Maximizing Mentor Texts: Teaching Writing in a Connected Way

This 8 week, self-paced, online Moodle course is intended for classroom teachers and/or graduate students who are interested in studying writing in school contexts. In particular, the focus is on analytic writing, which has traditionally been overlooked in favor of narrative writing forms. Major course objectives are to help class participants become more confident with teaching analytical writing and writing analytically themselves in the content disciplines they teach.
Register at: https://goo.gl/forms/g2XZQYN0tYPPF16t2
Event Number: 18551008
EDU 455/C&I 555
Instructors: Daisy Carlsmith/Ann Ellsworth
Dates: This 8 week, self-paced, online Moodle course begins January 7, 2019, and must be completed by May 1, 2019

Registration fee: $199
Credit: 30 OPI Renewal Units or 2 Semester Credits pending (semester credits are offered through the University of Montana and are an additional fee of $155. The course instructor will provide a separate registration form).
This course requires the participant to access a couple of texts through their school or public library or purchase said materials from booksellers such as Amazon. The instructor may be available to assist with locating copies if needed.

Course description:
This two-credit graduate-level course explores how mentor texts can be used to jump-start analytical writing: writing to inform and explain, writing arguments, and writing to evaluate (Common Core Anchor Standards 1 through 3.) We will study forms of written discourse and identify genre characteristics of expository writing. Students will analyze writing assignments for developing student-writers and then adapt these to more complex, layered writing exercises. Students will learn about analytical writing from a teacher’s perspective as well as from direct experiences with composing pieces that inform and explain, that take a position and propose a solution, and that evaluate and form judgments based on evidence.

Learning outcomes:
Participants will be able to
1. Describe the elements of effective written communication.
2. Contrast analytic writing forms from narrative structures.
3. Analyze written pieces (students’ own compositions and those from mentor texts) for words/phrases that reflect genre requirements.
4. Identify mentor texts that match to aspects of effective writing (namely: word choice, organization, and sentence structure)
5. Define RAFT and within that writing framework, identify various formats, purposes, and intended audiences
6. Examine grade-level writing standards and design appropriate age-level analytical writing assignments.
7. Compare journal articles that discuss best instructional practices for advancing student writers.

Required texts are Write Like This by Kelly Gallagher (Stenhouse Publishers, 2013), and Beyond the 5-Paragraph Essay: How to Write Analytical Essays by Kimberly Campbell and Kristi Latimer (Stenhouse Publishers, 2012).

Other online sources, including journal articles from writing scholars.

The recommended text is The Classroom Teacher’s Guide to Struggling Writers by Curt Dudley-Marling and Patricia Paugh (Heinemann, 2009).

About the course facilitator:
Ann Ellsworth has taught in elementary and secondary schools in Wisconsin and Montana, and has led reading and writing professional development workshops across Montana and the Midwest. She was awarded the 2016 Montana Reading Teacher of the Year, and was a finalist for two national teaching awards. Presently she works with teacher candidates at Montana State University-Bozeman and as an instructor for WMPLC. She has served as editor of the MONTANA STATE READING JOURNAL and is working with a publisher on a book on how to improve student writing.

Register at: https://goo.gl/forms/g2XZQYN0tYPPF16t2