Writing

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Kristine Kelly

Literacy & ELA Coordinator

In Minnesota ABE programs, writing is taught in many different contexts and for many different purposes. One thing is for certain: Teaching writing is complicated! To assist MN ABE practitioners in providing effective writing instruction, ATLAS provides a variety of professional development (PD) activities, including workshops at various regional and statewide conferences, a growing online Writing resource library, and a new writing study circle that is currently under development.

Language & Literacy Institute

One of our primary activities for improving writing instruction is hosting the Language & Literacy Institute, a two-day, intensive training that takes place in late January each year. The large event brings together reading, writing, and ESL educators in ABE to collaborate with and learn from one another. The Language & Literacy Institute is organized by the Language & Literacy Advisory Team, and we offer an array of  workshops on reading and literacy instruction topics that have emerged as priorities in the state. In addition, we offer the CCR (College & Career Readiness) English Language Arts (ELA) Foundation workshop in conjunction with this event each year.

Writing Standards

Are you looking for more information about the College & Career Readiness (CCR) writing standards?

  • Visit the CCR Standards page to find out about professional development around the CCR Standards
  • Visit the CCR Standards library to find resources for implementing the ELA (English Language Arts) Standards, including writing

Recommendations about Adult Writing from ATLAS and LLATé

Writing is a way to organize thoughts, deepen understanding, slow down speech, and build language skills. Writing (of both print and electronic texts) is critical for adults in order to fully participate in their communities, engage in postsecondary opportunities, and succeed in the workplace. Developing writing skills also improves problem-solving, critical thinking, and retention of content knowledge.

The Minnesota ABE Language & Literacy Advisory Team (LLATé), synthesizing the research in writing instruction, recommends establishing a “writing culture” across all adult education levels and content areas. This means:

  • Students should be composing, editing, and sharing frequently during ABE/ESL instruction.
  • Effective writing instruction should focus on clear communication of ideas, sentence structures, usage, organization, and mechanics.
  • Writing activities (from student practice to publishing) will look different, and the products will vary depending on proficiency levels.
  • Acquiring writing fluency may require extensive teacher modeling, individual or group practice, and teacher or peer feedback.

Advisory Teams

Language & Literacy Advisory Team

The Language & Literacy Advisory Team (LLATé) is an ATLAS-sponsored team designed to strengthen language, reading, and writing instruction in Minnesota through relevant, meaningful, and effective professional development for practitioners.

LLATé is responsible for visioning and implementing a long-term strategic plan for language and literacy professional development (PD) in Minnesota, as well as completing specific tasks yearly to support established PD efforts, such as the January Language & Literacy Institute.

New Writing Resources

Rubrics for Providing Writing Feedback

These two rubrics were created by Stephanie Sommers, Writing Curriculum Team Lead with Minneapolis Adult Education. They are examples of single point rubrics, a format with "at target" expectations in a middle column, a blank column to the left for "below target," and another blank column to the right for "above target." This provides students with specific and valuable teacher feedback for improving their performance.

365 Days of Writing Prompts

This collection of writing prompts developed by WordPress (2013) was created to get students to write each and every day. It begins with January 1 and proceeds with daily writing questions or statements for every day of the year through December 31.

Informing Writing: The Benefits of Formative Assessment

This publication focuses on the effectiveness of formative writing (teacher feedback, student assessment, and ongoing monitoring) and offers best practices for assessment (allow paper/pencil or word processing, mask student names when scoring, and use multiple samples). Like "Writing Next" and "Writing to Read" - both available in this resource library - it is a meta-analysis of large-scale research studies.
Writing

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Latest Writing Articles

The Fab Four: Writing Resources That You and Your Students Will Love

The beginning of a new year is the perfect opportunity to reflect on your teacher toolkit and think about what might need updating. Could you use some new writing resources to help your students with “inking their thinking”? Whether you are trying to incorporate more writing into your daily routines or looking for a few fresh ideas, this list of four fab writing resources is sure to inspire. Read More

5 Sites for Reading & Language Online Instruction

Looking for ready made activities to use for online instruction? Here are 5 excellent, free sites that can be used online or in person to build Reading and Language skills. Read More

Upcoming ABE Events

February 25, 2021 6:30 pm–8:00 pm
Literacy Minnesota
Online

One Step at a Time: Remote Tutoring for Literacy Level Learners

Online

Registration Deadline: THU. 2/25/21 Learners with limited English and literacy skills are proving that they are successful remote learners. In this webinar, learn creative approaches that tutors are taking to support literacy level learners through remote one-on-one tutoring using video calls. Participants will learn best practices, try… Learn More

Online
February 26, 2021 9:30 am–11:00 am
ATLAS
Online

EBRI Study Circle – Virtual

Online

This series of six meetings, facilitated by Marn Frank, ATLAS, from early February through early May will introduce the foundations of and best practices for evidence-based reading instruction (or EBRI). The content will include: the four reading components and their interrelationships, diagnostic reading assessment purposes and processes, explicit instruction for… Learn More

Online
February 26, 2021 10:00 am–11:30 am
Literacy Minnesota
Online

Tutoring with Northstar Digital Literacy

Online

Registration Deadline: FRI. 2/26/21 The last year has shown just how vital digital literacy skills are in society. Northstar Digital Literacy provides a wide-range of tools and resources to help learners develop their digital literacy skills. In the webinar, participants will learn: The features of Northstar Digital… Learn More

Online