On Friday, October 6th, our staff met to look at our students’ writing. We shared student writing with the other members on our grade level teams and marked them together. This activity has several benefits.
First, it allows us to make sure that we are aligning our expectations with provincial standards. We use samples of grade appropriate writing to help us see what our students should be doing at a particular grade level.
Second, since we are a school with one LA teacher per grade level, marking together allows us that opportunity to get feedback and second opinions on our marking practices. We get feedback and clarify the outcomes. This also helps us to see the progression of student writing across 3-4 years.
Finally, each teacher comes away with a class profile with the strengths and next steps for each of our students. These profiles allow us to plan our writing lessons around the strengths and needs of our current students. We will be looking at whole class lessons, small group lessons, and individual student support on particular aspects of writing.
Since improving student writing is one of our goals, we will be doing a similar activity again in February and May. Each time we will be looking to see if students are improving in their writing and finding further ways to help students to progress.