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 new Writing Study Circle is being piloted in February-April 2022. The activity includes 4 face-to-face meetings of 3 hours each plus classroom-based reflection and peer observation.

More information will be available soon!

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

ATLAS Pilot Writing Study Circle Applications Due February 1!

ATLAS is pleased to announce a new pilot Writing Study Circle for Adult Education instructors in Minnesota. Participants in this study circle will have the opportunity to dig deeply into some resources related to writing instruction and then implement key strategies with their students. Applications are available now and due by February 1, 2022. Read More

Classroom Resource: The New York Times Learning Network

The New York Times Learning Network offers a variety of learning activities that are relevant to adult education learners – from reading, writing, and discussion to geography and current events. Consider these resources to supplement your current instruction. Read More

Upcoming ABE Events

January 21, 2022 1:00 pm–3:00 pm
Literacy Minnesota
Online

Teaching Reading Vocabulary Remotely or In Person

Online

Registration Deadline: FRI. 1/21/22 Vocabulary is everyone’s favorite reading component! And helping students master reading vocabulary is a key to helping them master comprehension. But how many words should you teach? And which words are the most important? What strategies are best for helping students learn new words?… Learn More

Online
January 25, 2022 12:30 pm–1:15 pm
Burlington English
Online

MN Lunch & Learn: The Teacher’s Zone and the Admin Zone

Online

Registration Deadline: TUE. 1/25/22 In this session, we will cover the different functions of the Teacher’s Zone tile and the Admin Zone tile and what the differences are. NOTE: Attendees must have current login credentials for their BE account. Learn More

Online
January 25, 2022 6:30 pm–8:30 pm
Literacy Minnesota
Online

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

Online

Registration Deadline: TUE. 1/25/22 Participants learn about the types of materials that they may be working with, including prepared texts and realia. Participants also learn about the practice of explicit instruction, how to effectively give instructions, and suggestions for extending worksheets to maximize understanding and practice. Learn More

Online