Happy Crunchtime, Colleagues!
With the STAAR writing day right around the corner, you’ll soon be seeing the fruits from the year’s work in your classrooms. I’m sending you lots of good thoughts and all the energy I can transmit, along with a few little fun tools that might be helpful.
I created a DIY page so students can create their own STAAR-style prompt, and then choose a structure for creating a kernel essay. To keep your last-minute practice light and social, it’s fun to have kids creating their kernel essay and performing it for the class. You can let the audience identify that structure while they’re getting deep rehearsal of the process. (Or they could write, of course.)
There’s one page for grade 4, using concrete nouns, and another page for the upper grades, using abstract nouns.
Also, we included the reminder about the “dead giveaways,” the writing weakeners that students can spot not only in their own writing, but also on the answer choices of the revision questions. TEA wants to make sure students know the difference between weak writing and strong writing, not just what “makes sense.”
One last thing: Lynda Morgart and Stephanie Vaughn, two 7th grade teachers in the Fulshear ISD, had huge success last year when their seventh graders tried out a strategy we’re calling “Truism Braids.” We posted lots of papers on the Trail of Breadcrumbs web site. So many people asked for a demonstration that we have posted a video on Youtube showing how the Truism Braid works. You can also view it below.
Good luck to everyone!