Identifying the Learning Destination for Student Writers

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I have a confession to make. There was a time when the teaching of writing, not to mention the assessment of writing, overwhelmed me. It just seemed so BIG…I didn’t feel I had a handle on it at all. I knew I wanted a workshop approach. I knew that student choice was important to me and that quality literature would be integral to the workshop. Beyond that, I had more questions than answers. The big ideas of assessment for learning helped me figure it out, beginning with identifying the learning destination.

I realized that part of why writing felt so huge to me was that I really didn’t know my curriculum well enough. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted my students to know and understand, do, and be able to articulate. Reading the curriculum, in fact poring over it, was not enough. I needed to take it apart and put it back together in ways that made sense to me and served the needs of the students I was teaching.

You might want to read Brenda’s most recent blog posting at to learn more about this process, which incidentally, works for all subjects…not just writing.

And you may want to learn more about ways to support the learning of others. If you are an elementary or secondary teacher, school leader, or PD leader, consider attending one of our March Institutes in 2015: Savoir ce qui est important; A Fresh Look at Grading and Reporting in High Schools; or Facilitating Adult Learning.

All our best,

Brenda, Anne, and Sandra

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