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6 Trait Writing: Session 1 Outline

Page history last edited by MrsK Books 2 years, 6 months ago

What's New: Announcements       Module Syllabus       Writing Connections       Assignments

Session Outline: 1       Session's Discussion Board Portal       Session Outline: 2

Internet Connections and Resources     Looking For a Good Read?     Technology Instructional Practice


Session Outline: 1

Learning Objectives


Upon successful completion of this learning module, you will be able to:


1.       Navigate the modules website and use the eLearning tools provided


2.       Designed and posted your Educator website (URL)


3.       Describe and discuss the 6 Traits of Writing model and how eLearning is a valid instructional presentation format




Once again I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to this 21st Century investigation into the 6 Traits of Writing and its blended Instructional Design approach towards “building bridges” for our student’s active learning while they “hone” their writing skills.Congratulate yourselves for being Educators who are willing to stretch your methodology, those who are passionate about finding insightful nuggets for “what works” for your students, and for going the “extra mile” beyond your classroom options.


What is eLearning Instruction?


It is a blended approach to instruction utilizing technology tools, Internet links, and communication devices beyond the face-2-face classroom experience.  By the year 2012, our students will be entering into a work environment that is vastly different than the one that we are in today.Technology is advancing exponentially.  It is likely that by the time we become comfortable with what we know and use today, significant updates/modifications has rendered our instructional techniques obsolete.  It is mind-boggling and it is a huge order for educators to keep informed, yet as life-long learners who strive in excellence we constantly make accommodations and modifications on a daily basis.  Taking what we know and refreshing our methods of presentation will bring about technology literacy for our students.  There were two avenues of thought that made an impact for me: 


1.       The ability to navigate in a diverse “global village” will be a key skill for 21st century citizens (Kleeman 2002)


2.       During the 2004 NetDay, over 160,000 students stated that they want technology that will allow them to visit virtual worlds, take online classes, and work digitally (Stubbs 2005)


What is meant by a blended approach to writing instruction?


For the purpose of this distance learning module, the “blended” approach to writing instruction refers to the integration of technology in and beyond the classroom presentation.  This module is providing content learning through the use of technology known as an “Instructional Website.”  Content that is read at this site has been modified from a “face-2-face” format into a distance learning format known in higher education as eLearning.  During the first two sessions you will be investigating research topics about eLearning and its connection/use in education.  Your findings will be presented as a written reflection to an investigative question (found below under the heading Assigned Internet Research). In connection to this modules website, you will be introduced to an instructional Wiki and Blog.  These sites will provide technology insights, personal practice, instructional design options, and Internet resources that will enhance your classroom instruction while meeting the needs of your students.  The blended approach to writing instruction is a journey and by the end of this module you will find what works for you, new options for what will work with your students, and ideas that will help you “tweak” what is working in your classroom today with what will be working in your classroom tomorrow.


Since our students are multi-tasking at a rapid pace on a daily basis, a new form of written communication has been invented.  There was once a generation of students who graduated from High Schools across the nation with what was once called Shorthand skills and believe me it was all about the speed at which you could write down verbal notes (dictation).  Next came the speed in which you would return to a typewriter and type up those notes with 100% accuracy.  Your shorthand speed was tested during every job interview! Well students today have created their own shorthand “lingo” and now it’s up to educators to tap into their “on-line” abilities and help them “bridge” the gaps between their texting writing style and their schooled writing style (better known as the 6 Traits of Writing).


What’s the connection to the 6 Traits of Writing?


Every educator in America has been trained in the art of the 6 Traits of Writing, only our levels of understanding and experience with this method of instruction varies.  Depending on which state you work in, the stress for our students and ourselves is directly related to our instructional design and classroom focus with these 6 Traits.  The end of Spring Break brings a stop to the “fun” activities in most classrooms.  State mandated writing tests are the only focus, it is all about the student’s test scores for 2-3 weeks.  Buildings will budget much needed funds to ensure their students perform at the highest levels by supplying healthy “brain snacks.”  Writing instruction has been the focus for all educators since 1990.  What better avenue for a blended approach with technology.  Avenues branch off in numerous directions from the: Written Word.  What we know works is the best starting place for updating and giving our instructional techniques a face-lift.Collaborating together ensures our success with this face-lift as we undergo a technological make-over of our antiquated procedures in order to present a more youthful and vibrant approach to writing instruction by using an electronic pen as our scalpel. 


Readings and Sample Classroom Lessons


Welcome to the module and to the first learning session.  Locating this page says that you are on your way in navigating this eLearning module.  The modules sidebar (located at the top & bottom of each page) will provide quick “linking” to the various assignment postings, session learning objectives, discussion board sessions, Internet resources, as well as your grading overview.


Since this is the first learning session, take some time to investigate the various tools and resources at this site.  You will be using other module sites in conjecture with this website.  The How this Module Works provides quick “linking” to the sites that you will be using.Navigate to the Internet Connections & Resources sidebar and “click” on the first Internet link entitled MrsK Books Wiki.  Once at the modules Wiki site, locate the How This Module Works page link and click. Now you will find the overviews for all the sites you will be using, as well as the Internet “hot” links.  These sites have been designed as technology models for your assigned projects and postings.


Each session in this module will “build” upon the previous weeks’ work.  Given that this module spans 8 months, it is very important for you to log in to the discussion board at least once a week.  There will be 3 on-site working labs that you are expected to participate in, each lab will be scheduled for 4 hours and you will be notified by email about the upcoming dates and times.  Each assignment is designed as a stand-alone session; please plan on completing and posting each assignment as stated in the session outline.  As educators, we are so busy with our classroom needs that it is very difficult to schedule continuing education courses during the school year.  The benefit of this module is that you have the opportunity to complete these sessions at your convenience, in your “real-time” learning time-frame and setting.  Within each Session you will find four distinct sections: 1) Learning Objectives, 2) Session Notes, 3) Session Readings and Classroom Sample Lessons, and 4) Assignments.


Given that this module is formatted as an online distance learning course, there are just a few reminders about using technology.  Always remember that nothing is really anonymous when you are online, as Educators you will already know the importance of posting and/or discussing individuals and students using “false” names especially when posting their 6 Trait writing examples (I suggest that you use their grade book number for all samples).  Your final instructional video will need to have parental permission slips since it is very difficult to “shoot” your instruction without getting shots of your students as well.  There are some simple cyber-manners to keep in mind, remember to post a version of these on your Educators Student Wiki site and take the time to review why these cyber-manners are important:


1.        Be respectful. Remember that on the other side your computer screen sits a real person, like you, doing the best he or she can. Don't lose sight of that fact. You may not see her face or hear his voice, but the other person has feelings too.


2.        Be patient. Everyone has a life and other responsibilities. Other folks are not sitting at their computer just waiting for your next message to appear in their inbox. Give everyone a reasonable amount of time to respond to your messages. If you REALLY need to contact someone with an urgent message, use your POTS (Plain Old Telephone System), the original real-time, two-way interactive communications medium!


3.        Say what you mean. Sometimes, in an attempt to be diplomatic, we end up obscuring our intended meaning. But remember, you can say what you mean without being rude or abrasive. Your messages represent who you are in cyberspace, and they leave a lasting impression.



Under this heading, you will locate the Session’s assigned reading, the assigned Internet research links, any interactive learning investigations, and any suggested reading connections.  Every session will have active links for easier access.  Remember that there is an “Assignments: At-a-Glance” button on the left side bar for quicker access for each of this modules sessions J


Session 1 Assigned Reading:

  • BLIRead the Introduction & Ideas sections (BLI = Books, Lessons, Ideas for Teaching the 6 Traits of Writing by Vicki Spandel)


  • RTWBRead Chapters 1-4 (RTWB = Read To, With, and By Children by Margaret Mooney)


Assigned Internet Research:

Why should technology be “blended” into the 6 Trait of Writing instructions?

Choose and report on 2 of the following investigation links.  Post your insights to the modules discussion board for this session.


Ginny’s Educational Pages:  Innovative lessons and methods for K-12 learning 



NWREL:  Center for research, evaluation, and assessment 



Six Trait Power Write: Using technology to apply research based strategies  



Power Write Brochure:



They Blazed the Trail for Distance Education:  by James Gooch, University of Wisconsin. A brief overview of the history of distance education (correspondence courses, television broadcasts etc.) in the USA since c. 1890.



The Core Rules of Netiquette:  This site has a great “down and dirty” outline about the core rules of Netiquette by Virginia Shea.  Take a moment or two to scan the "what and why" these rules are used by all online instructors:



Interactive Learning Investigations:



These links will provide instructional design connections that will facilitate your 6 Trait classroom presentations.


1.       Building a Website:  Quick reading format to get you started.  (L# 1 Video/ppt)



2.       Six Traits Writing Resources:  PowerPoint’s, interactive online activities, templates, posters, etc 



3.       Module 6 Trait Instructional Wiki: 



Suggested Reading:


  • PBTW: Read the books Introduction and Chapter 1 (PBTW = Using Picture Books to Teach Writing with the Traits by Ruth Culham




Under this heading you will find the Session assignments and assessments.  At first it may seem a bit overwhelming, yet the format will stay consistent and once you gain practice navigating through the module and its corresponding sites your comfort level will increase.



Posting Codes:


Module Website: MW                       Module Wiki Site: MWS                             Module Blog Site: MBS                 Literacy Blog Site:LBS


                          Educator Website: EW                           Educator Blog Site: EBS                            Educators Student Wiki Site: ESW


Assignment Name:


What to Include:


Where to Post:


Point Value:


Due Date:




Educator Website






  • Front page welcome


  • Brief website purpose (6 Trait writing connection)


  • Biography with picture


1.        URL posted to Website Session 1 discussion board (MW)






















Biographical Introduction







  • Who you are


  • Picture


  • Educator background


  • 6 Trait thoughts (success/insights, etc)


1.        Educator website (EW)


2.        Module website (MW discussion board )
























Discussion Board Topics






1.        Educator website URL


2.        Educator Introductions


3.        Research reflection


4.        Reflection responses to 2 co-educators postings


Session 1 Discussion Board will list 3 different discussion threads:


1.        Website URL


2.        Introductions


3.        Reflections






















Module Pre-Survey






  • Go to the module wiki site to take survey


  • Wiki navigational side bar located top right box:6 Traits: eLearning Module


  • Click the “done” button























Meet Mrs K


Pilot Study: Check List              Pilot Test: Discussion Board           Pilot Study: Trial Run Survey


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