Course DescriptionReview the skills you will need to pass the instructional paraprofessional's exam as you explore creative, exciting ways to present writing skills to students at all grade levels and improve the assessment of writing skills. This course is applicable to teachers as well as instructional paraprofessionals.
Lesson 1: Getting Started
Take a look at how our beliefs affect our teaching practice. We will also look at how to approach the teaching of writing.
Lesson 2: Celebrating and Sharing
Discover ways we can encourage our students to become writers. We will also look at how sharing our writing life and writing process with students can help them to become better writers. We'll explore our own writing process and how it relates to how we teach our students.
Lesson 3: Raise Your Expectations
In this lesson we introduce the Optimal Learning model for teaching writing. The goal of this model is to move students from dependence on us to becoming independent learners. See how what we have discussed thus far will help us create an environment conducive to learning with this model. We will also explore what it means to have high expectations of our students as writers.
Lesson 4: Shared Writing
Learn about hared writing activities within a writing program. We'll look at how to structure a shared writing event and what kinds of things we can do to encourage our students to participate. We'll also look at activities we can relate to our shared writing program, helping students with grammar and words.
Lesson 5: Capitalize on the Reading-Writing Connection
Explore the connection between reading and writing. By creating activities that allow students to draw from what they have read, we advance their writing skills. We'll learn about different activities we can use to help students improve their writing as well as their reading.
Lesson 6: Basic Skills
Discover how we can teach basic writing skills - like voice, revision, grammar, punctuation and spelling - within the context of writing. Learn how to focus your students on quality writing, which we've discussed in earlier lessons. Once students are writing well, we can begin to work on the mechanics of writing. However, we don't do it as lesson separate from writing, but as mini-lessons embedded within the context of writing.
Lesson 7: Organize for Daily Writing
One way to help students to learn to write better is to make writing a part of your daily classroom activities. It is also helpful to let students have some say in what they write. We will also look at how to encourage students to put forth their best effort by planning to publish their completed works.
Lesson 8: Assessing Writing
Explore ways that we can assess our students' writing. We'll look first at writing conferences, specifically the whole-class share - a way of having a conference with an individual student, but in a way in which all students in the class benefit from the conference. We'll also look at other ways you can conference one-on-one with students. In addition to conferences, we will look at building rubrics to show students how their writing will be graded. We'll also explore how to prepare students for the writing portions of the state standardized tests.
Lesson 9: Making the Most of Your Time
Take a look at ways to keep your teaching skills sharp. This includes investigating best practices and continuing to develop our own skills as teachers. We will also learn how to make every minute in our classroom count.
Lesson 10: Putting it All Together
Review at what we have learned in this course and create an artifact for our portfolios.
Participants will have 180 days to complete this online, self-paced course.
Internet Connectivity Requirements:
Cable/DSL internet connection recommended for best experience
CPU: 1 GHz or higher
RAM: 2 GB or higher
Resolution: 1280x720 or higher
Microphone (webinar/live online sessions)
Operating System Requirements:
Microsoft Windows 7 or 10 (Home, Pro)
Mac OSX 10 or higher
Latest Chrome OS
Latest Linux distributions
NOTE: While we understand that our courses can be viewed on Android and iPhone devices, we do not recommend the use of these devices for our courses.
Web Browser Requirements:
Latest Google Chrome recommended for best experience
Latest Mozilla Firefox
Latest Microsoft Edge
Latest Apple Safari
Basic Software Requirements:
Office suite software (Microsoft Office, OpenOffice or LibreOffice)
PDF reader program (Adobe Reader or FoxIt)
Courses may require other software (denoted in course outline above)