Common Assessments

Through a generous grant from MAISA, a 24 module series has been created for Michigan educators. Seven MAC curriculum and assessment specialists from ISD/RESAs and a university have developed a professional development series designed to show local educators how to build and use common assessments. The 24 modules explain each major step in the common assessment development process. Each module has a PPT, script, user’s guide, and companion documents. The series was piloted during the 2010-11 school year, and revised by the development team. Educators who wish to develop common assessments are encouraged to use the materials as is, or adapt them for local use.

CLICK:  List of Modules

11 Elements of Effective Writing Instruction

2566090619_47f8bae2ecThis report identifies 11 elements of current writing instruction found to be effective for helping adolescent students learn to write well and to use writing as a tool for learning. It is important to note that all of the elements are supported by rigorous research, but that even when used together, they do not constitute a full writing curriculum.

  1. Writing Strategies, which involves teaching students strategies for planning, revising, and
    editing their compositions
  2. Summarization, which involves explicitly and systematically teaching students how to
    summarize texts
  3. Collaborative Writing, which uses instructional arrangements in which adolescents work
    together to plan, draft, revise, and edit their compositions
  4. Specific Product Goals, which assigns students specific, reachable goals for the writing they
    are to complete
  5. Word Processing, which uses computers and word processors as instructional supports for
    writing assignments
  6. Sentence Combining, which involves teaching students to construct more complex,
    sophisticated sentences
  7. Prewriting, which engages students in activities designed to help them generate or organize
    ideas for their composition
  8. Inquiry Activities, which engages students in analyzing immediate, concrete data to help
    them develop ideas and content for a particular writing task
  9. Process Writing Approach, which interweaves a number of writing instructional activities in
    a workshop environment that stresses extended writing opportunities, writing for authentic
    audiences, personalized instruction, and cycles of writing
  10. Study of Models, which provides students with opportunities to read, analyze, and emulate
    models of good writing
  11. Writing for Content Learning, which uses writing as a tool for learning content material

CLICK: WritingNext Report