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Writing for Understanding
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Writing for Understanding
Strategies to Increase Content Learning

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August 2009 | 144 pages | Corwin
Writing for Understandingáfocuses onáusing writing as an instructional tool for increasing studentsÆ understanding of content. Written for non-language arts teachers, the book provides approaches that are applicable from the upper elementary grades through high school.This resource gives teachers information and practical strategies to include student writing lessons in their instructional repertoire with specific attention to lessons that: Are content-specific across the curriculum or adaptable to various subject matter Increase student learning without the expectation that teachers will be, or become, experts in writing instruction Do not unreasonably increase teachersÆ workloads
 
Introduction: How Can I Teach Writing If I'm Not a Writing Teacher?
 
1. How Writing Increases Understanding
Debunking Myths and Misconceptions

 
Alternatives to Bloom

 
Five Research-Based "Truths" About Writing

 
Developing Effective Writing Questions and Prompts

 
Daily Writing

 
Some Thoughts on Taking Notes

 
 
2. Developing Narrative Writing Assignments
What Is Narrative Writing?

 
Types of Narrative Writing

 
Using Narrative Writing

 
Class Dialogue

 
Using Narrative Writing to Build Content Vocabulary

 
Sample Narrataive Writing Questions and Prompts

 
 
3. Developing Descriptive Writing Assignments
What Is Descriptive Writing?

 
Using Descriptive Writing

 
Sensory Details

 
Describing Processes

 
Class Dialogue

 
Translating Mathematics

 
Giving Directions

 
Sample Descriptive Writing Questions and Prompts

 
 
4. Developing Expository Writing Assignments
What Is Expository Writing?

 
Using Expository Writing

 
Class Dialogue

 
Writing Prompts That Require Cause-and-Effect Reasoning

 
Sample Expository Writing Questions and Prompts

 
 
5. Developing Persuasive Writing Assignments
What Is Persuasive Writing?

 
Using Persuasive Writing

 
Class Dialogue

 
Persuasion and the Basics of Logic

 
Sample Persuasive Writing Questions and Prompts

 
 
6. Developing Argumentative Writing Assignments
What Is Argumentative Writing?

 
Using Argumentative Writing

 
Class Dialogue

 
Follow-Up Sharing and Discussion

 
Sample Argumentative Writing Questions and Prompts

 
 
7. Using Dialogues About Writing to Build Meaning
A Basis in Socratic Questioning

 
Developing and Using Class Dialogues

 
Developing and Using Student Dialogues

 
Making and Using Rubrics

 
 
8. Internet-Writing Connections and Resources
Using E-Speak to Encourage Writing

 
Online Resources Can Help Students and Teachers

 
Websites for Students

 
Websites for Teachers

 
 
9. Frequently Asked Questions About Writing
Language Alive

 
Usage

 
Punctuation

 
 
10. Print Resources
Books

 
Documents

 
 
References
 
Index

"Because the writing process requires students to use and process content, it helps them understand what they are learning. Walling's book provides practical and powerful ways to use writing as a learning tool in a wide variety of subject areas."

Marlin L. Tanck, Retired Educator
Oostburg, WI

"This carefully researched book guides teachers of all disciplines through the uses of narrative, description, exposition, persuasion, and argument in pursuit of student learning. Through ample illustrations of interactive classroom dialogues and sample writing assignments, Walling introduces readers to a wide variety of ways to use writing to support learning in classes that range from mathematics and science to art and physical education. Even though having students write as a way of learning is not about 'correctness,' Walling offers reassuring chapters on grammar and usage, and his annotated bibliography of resources from across the curriculum is not to be missed."

Bruce M. Smith, Editor, Retired
Phi Delta Kappan

"Through student writing samples and classroom dialogues, Walling demonstrates how all content teachers can use various writing modes to enrich students' content knowledge to the level of innovation and greater clarity."

Carol Conway-Gerhardt, President
Catholic Schools Education Alliance of the Bay Area, Inc.

"Walling provides all classroom teachers with the tools to use writing as a catalyst to learning. All classroom teachers, including English teachers, will find this book useful because it not only discusses how to set up writing assignments, but also explains how writing complements learning."

Wayne Homstad, Professor of Education
Lakeland College

"Walling has created an outstanding book that is easy to read and understand, with valuable tips that will make any teacher a more effective instructor. While we have all read of 'writing across the curriculum areas,' Walling gives us an understanding of what this really means and provides examples that any teacher can modify to expand lessons to a more meaningful level, thus enhancing both writing and critical thinking skills in students."

Mark S. Strauss, Principal
Virginia Schuman Young Montessori Magnet Elementary School, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Sample Materials & Chapters

Introduction

Chapter 1: How Writing Increases Understanding


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