author/aec)

Conferring: The Essential Teaching Act (ORC#: 5204)
In this chapter, the authors explain the importance of conferring during writing workshop. They also show how to effectively implement conferring into classroom writing instruction, while stressing that the time a teacher spends conferring with students about their writing is valuable to building important learning relationships. These conferences provide individual teaching time for showing students that they are considered writers who do important work. The authors differentiate between teaching and troubleshooting during the writing conference, and they describe four parts of a writing conference.(authors/aec)

Critical Issue: Addressing Literacy Needs in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Classrooms (ORC#: 4184)
This article addresses problems confronted by children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who have not experienced high levels of academic success. Their literacy needs are often not addressed as they are encouraged to assimilate into the mainstream. The author discusses in detail five essential knowledge bases for language arts and English teachers of culturally and linguistically diverse students--self-knowledge, cultural knowledge, linguistic knowledge, culturally informed teaching knowledge, and knowledge of materials and methods for multicultural literacy education--and emphasizes that culturally informed teaching knowledge is based on research and best practice.

Willis reviews research from the last two decades to explain literacy acquisition, growth, and development. The author also includes research that examines cultural interaction patterns, learning styles, and the emotional and psychological needs of children of color. Multicultural children`s literature, she acknowledges, is both a powerful way for schools to honor students` culture and foster cross-cultural understanding, and an important means to bridge home and school cultures.

Additionally, Willis points out that teachers working with students in culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms will realize that there is not one best way to teach all students; instead, a variety of instructional strategies should be incorporated where students are addressed individually. Several lists at the end of this article define objectives for the ideal culturally and linguistically diverse classroom, and provide goals for administrators, teachers, and home support. Willis` message is clear: that for instruction to be successful, educators must spend time developing their understanding of literacy instruction as well as their awareness of their students` cultures, backgrounds, and experiences. (author/bcbrown)

Leading to Great Places in the Middle School Classroom (ORC#: 1360)
The lead of a story is the beginning, and yet it can be the end if the reader is not engaged in the writing. This lesson examines examples of leads in young adult literature such as setting, action, character, reflection, event, and dialogue in a shared reading experience. Students are asked to then generate different leads for a read aloud book in the classroom. Finally, students complete the reading writing connection by creating or revising a lead in one of their pieces of writing. (author/ncl)

Minimizing Writing Apprehension in the Learner-Centered Classroom (ORC#: 5208)
In this article, author LaVona Reeves relates her own childhood experiences with writing apprehension to comparable anxieties that she sees in students. Many students refuse to write to save themselves from self-exposure, criticism, ridicule and failure. Under the right circumstances, those same students could benefit from writing as a way to learn about themselves and explore how their experiences have shaped their thinking and their beliefs. Specific behaviors and attitudes commonly found in apprehensive writers are described along with criteria to help teachers better identify and support students. To help students feel more confident in their writing, the author suggests using contextualized instruction, peer and student-teacher conferencing, opportunities for students to talk about negative experiences in writing, and ongoing monitoring of students` attitudes. (author/aec)

Peer Response: Teaching Specific Revision Suggestions (ORC#: 5203)
Many teachers find that secondary students give vague and general responses to one another`s writing when participating in peer responding as part of the revision process. The authors discuss a study conducted to measure effects of teaching students to generate specific responses when they respond to peer writing. The "Praise-Question-Polish" technique is described in the piece along with sample dialogue. Activities conducted during the research study as well as results are explained in detail. (authors/aec)

The Revision Toolbox [excerpt]: Chapter 3, "Revision Toolbox: Words" (ORC#: 4814)
In this excerpt, Georgia Heard addresses the importance of teaching students revising strategies. Often students are being asked to "add more detail" or "describe how the character is feeling," but they do not have the strategies to make these improvements in their writing. The author defines revision as seeing and then reseeing our words, training our eyes and ears to to know what good writing sounds like and learning and practicing strategies that will make a difference in our writing. Several strategies are well explained and sample lessons are included in this excerpt. (authors/aec)

Twenty Actions (ORC#: 1521)
This writing activity uses observation to generate ideas for writing. Students reflect on their everyday actions and record them in writing journals. Each idea represents the seed of an idea for a poem or other original writing. Sample lists and a poem from one of the actions provide a model for instructors. (Author/ncl)

The Writer's Toolbox: Five Tools for Active Revision Instruction (ORC#: 5202)
In this article, Laura Harper introduces the use of The Writer`s Toolbox by explaining the five tools it contains and describing how to use them to help students with revision. Her "toolbox" is a manila envelope kept inside each student`s writing folder. Within the envelope students keep index cards with notes about how to use the five revising tools and the symbols used to represent them. Taken from Barry Lane`s After the End, the five tools are questions, snapshots, thoughtshots, exploding a moment, and making a scene. Prior to use, each tool is introduced with a description of how it works, a suggestion for modeling the strategy and examples of student revisions. After the strategies are learned, students can use them in their own writing and suggest areas for using specific tools in their classmates` writing during peer conferencing. (author/aec)