Writing Continuum

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Literacy Statement

An effective literacy program offers a balance of challenge and support while building children’s confidence in their emerging abilities as readers and writers. Our goal is to develop fluent, capable readers who enjoy the process and learn from it, drawing from a diverse array of literature. Helping students become writers who can express their ideas cogently, clearly, and creatively is another important goal. We view reading and writing as a developmental process and understand that a child’s progress is seldom even or linear. It is common, for example, that a student’s leap ahead in learning is followed by a consolidating phase or an apparent plateau. We also find that students cannot be easily placed in a single category along the learning continuum. As such, our instruction is guided by regular formal and informal writing assessments.

While no two developmental journeys are identical, students often exhibit a range of skills and understandings. The following reading/writing continuum describes the basic path to literacy in the Beginning and Lower Schools.

 

Curriculum Map

Unit Essential Questions Habits Of Mind Content Skills and Processes Assessment Resources Multicultural Dimension Integrated Learning
Preconventional (ages 3-5)

• What do letters represent?
• What are books?
• How does writing convey ideas?
• Why do people write?
• How can I write?

*Letters represent sounds
*Letters combine to make words
*Print conveys meaning
*Random use of letters and approximations of letters

Emergent (ages 4-6)

• How are words written?
• How are sentences written?
• Where do I start on the paper?
• How can I make it so people can read what I write?

*Letters represent sounds
*Letters combine to make words
*Print conveys meaning
*User of 'Sound Spelling' for writing: Write a letter for every sound you hear
*Words are constructed with vowels and consonants
*Writing uses a direction model: left to right, top to bottom
*Writing is used for a variety of purposes

Beginning (ages 5-7)

• How do I think of ideas?
• How do I put words together that make sense?
• How are some words spelled?
• Is there true spelling?

*Words put together make phrases or short sentences
*Spelling is standardized
*Ideas can come from literature, life experiences, and imagination
*Conventional methods help you and others to read your writing

Developing (ages 6-8)

• How can I improve my writing?
• How can I express my ideas?
• How do I tell different stories?
• How can I make what I want to say to others clear?
• How can I make my writing more interesting?

*Sentence structures vary
*Descriptive language
*Steps within the writing process; prewriting, writing, revision, edit, publication
- brainstorming techniques
- techniques for revising
*Sentences begin with capital letters
*Sentences end with either a period, question mark, exclamation point depending on purpose
*Use of resources for standard spelling (e.g. dictionary)

Expanding (ages 7-9)

• Genres
-What are the different writing genres?
• Pre-Writing
-What are the different strategies or models for organizing my writing?
-Who is my audience? How can I address and interest my audience?
• Revising
-How can I improve my writing?
-How can others help me improve my writing?
-How can I make my writing more descriptive and engaging?
• Mechanics/Editing
-How can I improve the mechanics of my writing?
-How can I edit my work for clarity?
• Models: Reading/Writing connections
-How do literary devices improve my writing?
• Voice
-How can I express who I am in my writing?

*Authors have a purpose when they write
*Writers choose different genres to fit their purpose
*Prewriting helps to map out a piece of writing
*Different organizational strategies help to plan
*Different planning strategies are appropriate at different times
*Varied sentence structure adds life to writing
*Paragraphs contain related information and begin with a topic or lead sentence
*Subject-specific vocabulary enriches writing
*Revision adds detail and interest to writing
*Revision helps to clarify writing by helping writers to zero in on the specific subject at hand
*Revision makes writing more powerful by using active nouns, adjectives and verbs
*Proofreading helps readers understand your work
*My voice can impact my reader's experience
*My voice can help persuade a reader to understand my point of view

Bridging (ages 8-11)

• Genre
--How do I select an appropriate writing genre to fit my purpose?
• Pre-writing
--What are the different strategies or models for organizing my writing- which are most appropriate for my purpose?
• Revising
--How can I improve my writing?
--How can revision add detail to my writing?
--How can I make my writing more clear and compelling?
• Mechanics/editing
--How can I improve the mechanics of my writing?
--How do the mechanics of my writing impact my reader?
--How can I edit my work for clarity?
• Models: Reading/Writing connections
--How do literary devices improve my writing?
• Voice
--How can I express who I am in my writing?

*Authors have a purpose when they write
*Writers choose different genres to fit their purpose
*Prewriting helps to map out a piece of writing
*Different organizational strategies help to plan
*Different planning strategies are appropriate at different times
*Varied sentence structure adds life to writing
*Paragraphs contain related information and begin with a topic or lead sentence
*Subject-specific vocabulary enriches writing
*Revision adds detail and interest to writing
*Revision helps to clarify writing by helping writers to zero in on the specific subject at hand
*Revision makes writing more powerful by using active nouns, adjectives and verbs
*Proofreading helps readers understand your work
*My voice can impact my reader's experience
*My voice can help persuade a reader to understand my point of view

Fluent (ages 9-12)

• Genre
--Which genre fits my purpose?
• Pre-writing
--Which pre-writing model will help me plan my writing most effectively?
• Revising
--How can I improve my writing?
--How can revision help me clarify my writing?
• Editing/mechanics
--How can I improve the mechanics of my writing?
-- How can I edit my work for clarity?
• Models: Reading/Writing connections
--How do literary devices improve my writing
• Voice
--How can I express who I am in my writing?

*Authors have a purpose when they write
*Writers choose different genres to fit their purpose
*Prewriting helps to map out a piece of writing
*Different organizational strategies help to plan
*Different planning strategies are appropriate at different times
*Varied sentence structure adds life to writing
*Paragraphs contain related information and begin with a topic or lead sentence
*Subject-specific vocabulary enriches writing
*Revision adds detail and interest to writing
*Revision helps to clarify writing by helping writers to zero in on the specific subject at hand
*Revision makes writing more powerful by using active nouns, adjectives and verbs
*Proofreading helps readers understand your work
*My voice can impact my reader's experience
*My voice can help persuade a reader to understand my point of view