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    Literacy Learning and the Composing Processes (Teaching Writing in the 3-12 Classroom)

    EN 411: (3 Credits) Fall 2015

    Tuesdays, 7:15 - 9:15

    There Is A Voice Inside Of You That Whispers All Day Long, "I Feel That This Is Right For Me, I Know That This Is Wrong." No Teacher, Preacher, Parent, Friend Or Wise Man Can Decide,

    What's Right For You - Just Listen To - The Voice That Speaks Inside. ~ Shel Silverstein

    I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at,

    what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. ~ Joan Didion

    So okay there you are in your room with the shade

    down and the door shut and the plug pulled out of the base of the telephone. You've blown up your TV and committed yourself to a

    thousand words a day, come hell or high water. Now comes the big question: What are you going to write about? And the equally big answer: Anything you damn well

    want. ~ Stephen King

    Julie Roneson

    Canisius Hall Phone: 203-895-8998 (cell)

    Email: Web Classroom: Edmodo (

    Office Hours: Tuesdays 5:00 7:00 or by appointment Course Description: EN 411 is designed to provide elementary, middle, and secondary school educators an overview of literacy theories and practices that relate to writing instruction and assessment. Students participate as writers and teachers of writers through an exploration of writing activities and processes. They study reading and writing for learning, reading as a model for writing, and writing as a model for reading. They also investigate genres to imagine wider audiences for students and to think critically about stages of composing processes, assessment, grammar (in the context of writing), student publications, and writing for high-stakes testing. Students are required to establish a personal philosophy for teaching writing through the creation of a mini-writing portfolio (digital or hard copy) that demonstrates learning from the course and application of best practices for teaching writing. Reflecting the Jesuit mission of Fairfield University and its fundamental intellectual and ethical commitments, the GSEAP graduate course integrates four theoretical approaches: the scholar/practitioner model, the human development model, the reflective practitioner model, and an advocacy model. Each aligns with state and national standards with a commitment to diversity, global understanding, and the appropriate use of technology.

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    *This course is approved in the category Strategies for Modifying English Content Area Instruction for the bilingual education cross-endorsement and in the category English Syntax and Composition for the TESOL cross-endorsement. (1) Required Texts: Fletcher, Ralph. A Writer's Notebook: Unlocking the Writer within You. New York: Harper, 1996. Print. Gallagher, Kelly. Write like This: Teaching Real-World Writing through Modeling and Mentor Texts. Portland: Stenhouse, 2011. Print. Heard, Georgia. Finding the Heart of Nonfiction. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2013. Print. Newkirk, Thomas, and Lisa C. Miller, eds. The Essential Don Murray: Lessons from America's Greatest Writing Teacher. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2009. Print. (2) One additional text: Each student in EN 411 is responsible for reading one additional text during this course that will (a) lead towards their final project for the semester, (b) highlight a specific genre (or group of genres) the graduate student wishes to explore, and (c) be presented to classmates in a Midterm Mini-Conference (see below). Students may choose from the following list or suggest another text (note: The Connecticut Writing Project-Fairfield library and course instructor have many texts that can be borrowed for this purpose). Examples for choice reading (OR CHOOSE YOUR OWN):

    Adler, M. (2009). Writers at play; Making space for adolescents to balance imagination and craft. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Applebee, A. N., & Langer, J. (2013). Writing instruction that works: Proven methods for middle and high school classrooms. New York: Teachers College Press. Atwell, N. (1998). In the middle: New understandings about writing, reading and learning. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Press Anderson, C. (2000). Hows it going? A practical guide to conferring with student writers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Press Blasingame, J. & Bushman, J.H. (2005). Teaching writing in middle and secondary schools. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Bradbury, R. (1992). Zen and the art of writing. Santa Barbara, CA: Capra Press Calkins, L. (1994). The art of teaching writing. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Press Calkins, L. (2005). One to one: The art of conferring with young writers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Culham, R. Daniels, H. Zemelman, S., & Steineke, N. (2007). Content-area writing: Every teachers guide. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Dillard, A. (1990). The writing life. New York: Harper Perennial Dyson, A. (1989). Multiple worlds of child writers: Friends learning to write. New York: Teachers College Press Dyson, A. (2003). The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers College Press Earley, J.S. (2005). Stirring up justice: Writing and reading to change the world. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Press Fisher, M. T. (2007). Writing in rhythm; Spoken word poetry in urban classrooms. New York: Teachers College Press. Fisher, D., & Frey, N. (2005). Scaffolded writing instruction. Teaching with a gradual release framework. New York: Scholastic, Inc. Fletcher, R. (1992). What a writer needs. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Press Gallagher, K. (2006). Teaching adolescent writers. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse Publishers. Gere, A.R., Christenbury, L., & Sassi, K. (2005). Writing on demand: Best practices and strategies for success. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English. Glover, M. (2009). Engaging young writers, preschool-grade 1. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Goldberg, N. (2005). Writing down the bones: Freeing the writer within. Boston, MA: Shambhala Graham, S. (2005). Writing better: Effectives Strategies for teaching students with learning difficulties. Baltimore,

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    MD: Brookes Publishing Harwayne, S. (2001). Writing through childhood: Rethinking process and product. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Heard, G. (1998). Awakening the heart: Exploring poetry in elementary and middle School. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Herrington, A., Hogsdon, K., & Moran, C. (2009) Teaching the new writing; Technology, change, & the 21st century. New York: Teachers College Press Hicks, T. (2009). The Digital writing workshop. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Hicks, T. (2013). Crafting Digital Writing. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Hillocks, G. (1995). Teaching writing as reflective practice. New York: Teachers College Press. King, S. (2002). On writing; A memoir of the craft. New York: Pocket Books Lamott, A. (1994) Bird by bird: Some instructions on writing and life. New York: Anchor Books Ray, K.W. (2004). Writing workshop with our youngest writers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Ray, K.W. (2006). Study driven: A framework for planning units of study in the writing workshop. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Press Robb, L. (2010). Teaching middle school writers: What English Teacher Needs to Know. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Romano, T. (2000). Blending genre, altering style: Writing multigenre papers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Samway, K.D. (2006). When English language learners write. Connecting research to practice, K 8. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Sipe, R.B, & Rosewarne, T. (2006). Purposeful writing: Genre study in secondary writing workshop. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Tatum, A. (2013). Fearless voices: Engaging a new generation of African American adolescent male writers. New York: Scholastic.

    Course Goals, Objectives, and Expected Competencies: The following are specific goals set by GSEAP at Fairfield University for EN 411. Students will be able to:

    Describe the history of reading and writing pedagogy with particular emphasis on socio-cultural and socio-cognitive theories.

    Discuss a variety of writing forms and genres. Explain the relationship between reading and writing. Describe the purposes of traditional academic writing, practical/applied writing, and informal writing

    as tools for learning. Design reading/writing assignments with procedural knowledge and authentic scaffolding of student

    learning. Compare and contrast different approaches to writing assessment with consideration of the strengths

    and weaknesses of different approaches. Assess student work samples and explain the complexities of assessing written work. Design ways to share student work with authentic audiences. Compare and contrast formulaic models of writing with more holistic approaches. Develop curriculum to prepare students for writing on-demand (e.g, high-stakes testing). Demonstrate knowledge of formative and summative assessment in the writing classroom.

    In addition to course goals and objectives, the following competencies align to the Connecticut Common Core of Teaching (goals soon to be adapted to Common Core State Standards):

    Students will understand how students learn and develop writing by becoming knowledgeable about the major concepts, principles, theories, and research related to the normal progression and variations in students learning about composition.

    Students will name strategies in composition theory for dealing with student exceptionalities in learning including socio-emotional differences, special mental or physical challenges, and gifted and talented exceptionalities.


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