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While reading these books, discuss the parts of a letter.Here are some of my favorites: My kids write Santa a letter every year before Christmas.
Make sure the rubric includes the criteria students will be assessed on, and model how to use the rubric. Bradford’s fifth-grade students are creating a digital report about key women in the American Revolution, and during this class they will practice drafting openings or lead sentences to use in their report. Bradford recognizes that the reading and writing skills of his 25 students are quite varied, so he plans to offer differentiated support.
The students will participate in a variety of prewriting activities to prepare for drafting, including reading books, gathering information, taking notes, and watching videos. Bradford has posted online, to help them write their first draft. Bradford’s specific lesson objective is to have his students draft possible leads to use in a report on women in the American Revolution.
What happens during the drafting stage of the writing process? During the drafting stage of writing, a student develops a more cohesive text and explores their topic, directed by purpose, audience, genre, and content.
Drafting helps students expand upon, clarify, and modify their initial plans and ideas, and it helps them organize their content into a meaningful sequence or flow.
(See UDL Checkpoint 9.3: Develop self-assessment and reflection).
Create a rubric for students (or provide them with a published rubric) to use for self-reflection.The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts (ELA) emphasize that it is important to teach students to write in all subjects, to use writing as a way to teach content, and to integrate technology into the process: Using word processing and other technology tools for drafting is especially helpful for struggling students.The writing process is fluid and these tools recognize this, allowing students to easily change earlier decisions about purpose, audience, and genre, and addressing different learning styles.Model thinking aloud strategies on the interactive whiteboard.It is also helpful to provide students with explicit instruction on how to transform ideas and notes into strong sentences and paragraphs.If we leave the letters in our mailbox with a return address, our local post office will write the children back. As an author myself, I can tell you firsthand that authors love hearing from their readers.Some years my oldest son would also write them back. My oldest son wrote his favorite author, Mary Pope Osborne, several years ago and he was thrilled when he received this letter back from her. It can be your mayor, governor, or any other elected officials.Teaching children how to write letters can be a fun experience.Even though traditional letter writing has taken a backseat to other popular forms of electronic correspondence, such as emails and texts, it's still an important skill children need to practice.Drafting is an iterative process that involves drafting and redrafting text again and again, and through this process students’ writing improves, becoming stronger, clearer, and better organized.To be college and career ready, students must be effective writers — that is, writers who are able to clearly communicate their ideas for a specific purpose.