The Common Core Writing Book, 6-8: Lessons for a Range of Tasks, Purposes, and Audiences

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The practices you will find in this book have been used effectively by many teachers. Here they are altered and redesigned with special attention to the CCSS-in a way that maintains the potential for teacher control and decision making in the best interest of learners.

-Gretchen Owocki

Whether it's developing arguments, writing informational texts, or pulling evidence from literary and informational texts to support their claims, the Common Core asks students to do the hard work of higher-level writing across the content areas.

To help with the hard work of teaching, The Common Core Writing Book, 6-8 presents a comprehensive framework of strategies and lessons for enhancing or building a middle school writing curriculum. Within each section, you will find a set of instructional practices-demonstrations, collaborative engagements, and independent applications- that allow students to gradually take control of complex thinking and activity.

Gretchen Owocki covers not only the English Language Arts standards, but all the writing standards for literacy in social studies, science, and technical subjects. She identifies those lessons that work best in content-area classrooms, offers suggestions for cross-disciplinary collaboration, and provides common language for teachers across the disciplines. She shares resources and supports such as:

  • decision trees that help you differentiate by matching students to lessons
  • assessment tools to determine writers' needs
  • instructional strategies, including minilessons
  • dozens of reproducibles, including mentor texts, graphic organizers, and planning templates for writers.

"Effective teaching," writes Gretchen, "is about taking note of learners' knowledge, engagement, and responses to instruction-and shaping instruction around what is observed." With her Common Core Writing Book, 6-8 you'll have a robust set of meaningful, authentic lessons and tools for not only teaching well but creating and sustaining engagement so that your writers continue to improve across the year.

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