Who Wants to Know What CCRS Writing Looks Like?Kristine Kelly, Literacy & ELA Coordinator
As Minnesota ABE teachers continue to dig into the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) for English Language Arts/Literacy, we are becoming more aware of useful resources available to help us in our work.
I’m often asked about what writing aligned to the CCRS looks like, and two resources are available to us that demonstrate samples of the three types of writing required by the CCRS ELA/Literacy standards: argument/opinion, informative/explanatory and narrative. These two resources are:
- Appendix C of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects
- In Common: Effective Writing for All Students
Though both resources are collections of K-12 student samples of writing, there is much we can glean from the samples and the annotations included.
Appendix C of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects
The writing samples in this resource reflect the three types of writing required by the standards. Each sample is clearly annotated with descriptors pulled from the language of the standards. These samples were generated from a variety of conditions including in-class or homework tasks, on-demand assessment or research projects.
In Common: Effective Writing for All Students
The writing samples included here are split into two types: on-demand writing and range of writing. The on-demand samples show progression of writing with one topic in K-5 and 6-12. The range of writing samples show the possibilities for integrating writing tasks across content areas. Like Appendix C, each sample includes annotations that align with language of the writing standards. In addition, this resource includes the detailed prompts and materials used to elicit the writing samples.
Putting the Resources to Use
Sifting through these documents takes some time, but both resources provide us food for thought about the types of writing required by the standards and ideas for eliciting responses. Moreover, the in-depth analysis of each sample can help us begin to internalize the language of the standards so that we may better guide and evaluate our learners as they engage in writing tasks aligned with the CCRS.
Following are three ideas for using these resources:
- Choose an un-annotated piece from In Common, annotate it according to the writing standards and compare your observations to a colleague’s before comparing them to the annotated piece in the resource.
- Choose a sample from an appropriate level to use as a model with learners when you are teaching writing. Show learners why the model is effective.
- Search through both resources to see how writing can be integrated across content areas and think about what these examples could mean for your instruction.
I encourage you to check out these resources! No doubt we will accrue our own ABE writing samples with time, but for now, there is much we can learn from those who have worked to implement these standards before us. Happy reading and writing!
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