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Check for Writer Understanding

October 24, 2013

Check for Writer Understanding

During an evening presentation at Protsman Elementary (Hammond, IN), Kristina Smekens introduced the 6 Traits of writing to a group of parents and revealed the common language that kids were learning from their teachers.

The presentation included a simple handout of the 6 Traits and the corresponding Smekens Education icons that teachers had been utilizing.

At the conclusion of the evening, a set of parents approached Kristina and shared what their kindergarten daughter (who had tagged along that night) had written during the presentation. Check this out! She noted the gist of each trait and used all-by-herself conventions to explain what it meant. Wow!

It’s something to think about. As primary teachers, one way to conduct checks of understanding is simply to ask students to articulate what they know. What if you gave your own young writers this same handout (assuming you’ve been teaching the 6 Traits and using the Smekens Education icons) and asked them to list what they understand each trait to mean?

The results will surely provide you with new direction for what to reinforce and what to elaborate on.

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