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Exploring Writing in the Content Areas

  • Title:Exploring Writing in the Content Areas: Teaching and Supporting Learners in Any Subject
  • Author:Maria Carty
  • Publication Date:January 2005
  • Grade Level:4-8
  • ISBN:9781551381886
  • Publisher:Pembroke

Now more than ever before, students in all disciplines must know how to write with clarity and conviction. Whether they're studying science or social studies, they have to learn to collect and analyze information, and communicate their own ideas with precision

This book helps teachers of content-area subjects discover ways to help their students become better, more capable writers. It shows them how to take students through all the steps involved in producing written documents—from generating ideas to researching to revising and editing—and provides them a wealth of practical tips for supporting and encouraging student work. Exploring Writing in the Content Areas suggests specific techniques designed to help students:

  • organize information into paragraphs;
  • use visual elements like photographs, charts, and diagrams to enhance written text;
  • find and document secondary source material;
  • create powerful pictures using words.

This practical guide also explains how teachers can provide student writers with the concrete, constructive feedback they need, and demonstrates how assessment can guide effective teaching practices.

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Author Bio

Maria Carty always knew that she wanted to become a teacher. "Both of my parents were teachers and it is something I worked toward my entire life. As a child I would play school with my younger brother. This led to teaching swimming lessons and volunteering in schools as a teenager, and then ultimately to attending Nova Scotia Teachers College to become an elementary school teacher." Maria later transitioned to teaching middle-level grades, thanks to "a wise principal" she once had. "She saw in me the potential to work with adolescents. When faced with a choice between kindergarten class or a grade 7 class, I was leaning toward kindergarten. She counseled me to try seventh grade, and I have enjoyed working with middle level students and teachers ever since." Different groups need different professional development experiences, Maria says, so in PD sessions she always tries to be hands-on and practical, and to provide teachers with an experience they can take away and try in their classrooms. When writing a book, Maria maintains that the best approach is to "sit down and go at it. "I write down everything I can think of, then try to add more. Then there is the revision, adding even more things, and removing others. I look for gaps and try to fill these in. I think about what teachers need in order to be able to walk away and try ideas."

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