Mastery of writing standards implies that students can execute the various skills within any writing scenario. Therefore, teachers need to ensure they are providing students with a range of experiences.
This includes opportunities:
- To choose their own topics (e.g., free-choice writing) and times when they have no choice (e.g., prompt writing).
- To take a piece through the traditional writing process (e.g., final draft) and other times when they have one chance to produce their best piece (e.g., first-draft only).
- To write using traditional paper/pencil tools and time when they compose the piece entirely on a screen.
- To complete a piece across multiple days and other times when they have to start and finish it in one sitting.
In order to measure that students are participating in the range of writing experiences required by the standards, consider tracking this information all year long. Download this tracking form and tape it to your desk corner–so you can find it every day! With every writing task you assign students, put a tally mark in each of the three categories. This will help you know whether you are offering enough variety.