Writing

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Kristine Kelly

Literacy 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.

Study Circles

Writing Study Circle

This 12-hour professional learning activity allows Adult Education teachers to dig deeply into resources related to writing instruction and then implement key strategies with their students. Study circle participants engage in both at-home reading and reflective classroom tasks that inform and deepen discussions and allow for maximum professional growth. The study circle meetings are an opportunity to connect with colleagues in a highly supportive and collaborative space to talk about what is working and what challenges exist around teaching writing to adult learners.

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

Writing Resource Library »

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Latest Writing Articles

Student Magazine to Showcase Writing

Often students don’t view their writing as “real” writing. My idea was that if they could see their writing in a stunning layout with visually appealing pullout quotes, captivating titles, and colorful photos, they would see it in a new way and get excited about the possibilities. Read More

Teaching Writing Skills Through Gratitude

Studies have shown that feeling thankful can improve sleep, mood and immunity and that gratitude can decrease stress and anxiety. Gratitude journals are a great way to give students frequent writing practice with mental wellness benefits. Read More

Upcoming ABE Events

June 20, 2024 10:30 am–12:00 pm
SiD Support
Online

SiD: Prepping for the PY 23-24 August Submission

Online

Registration Deadline: THU. 6/20/24 Got your ducks in a row for the 23-24 NRS Program Year? This webinar will assist you in preparing for your consortium’s August 1 report submission. We’ll go over some last-minute check points before you send in your reports. Learn More

Online
June 21, 2024 1:00 pm–3:00 pm
Literacy Minnesota
Online

Comprehension Strategies for Intermediate-Level Readers

Online

Registration Deadline: FRI. 6/21/24 Research shows that explicitly teaching a set of comprehension strategies is a great way to help intermediate-level readers maximize their understanding of texts. Come learn a handful of great comprehension tools that will help students develop critical thinking skills and comprehension skills. Learn More

Online
June 24, 2024 6:30 pm–8:30 pm
Literacy Minnesota
Online

Volunteer Core Training Module 4: Instructional Best Practices: Working with Materials

Online

Registration Deadline: MON. 6/24/24 Participants will engage in a couple of classroom activities to experience scaffolding, checking comprehension and the gradual release of responsibility. These aspects of teaching and tutoring are then defined, explained further and participants get opportunities to practice them. Learn More

Online