As some of you know, one of my colleagues and I put the finishing touches on a p.d. we’re doing, later this week, yesterday afternoon. One of the things we spent some time planning yesterday was a mini unit of study on how to apply the qualities of good writing to test writing on standardized writing tests. The book that guided us through a lot of the work we did yesterday was the second edition of Better Answers: Written Performance That Looks Good and Sounds Smart by Ardith Davis Cole.
Here’s what the second minilesson I wrote yesterday, which introduces Cole’s Concept of “The Better Answer Sandwich.” For my purposes, I changed it to a hamburger (so keep that in mind as you’re reading).
I know, from reading some of the comments we’ve received lately, that most folks are in the middle of testing right now. However, if you’re looking for a text to help your kids do some unpainful work to prepare for written responses on tests going-forward, then consider browsing the book online before you get it. (NOTE: There’s an excellent CD-ROM at the back of the book, which includes lessons, charts, and many other goodies.)
I am a literacy consultant who has spent the past dozen years working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grades K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.
I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).