Writing for a Variety of Authentic Purposes
Alongside District 47’s personable, meaningful, and rigorous reading curriculum is a creative, multi-dimensional, cross-curricular approach to writing instruction. District 47 students will be mentored by their teachers as they grow as writers. While students will be provided with opportunities to write creatively, much of the writing they produce will be linked to the ELA Units of Study. Many of the Units of Study writing projects are closely linked with the reading exercises created for those units. Partnering the reading and writing portions of the units has created a strong sense of cohesiveness in our ELA classrooms. As writers in District 47, students will:
- Create multiple narrative, explanatory/informational, and opinion pieces of writing;
- Practice revising their writing to improve the quality of their ideas, sentence fluency, organization, and word choice;
- Practice editing their writing to ensure that proper grammar and spelling are recognized;
- Be coached to find their “voice” as a writer so that each pieces have personal meaning to them;
- Write for a variety of reasons, audiences, and purposes;
- Integrate technology in a way that enhances their overall product;
- Share their work with their peers, and other local (and possibly non-local) audiences.
A Note About Spelling and Handwriting…
One aspect of District 47’s multidimensional approach to writing instruction involves helping students develop as skillful spellers. Spelling instruction is not treated as a separate entity in District 47, rather it is woven into writing instruction in ways that are natural and authentic. As students engage in the revising and editing portions of the writing process, teachers work alongside them to help them with their specific spelling needs. Although students in District 47 do not receive weekly spelling lists to memorize, there is a list of high-frequency words that students are assisted in mastering. Teachers utilize the Sitton Spelling and Words Their Way resources to help students master these words and other critical spelling patterns.
The EZ Write handwriting program is the primary tool used in all District 47 Kindergarten-3rd grade classrooms to help students develop their handwriting skills. Students will learn cursive handwriting beginning in grade 3.