This page will contain comments and ideas from Table 2.
Bob Broad and David Slomp
Focus Questions: What themes emerged within and between the conversations that occurred today? What gaps have become apparent through these conversations? What implications for writing curricula and assessment practices might be drawn from these conversations?
-meetings by division/grade to do examination of Alberta education rubrics and creations of our own
-Revolutionize education! (less subject specific, more connectedness)
-More dialogue between ALL subject divisions.
-Continued growth for all teachers; it is just as important for us to remember and remind ourselves and each other that we too, are still learning and growing like our students. “Teacher as model”
-More dialogue between university and high schools.
-Bring in content area teachers (besides ELA) and continue this dialogue.
-Lack of communication
-Expectations placed on ELA teachers to be the “teachers of writing”. Content area teachers need to assume responsibility as well.
-We have a difficult balance between what we would like to do and what we must do (curriculum/exam constraints). This is magnified by a lack of writing in other disciplines.
-Knowing what others are actually doing (sharing assignments, assessments, stories etc)
-Universities have writing assignments across disciplines so why are we not doing this in high school?
-Preparing our students for what they will be learning (curriculum) AFTER they move up a grade level, and when they graduate from high school.
How did the criteria for the assignment show up in the paper you have? (Nursing paper) Was there a match? What seems to be in the draft that isn’t in the assignment?
What would you want teachers of writing in the contexts that precede and/or follow your context (here it is nursing instructors at the U of A) to know about your teaching of writing (goals, challenges, affordances)?
-The writer has supported all of their statements with examples. They used the literature given in the assignment.
-The assignment was not double spaced which was part of the criteria. It follows the rest of this criteria. It is written out very clearly for them.
– Nice conclusion. The paper is well written because it is very clear and concise. It takes a stand and stays true to it.
What is your context for writing? How does it constrain what you write?
-It doesn’t always allow much room for the personal.
-As a modern language teacher language can pose problems. Sometimes students misconstrue the assignment. They do not understand how to connect their experience to the texts and communicate.
-With group work students rise to the level of the highest level student. Peer feedback can cause problems.
-When it comes to research the students just take the information from the text and write it down. They have the information but do not know how to begin writing. Engaging students in the writing process by assigning a mark for the draft and the final version is a good idea.
Robin Bright & Leah Fowler
What do you value in writing?
-There is a struggle between preparing for university and preparing for diploma exams.
-We are interested to see how the curriculum will change. There is too much to cover in order to be able to do what we would like to allow students to do.
-Having a workshop at the beginning and end of the semester might help a bit, but from the perspective of head office it may not be enough.
-Students need to have time, but how do we give them time. If you give students the topic and some time in class to start formulating ideas they will benefit. If you give the topic ahead of time, but do not let them begin in class they likely will not start until close to the due date. They don’t have much time so they don’t get the pleasure of choosing the right words.
-Students only see the end result. “I need to get this mark to get into university”, but they forget that once they get into university they need to stay there.
-By giving students many opportunities to be creative and practice writing they will develop a type of fluency. This should help them to be able to perform on the diploma exams despite the time limit. If students had that fluency earlier in school it would not be so intimidating for high school teachers.
-Students are afraid to write because they are afraid to make mistakes. So much of their writing is not scored on their ideas, but only on their form.
-There needs to be a continuity between high school and university.
-For a lot of students high school is about what their parents want and university is about what they want. There needs to be a connection.
What did you value/ like about the reading?
What did you not like? What would you like to see in the reading?
-The first page felt very personal and descriptive. The second page was more scientific. It felt like some sort of science assignment with observation and then facts.
-There is a clear effort to pull all of the information together through use of transitions (therefore, nevertheless etc).
-Did not like the repetition of adjectives that do not really say much, such as “amazing”.
Bob Broad- Writing Beyond Schools
Why are you here today?
-It is important to know what is expected of students at the University level. How can I help them get their ideas out of their heads and down on paper? Clarity of thought.
-To learn what other people are doing. How are they writing, assessing etc. Curiosity about what other people are doing since there is not a lot of discussion about it on my campus. Interested in creative writing, so would like to find out what strategies for assessment are the best ways of doing it.
-Frustration over constraints placed on teachers because of diploma exams. Don’t know how to get some of the students prepared for these. Frustrated because had a student whose University professor said to throw out everything they learned in high school English (the student misconstrued the professor’s meaning). He actually said in high school writing students are taught to let form dictate content, and university teaches for content to dictate form. How can we bridge the gap between high school and university writing and teaching? Want to be on the right track preparing them for university.
-Many university professors expect students to write in a certain way, but do not teach how. There needs to be more connection between high school and university.
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