Writing in SS PD 2009-2010

April IF Meeting


Silent Discussion: See directions on the back of the agenda. If you have enough space to create a large discussion wall, students can stand in groups and keep responding to each other for a set period of time. If you have control concerns, you can allow one group up at a time and have the rest of the class working on a silent task.

For your meeting, you may wish to use a topic other than the National Standards in Literacy for Social Studies (but teachers may find it validating that the common assignments are quite like the kinds of writing that will be required for all states.)  Please don't take too much time with it; they can figure it out and other things below will take time. Here are some directions for your wall.

Please take time to watch at least one of the videos and discuss.

Our YouTube videos (just click)

  • Visual Directions (about 8 minutes) includes materials
  • Critical Thinking for All - Compare and Contrast (about 5 minutes) includes materials
  • Vocabulary Instructional Support

Please take time to walk teachers through the Social Studies pages.

  • It would be best if they had their own computers. Having time set aside to do this is important.
  • Please tell teachers that I am asking for time to work on the website during the next month. My intention is to clean up some of the duplicated pathways and seemingly hidden pathways to the materials.

Modifying History Alive Processing Assignments (short Power Point)

While this example and support materials are for your 8th grade teachers, the IDEA can be applied to ALL processing assignments (include all specific learning targets) and to all processing assignments that use writing (expand the demands and provide appropriate scaffolding, such as graphic organizers and sentence starters.)

  • Increase benefits for reviewing in a new way/assessment preparation
  • Increase benefits for writing instruction
  • Create more effective scaffolding

Grade 8, Lesson 21, Revised Prompt

Graphic Organizer for Revised Prompt

Graphic Organizer with Sentence Starters/Frames 

Scaffolding Notes for Teacher: Review of Issues and Review of Compromises

Words from Lesson 21 to use for a Wordle demonstration

Biographical Portraits Unit from Angela Gadbois


Current Events Videos from Tom Streckert's Unit
















March IF Meeting



Building Agenda


  • You’ll need to decide whether to do a read-around of the purposes or just have teachers read it to themselves
  • Agenda includes a revised list of examples (more are provided) as well as the ideas from IFs

Teacher Reflection

Reflections on Persuasive Writing (includes the following documents that could be modified for other modes)


  • Writing Goal and Action Plan
  • Learning Reflections with Goal Revision

For any Writing


Weekly documents:


  • Weekly Goals and Action Plans with Reflection and Teacher and Parent Comments
  • Learning Log


February IF Materials

Agenda for Joint LA/SS Meeting

Power Point

Guide to Accessing OSLIS and Gale

OSLIS visual

Need a NetTrekker key code? Ask library staff.


January IF Materials

Remember to differentiate the IF PD to the needs of your building!

We had three goals and activities.

1) If you want to address strengthening Voice and getting beyond formulaic writing, you can either:

Provide the list below, generated by social studies teachers last year (also printed on the agenda) and invite teachers to respond/add their experiences/add other ideas

  • Focus on developing the writer more than the paper
  • Provide regular opportunities for drafting without editing and for free writing (offer optional prompts)
  • Emphasize the difference between the writer and the “editor”; write first — then “change hats”
  • Provide opportunities for students to use discussion strategies during writing process
  • Provide opportunities for students to read short and long sections of their work to each other in pairs, groups, and whole class
  • Provide feedback on what students do well and focus on only one or two types of errors at a time for each student


Have teachers use the article (I can't post it for copyright reasons) for a Whisper Read Alternate Paragraphs (with Paraphrasing) and then use the list. We will use that reading strategy again next month if you don't have time for the article.

2) If you want to address Collecting Evidence and/or Writing Introductions

Use the handout with that title below, and use the discussion strategies. The other documents that you would need (that you have and that are also below) are Linda Christensen Introductions/Gradual Release of Responsibility model. If you want the link to the website for the articles:



You may wish to either just work on collecting evidence or just work on introductions

3) If you want to introduce the Carousel Brainstorm

... and you have a number of people to work with at your meeting, you can create a carousel for any authentic brainstorming purpose and use it


Teachers can read the description (page two of agenda) and take time to plan a specifically how they will use the strategy in a way that they haven't used it before (you can describe how we used it).


6-8 SS Jan IF Agenda with description of Carousel Brainstorming in Social Studies


Debating the Documents


Debating Docs_Booklet Descriptions


  Collecting Evidence and Writing Introductions



Intros from Linda Christensen and Gradual Release of Responsibility Model




October IF Materials

Oct 15 IF Agenda

Suggested Building Agenda

Oct 15 Power Point (Meeting)

Cornell Notes Power Point (Lock in Learning!)

Interactive Cornell Note Book In a spiral or in a binder, there are two pages facing each other. The back of a page on the left and the front of a page on the right. To create an Interactive Cornell Notebook, the Cornell notes should always be written on only the front side of the page, leaving the back blank. The Cornell Notes page would always be the right. The left side page of the notebook, facing the Cornell Notes page (on the blank back of the previous one) is where students Process, creating the Interactive Page. See the illustration.

Interactive Cornell Notes (Overview, Purpose, Components, Ideas for Processing)

Processing Examples: Visual

Guide to Accessing OSLIS and Gale

OSLIS visual

Go to the Classroom Law Project Website http://www.classroomlaw.org/

Also, see September Resources and Workshops (above) for information related to Classroom Law Project

Please see new flyer for Japanese Garden Evening for Teachers Nov 10 (below)

IF Concerns and IF Topic Modifications

Below are concerns about student writing expressed by IFs during the September meeting:
  • Loss of voice with emphasis on editing
  • How to get beyond formulaic quality
  • Content v. writing (the difficulties of integration)
  • Creating expertise on the topic before beginning writing
  • Maintaining engagement throughout the process
  • Issues around research
  • How far do we go with each individual
  • We need to discuss terms: persuasive, argumentative, social science analysis
To address these concerns, as well as needs expressed by the IFs, the topics (other than the writing to learn strategies) are modified:

  • Integrating content and writing on the common assignment
  • Katharine Johnson: dealing with issue of “formulaic writing” and “loss of voice” by focusing on leads/introductions
February: Research with Susan Stone (and LA IFs)

March and April:

Social studies standards beyond those taught through TCI and sharing of units/lessons/tasks that address these; sharing in grade level groups; additions to curriculum guides (and plans for grade 8 curriculum guide)

September IF Materials


Link to Multimedia Library

Knowledge Rating Chart

Writing to Lean-Learning to Write Double Bubble

IF PD for Social Studies 2009-2010 (first draft)

2009-2010 Calendar for Common Assignments, Work Samples and OAKS Testing

Link to Writing Resource Binder (bottom of page)

Key Learnings-Muddiest Point

Muddiest Point Strips

Exit Card with Four Sections

Information Sheet (teachers in your building)

Resources and Workshops (Check the dates; you won't want to miss some of these!)

Classroom Law Project (Grade 8)
Hor d'oeuvres and Free Passes for Field Trips to Heritage Sites at Oregon Historical Society Nov. 5

Japanese Garden Evening for Educators Nov. 10

Mercy Corps Action Center Launch Events

These are public launch events at the new headquarters at Ankeny and First. In particular, Oct. 9 (Statewide Inservice Day) would be a good day to check out the location for great field trips! More info about lessons that will be taught at the Action Center to follow.

Colonial Williamsburg Workshop (free! with lots of materials!) Oct. 24 in Portland area with Registration instructions and Directions

Instructional Technology Professional Development

Global and Multicultural Resource Center