Teaching Writing Grades 7-12 in an Era of Assessment Passion and Practice

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-08-22
  • Publisher: Pearson
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A practical guide written by teachers, for teachers,  this book provides authentic, proven practices in the teaching of writing, along with samples of student writing, grades 7—12, and integrating Common Core State Standards within a comprehensive English Language Arts curriculum. Teaching Writing Grades 7—12 in an Era of Assessment is an ideal guide for those who have not had access to professional development in teaching writing. In it, readers get the benefit of hearing first hand from real teachers teaching real students. In addition to presenting detailed, specific pedagogy appropriate for seventh grade, eighth grade, and high school students, the book also addresses a wide range of students, including English Language Learners and reluctant writers and readers.

Author Biography

Mary Warner has been teaching English for 37 years—nine years in middle and high school and 28 years in post-secondary.  Mary is an Associate Professor of English at San José State University, where she also is the Director of the English Credential Program and serves as Co-Director of the San José Area Writing Project.  As Director of the English Credential Program, she routinely networks with middle and high school teachers in the 33 school districts in Santa Clara County.


Her special teaching interests include Literature for Young Adults and the Bible as Literature. Warner is the editor and author of two chapters in Winning Ways of Coaching Writing: A Practical Guide for Teaching Writing Grades 6–12 (Allyn and Bacon, 2001) and author of Adolescents in the Search for Meaning: Tapping the Powerful Resource of Story (Scarecrow Press, 2006).  She has also published numerous reviews for ALAN Picks and serves as a reviewer for The ALAN Review.


Mary is a member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, an international congregation of women religious dedicated primarily to the education of women and youth.


Jonathan Lovell has been teaching English Education for 33 years, as well as English at the high school and college levels for seven more.  He is a Professor of English at San José State University, where he serves as the Director of the San José Area Writing Project and the Co-Director of the English Credential Program.  In the former role, he co-directs the project’s invitational summer institute, where each of the authors represented in this book began to envision themselves as both teachers and authors.


His academic interests include the relation of brain research to the teaching of writing, models of professional development for K–12 teachers, and the “carry-forward” effect of participants’ summer institute experience in their school year classrooms.  He maintains a blog on these and related issues entitled “jonathan’s edutalk.”  His articles have appeared in California English, Language Arts, and The National Writing Project Quarterly, and he is the co-editor, with Bonnie Sunstein, of The Portfolio Standard: How Students Can Show Us What They Know and Are Able to Do (Heinemann, 2000).

Table of Contents

Forward xvi

Preface xix
Acknowledgements xxii


1 Passion and Practice: Personalizing the Theoretical—Jonathan Lovell 1


2 Promoting the Passion: Teachers as Writers, Teachers as Collaborators—Mary Warner 18


3 Building on the Formulaic: Into, Through, and Beyond—Maria Clinton, Martin Brandt, and Brook Wallace 34


4 Creative Reading in Support of Writing: Developing Meaningful Response to Literature—Jay Richards, Brenna Dimas, Marie Milner, and Mary Warner 77


5 Finding Your Writing Voice—Mary Warner, Kathleen Cohen, and Marie Milner 106


6 Bringing Passion to the Research Process: The I-Search Paper—Brandy Appling-Jenson, Carolyn Anzia, and Kathleen González 130


7 Expanding the Boundaries: The Uncharted Territory of Multigenre Writing—Suzanne Murphy, Maria Clinton, and Marie Milner 153


8 Empowering English Language Learners: Moving Toward Competency as Speakers, Readers, and Writers—Marie Milner 180


9 Practical Guidelines for Portfolios: Promoting Qualitative Assessment in a Test-Prep Climate—Suzanne Murphy, Amy Thompson, and Kathleen González 192


10 Keeping Heart: Dealing with the Realities of the Paper Load While Providing Authentic Response—Kathleen González and Maria Clinton 216


Index 233

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