Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Key Points
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workshop 5 guide

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Workshop 5. Usage and Mechanics
"Our grammar instruction, our usage instruction, needs to happen in the context of the student's writing."

- Kylene Beers
Kylene Beers
First Steps A Shared Path Different Audiences Different Purposes
Usage and Mechanics Providing Feedback on Student Writing Learning from Professional Writers Writing in the 21st Century

This workshop focuses on usage and mechanics in the writing classroom: how to introduce, explore, and assess elements such as grammar and sentence structure so that student writers are able to improve their writing by applying what they learn to what they write.

These are the key points the teachers, educators, authors, and students consider:

  1. Students must have a grasp of the correct usage to apply in many different situations (academic and personal) and, by identifying the audience for their work, select which style is needed.
  2. As professional writers use a style book, students must also have a set of rules to guide their writing.
  3. Grammar is best taught in context. Years of research have shown that grammar taught in isolation has little impact on student writing.
  4. A writer's style grows through the examination and practice of construction in many different kinds of writing.
  5. Teachers have to decide when (in the processes of writing) and how to assess or evaluate grammar and syntax. They need to express their expectations to their students.

When it comes to assessing student work, how much emphasis do you place on usage and mechanics? Try this interactive to analyze your current practices.


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