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Common Core Standards Response to Intervention (RtI) Special Education ELL/ESL/Dual-Language Classrooms At Home Training

Common Core State Standards


What Is Writing?

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) require students to be able to write effectively and proficiently. In order to ensure college and career readiness, students must be able to write for a variety of purposes, cite evidence from text, research and present knowledge on a topic, and produce and publish writing in a variety of formats.


The common core standards focus on three writing categories:
1. explanatory/informational
2. narrative
3. opinion/argument

Writing assignments are not what they used to be. Not so long ago, many teachers had students concentrate on fictional or personal narrative writing. Very little attention was paid to how they interpreted and wrote informational text.

However, key shifts in writing objectives have been made by CCSS. Students must now be able to confidently write about a text. They must be able to compose more extensive pieces where they have a chance to write it, read it, review it and revise it. Wherever possible, technology needs to be a part of the instruction as well — whether it is for the writing itself or to access multiple sources of information.

Why Is Writing Important?

Studies show that learning to present important information in an organized piece of writing helps students generate a greater understanding of a text. In addition, it helps to improve both their reading comprehension and their writing skills. With the implementation of the Common Core English language arts Standards, students will be required to use writing skills to incorporate the skills of citing evidence from text. They will learn to analyze content using correct English rules of grammar. They will be encouraged to develop a highly academic and rich vocabulary, and to report findings on the subjects they choose to cover.

Writing about texts will also bolster overall comprehension and meaning behind the text through building knowledge about a topic or reflection. This includes written responses to text-dependent questions.

For example, in grade 4 of the common core writing standards (W.4.1), students should be able to write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information. In short, it says that students must be able to do the following:
  • Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer’s purpose
  • Provide reasons supported by facts and details
  • Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases
  • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented

How Do Learning A-Z's Resources Support The Teaching Of Writing?

Writing A-Z

Writing AZ offers writing lessons for multiple genres and text types. Each lesson comes with associated student resource templates with a set tailored for students at four different levels of writing proficiency to help teachers differentiate their instruction. The website provides hundreds of additional tools for teaching writing.

The core process writing lessons on Writing AZ begin with the series of emerging writer lessons. They combine drawing and writing to narrate or inform a reader on a topic. From there, text type lessons for each grade are offered. They give students experience at writing about a complete range of content, such as informational research reports, fictional and personal narratives, and opinion pieces.

The Informational Report lesson on Writing AZ provides step-by-step instruction on creating a report that presents focused ideas, facts, and/or principles on a topic, including:

  • How to narrow a topic for research
  • How to develop focused questions for research
  • Identifying information from sample source material that answers focused research questions
  • How to create a bibliography at each of the developmental levels

Writing AZ also offers comprehensive lessons for writing a biography. Students will also have the opportunity to write an experiment composition based on a research question, background research, and results of a process activity using the scientific method. Start Free Trial

Reading A-Z

Reading A-Z books offer excellent models of how to organize ideas in order or to explain or persuade with one's writing.

Leveled Books from various genres or text types provide models of writing explanatory/informational, narrative, or opinion/argument texts.

Wordless Books for titles from levels aa-J provide writing practice for even the youngest readers.

All Leveled Book quizzes for books level C and above feature at least one extended response question. Students must write an answer to the open-ended question using sound reasoning.

Writer's Responses for select titles from levels E-Z encourage students to reflect on the deeper meaning of each book read. Prompts support writing that applies, synthesizes, or evaluates a book's enduring understanding.

Poetry Writing Lessons include direct instruction for 11 types of poetry. Each lesson includes instruction details, and examples of each poetry type with scaffolded writing worksheets for the student.

Common Core Lesson Supplements and Close Reading Packs require students to find evidence from multiple places within a text or from multiple texts to write an answer to a Key Question.

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Science A-Z

Throughout the dozens of resources in each Science A-Z unit, students are prompted to write in response to reading about science concepts. And, just like real scientists and engineers do, students also practice writing as they conduct hands-on science investigations and experiments.

With both Focus Books and Investigation Packs, students write about what they learn after reading.

As students participate in hands-on Process Activities, they record the results in data tables, and then write answers to questions that guide them to analyze their data and draw conclusions.

Every Unit Quiz ends with an extended response writing prompt, challenging students to respond to the science concepts of a Life, Earth, or Physical science unit in their own words.

By using the Debates from Science A-Z, students will consider a proposal and then write their own position statements supporting or opposing the proposal.

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