Learning to Write with Purpose

Effective Instruction in Grades 4-8

Karen Kuelthau Allan, Mary C. McMackin, Erika Thulin Dawes, and Stephanie A. Spadorcia

Paperbacke-bookprint + e-book
Paperback
March 14, 2009
ISBN 9781606231258
Price: $33.00 $28.05
274 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
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e-book
November 7, 2013
EPUB ?
Price: $33.00 $28.05
274 Pages
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print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (EPUB) ?
Price: $66.00 $36.30
274 Pages
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Communicating ideas and information is what makes writing meaningful—yet many upper elementary and middle school students write in a vacuum, without considering the aims of their writing or the needs of their readers. This highly informative, teacher-friendly book presents a fresh perspective on writing instruction along with practical methods for the classroom. Teachers learn ways to promote the skills and strategies needed to write and revise effectively in a range of genres: personal narratives, fiction, and poetry; persuasive, explanatory, and "how-to" writing; and writing for high-stakes tests. Special features include vivid classroom vignettes, examples of student work, evaluation guidelines, and suggested "mentor texts" that model different genres.

“This invaluable resource advances and illustrates a well-researched perspective: that learning to write happens most effectively when embedded in purposeful communication. Teachers will find helpful models for conceptualizing instruction, along with many rich examples of practices that bring the idea of 'writing with purpose' into the classroom. The book’s attention to genre as a cornerstone of writing instruction is especially worthwhile.”

—Mary M. Juzwik, PhD, Department of Teacher Education, Michigan State University


“As a veteran teacher of 20-plus years, I highly recommend this book. The authors have synthesized writing research into practical instructional strategies that teachers can easily implement in real-world classroom situations. The book gives us valuable tools for helping students become effective writers, capable of communicating critically across the curriculum.”

—Charlene Douglas, MEd, language arts teacher/literacy specialist, Andrews Middle School, Medford, Massachusetts


“I found this highly effective book to be readable and engaging. The authors do a good job of presenting theory and research in an accessible manner, without jargon and 'educationese.' They have a practitioner’s voice, often referring to their own students. Boxes at the end of each chapter suggest great activities for teachers or prospective teachers to apply, and the tables and summaries throughout the book are excellent.”

—Ruie Jane Pritchard, PhD, Coordinator of English Education and Director, Capital Area Writing Project, North Carolina State University
Table of Contents

1. Communicating Ideas: Writers to Readers

2. A Writer’s Cognitive Processes

3. Creating a Community of Writers

4. The Writers in Our Classrooms: Recognizing Student Diversity

5. Writing to Explore

6. Writing to Entertain

7. Writing to Inform

8. Reading to Evaluate Writing

9. Knowing How to Revise and Edit

10. Preparing Students for High-Stakes Writing

11. Teachers as Writers


About the Authors

Karen Kuelthau Allan, PhD, is Professor in the Language and Literacy Division of the School of Education at Lesley University, where she teaches graduate courses in writing, reading, and research and also mentors adjunct professors. She has published several articles and books, most recently the second edition of Literacy and Learning in the Content Areas: Strategies for Middle and Secondary School Teachers. Dr. Allan is an active presenter at professional conferences, as well as a past president and board member of professional organizations. Her research interests are persuasive writing, poetry writing, and strategic reading. Revisiting her elementary teaching years, she often collaborates with teachers and students to pursue her research interests.

Mary C. McMackin, EdD, is Professor in the Language and Literacy Division of the School of Education at Lesley University, where she teaches and serves as faculty mentor for a graduate course on the teaching of writing. She has coauthored four books and has published several articles. Dr. McMackin presents at local, regional, and national conferences and is on the board of the Massachusetts Reading Association and the Massachusetts Association of College and University Reading Educators. Her research interests include differentiated instruction, elementary and middle school poetry instruction, and nonfiction writing. Dr. McMackin began her career as an elementary school teacher and continues to work closely with children and teachers.

Erika Thulin Dawes, EdD, is Assistant Professor in the Language and Literacy Division of the School of Education at Lesley University, where she teaches courses in children’s literature, literacy methods, and writing instruction. She has published an article in Language Arts and worked with Dr. Barbara Kiefer to create the ancillary materials to Charlotte Huck’s Children’s Literature, including classroom response guides to children’s literature award winners. Dr. Dawes’s research interests include practices of reading aloud, early childhood literacy, and social contexts for literacy learning. She has been an elementary-grades teacher, curriculum coordinator, and supervisor of literacy in public schools.

Stephanie A. Spadorcia, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Language and Literacy Division of the School of Education at Lesley University. Her research and teaching focus on literacy instruction for struggling readers and writers as well as students across the disability continuum, assessment of reading and writing difficulties, and using technology to support literacy instruction. Dr. Spadorcia has published articles and book chapters and presented nationally on these topics. She is a member of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, conducting research and development work on literacy instruction for students with disabilities. Dr. Spadorcia works closely with schools on providing comprehensive literacy instruction to support all students. She has been a special education teacher and reading specialist in the public schools.
Audience

English and language arts teachers in grades 4–8; literacy specialists; preservice teachers.
May serve as a supplemental text in graduate-level courses such as Teaching English/Language Arts (Middle/Junior); Upper Elementary Teaching Methods, Teaching Writing, and Content Area Writing.