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Improving Students' Writing, K-8

From Meaning-Making to High Stakes!

Give students a superior foundation in the essential traits of proficient writing and boost performance on "constructed response" test items!

How can we help students use writing as a path to understanding and a way to communicate their thinking? This manual includes rich examples, reproducible aids, rubrics, and how-to's for getting the most out of your writers. The authors address teaching all aspects of writing and explain how to help students:

  • Use writing to interact with informational text
  • Journal toward understanding
  • Write better constructed responses
  • Prepare for writing assessment

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781412917124
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2005
  • Page Count: 184
  • Publication date: October 03, 2005

Price: $39.95

Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.



"Purposeful, realistic . . . and clearly written….the book renews my excitement for teaching writing, and for new teachers, the text offers suggestions from a voice of experience-all within the framework of NCLB legislation for differentiating teaching based on learners' needs."
-Julia Weinberg, Instructor
University of Nevada, Reno

Give students the power to express their thinking in writing and to use writing as a process for learning!

How can we improve students' ability to write "constructed response" to high stakes content area test items? How can we open for them the writing pathway to exploring and understanding informational texts? How can we help them develop the essential traits of proficient writing? Nationally recognized experts in literacy with experience in elementary, middle school, and university classrooms as well as consulting expertise, Barone and Taylor meld theoretical and practical considerations about writing instruction to explain how to teach each child to:

  • Self-monitor to improve writing skills
  • Grow in ability to write successful constructed response
  • Use writing to process and stretch their own thinking
  • Prepare for high stakes writing assessment

Improving Students' Writing, K-8 brings together real-life examples, rubrics, reproducible aids and how-to's for getting the most out of your writers.

Key features

  • Full of ideas for teachers, study groups and professional development
  • Structures help teachers motivate the Big Three of Writing: Getting Started, Continuing Writing and Finishing!
  • Helps teachers prep students for high stakes tests
  • Combines clear explanation and teaching direction
  • Keys to improve "Constructed Response" for standardized assessments
  • Many reproducibles
  • Strategic tools build the 6 traits of assessed writing
  • Authors bring both research and classroom experience
  • Samples of student writing illustrate how-to to identify where and how to move students forward
  • emphasis on teaching writing about content and subject information
  • Explicit, step-by-step guidelines
  • Sample dialog for teachers to guide students
  • quick teacher reference note cards for varied writing styles
  • Maps for helping students organize writing


Diane Barone photo

Diane Barone

Diane M. Barone is Professor Literacy Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno. In her role at the university, she teaches courses in early literacy, diversity and literacy, and qualitative research. Her research interests center on young children, especially in high poverty schools, and how they develop in literacy. Her most current study followed 16 children from kindergarten through to Grade 6 to document their literacy growth. She has been an editor of Reading Research Quarterly and has written numerous articles, book chapters, and books. Some of her recent books include Reading First in the Classroom with Joan Taylor and Darrin Hardman, Literacy and Young Children: Research-Based Practices with Lesley Morrow, Teaching Early Literacy: Development, Assessment, and Instruction with Marla Mallette and Shelley Xu, and The National Board Certification Handbook. She is also Principal Investigator for Reading First in Nevada and serves as a member of the board for the International Reading Association.

Joan M. Taylor photo

Joan M. Taylor

Joan Taylor is a teacher-consultant who works with teachers and students in Title I schools in the Reno/Sparks area of Northern Nevada. She recently completed a dissertation on A History of Written Composition Instruction in U.S. Elementary Schools. Her research interests, in addition to historical and current perspectives on writing instruction, are focused on exploring teachers' stories on learning and teaching.

She has been a long-time middle school teacher in Washoe County Schools. She is also Nevada State Networks Writing Project Co-Director, and during the past several years has authored a number of federally funded state literacy grants from the U.S. Department of Education totaling approximately $53 million. These include the Nevada Reading Excellence Act and Nevada Reading First grants.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


About the Authors

1. Writing to Learn and Understand

Purposes for Writing

Yesterday’s and Today’s Challenges

Literacy Connections in Your Classroom

The Three Hardest Parts About Helping Student Writers

Writing Together as a Way of Communicating, Learning, and Meaning-Making

2. Writing About Information

Informal Writing

Formal Writing

Connections Between Informational Text and Student Writing

Reading Informational Text to Learn About Structure

Final Thoughts

3. Narrative Writing

Narrative Writing

Writing Development

Gender and Writing

Informal Narrative Writing

Formal Narrative Writing

Final Thoughts

4. Writing With Purpose for Real Audiences

Part of a Classroom Culture

Writing for Real Audiences

Writing for Real Purposes

Analyzing Writing as a Craft


Responding to Writing


Writing With Reason

5. Preparing for High-Stakes Writing Assessments

Historical Perspective

Writing Assessment Methods

Writing Assessment Tasks

Helping Students With Trait-Scored Divergent and Convergent Assessment Items

Product Versus Process

Final Thoughts

6. Connecting Writing and Classroom Conversation

Academic Conversations

Final Thoughts







Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.