When I lived in NYC, I never had to prepare my fifth graders to do writing on the State ELA Test since there was only a graphic organizer and a short response that the kids had to write about a passage. However, here in Rhode Island, we’re preparing our fourth graders to take the New England Common Assessment Program (aka: NECAP) Test next week. There’s going to be a written response to reading on the test, which I’ve been preparing my students for this week. Though I’m not preparing them for a writing test, I find myself slipping into very formulaic teaching, guiding them to restating the prompt, and to writing a very structured response. I’m not complaining about this at all… I’m just finding it challenging to go from workshop teaching to writing a response to a question.
Anyway, next week in the afternoons, after the testing is over, we’re going to spend time on mathematics and also a mini friendly letter writing unit. (I think my class is going to correspond with Christina’s class at my old school in Manhattan, which I’m excited about!)