Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum

There is a very interesting article in today's NY Times about a huge school with a large number of free and reduced lunch students that has dramatically improved it's test scores by focusing on teaching reading and writing (Their terminology is "reading, writing, speaking, and reasoning.") in every class -- including PE and math.

It's interesting that instead of teaching to the test, they got the best results by doing what they call "getting back to basics."
"The committee put together a rubric to help teachers understand what good writing looks like, and began devoting faculty meetings to teaching department heads how to use it. The school’s 300 teachers were then trained in small groups.

Writing exercises took many forms, but encouraged students to think methodically. A science teacher, for example, had her students write out, step by step, how to make a sandwich, starting with opening the cupboard to fetch the peanut butter, through washing the knife once the sandwich was made. Other writing exercises, of course, were much more sophisticated."

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