A Closer Look: Learning More About Our Writers with Formative Assessment (Paperback)

A Closer Look: Learning More About Our Writers with Formative Assessment By Lynne R. Dorfman, Diane Dougherty Cover Image

A Closer Look: Learning More About Our Writers with Formative Assessment (Paperback)

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In A Closer Look, Lynne Dorfman and Diane Dougherty provide the tools and strategies you need to use formative assessment in writing workshop. Through Lynne and Diane’s ideas, you will be able to establish an environment where students will internalize ways that they can assess their own writing and become independent writers.

Lynne and Diane share methods for collecting and managing information, and show practical, simple, and concise ways to document student thinking. In the accompanying online videos, they demonstrate conferences with individual writers, small groups, and whole groups. Quick, easy-to-manage assessment methods emphasize that formative assessment does not have to take a long time to be worthwhile and effective. Vignettes from classroom teachers, principals, and authors add a variety of perspectives and classroom experiences on this important topic.

A Closer Look shows that when students are in charge of their own writing process and set and reach their own goals, writing becomes a vibrant, energetic part of the day.

Lynne, a native of Philadelphia, received her bachelor's and master's degrees in elementary education, her supervisory certificate in elementary education, her reading specialist certificate from LaSalle University, and her educational leadership doctorate degree from Immaculata University. She has thirty-eight years' of experience with the Upper Moreland School District and 25 years of experience gathered in course work and presentation work for the Pennsylvania Writing & Literature Project.

She became a teacher because "I wanted to make a difference and I love working with kids." Like many others, she also "played school" as a child. "I had some great teachers and I wanted to be like them. Especially, Mrs. Steinberg, my sixth grade teacher. There were over 30 kids in my class that year. Mrs. Steinberg was the first teacher who held writing conferences and encouraged us to write for real world audiences. I remember sharing 'My Most Unforgettable Character' with my riding instructor, Mick Warmington. I remember his face while he was reading it. I still get chills when I think about it. That's when I realized the power of the written word. That's when I first dreamed about writing and publishing books and encouraging my future students to do the same."

Lynne is currently literacy a Co-director of the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project; adjunct professor for Arcadia University; and a legacy ambassador/tour guide for Pearl S. Buck International. She also does independent consulting work for the PA Writing Project and serves on the board for Chester County Reading Association as well as the board for Eta Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa. For the past six years, Lynne has facilitated a senior citizen writing group for Upper Moreland Township through Upper Moreland School District.

Her latest book is a collaborative work with her colleague, Diane Dougherty. It targets grades K-6 and demonstrates how to embed grammar and mechanics instruction throughout the day. "We think that grammar matters, but we don't believe in workbooks and isolated lessons. We think the teaching of grammar should be both explicit and implicit. Every day teachers need to tuck in grammar and mechanics wherever and whenever it is applicable. That means your modeling or discussion might occur in social studies as easily as it might occur in writing and reading workshop."

Lynne co-authored three books with friend and colleague, Rose Cappelli. "We based everything on classroom samples and our work with children. An important part was including anecdotes--advice we received from Shelley Harwayne. It helped to keep a notebook of our ideas."

Lynne describes her approach to professional development as hands on and interactive, using the gradual release of responsibility model. "Very practical and user-friendly--let's take it right back to the classroom."

Lynne has two goddaughters and three Welsh Corgi dogs. She recently acquired a husband, Ralph, who has the patience of a saint. "He supports me in all my endeavors and is my best friend." Lynne loves to plant flowers, read books, write poetry, and spend time at the seashore with her husband, friends, and goddaughters. She taught herself how to play the guitar and loves the old folk songs written by Peter, Paul, and Mary and Pete Seeger. She especially loves the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, Simon and Garfunkel, Jim Morrison, and Gordon Lightfoot.

Diane Esolen Dougherty lives with her husband in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of West Chester University and received a Master of Arts degree from Villanova University. While working on her degree at Villanova, she was a research scholar working with professors of English. Her duties included writing summaries of articles, compiling statistics regarding then-current research on the teaching of writing, and aiding researchers in comparative studies.

Diane was a classroom teacher for 32 years as well as head of English/Language Arts for ten years before retirement. This is her first professional book; however, she has been published both in professional journals and online publications including PASCD, NWP, and PAWLP. Diane also has managed the twitter feed for the writing project and has also blogged on the PAWLP site. She has co-directed both the Writing Institute at her writing project site for eight years, and she also co-directed the Reading and Literature Institute for four years. She was the co-facilitator for NWP’s Carnegie reading grant at the Pennsylvania site, and in that capacity had the opportunity to share best practice in the teaching of reading across the content areas with teachers from all over the country.

Diane has presented at numerous state, national, and international conferences including IRA, NCTE, KSRA, and PAWLP conferences on topics ranging from writing instruction to strategies for teaching reading.

Her eight grandchildren keep her occupied with fun activities and make her believe that aging is a figment of the imagination.

Product Details ISBN: 9781625311337
ISBN-10: 1625311338
Publisher: Stenhouse Publishers
Publication Date: September 29th, 2017
Pages: 188
Language: English
With careful reflection on their own experiences with students, Lynne and Diane have created a book that will deepen any teacher’s understanding of formative assessment as a tool for learning. This book will help you better understand the job of conferring, goal setting, and ongoing assessment in helping your students grow as writers.
     -Rose Cappelli, coauthor of Mentor Texts, Nonfiction Mentor Texts, and Poetry Mentor Texts

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