Partnership Work

UCM Writing Project Partnership with Atwater Elementary School District (AESD) funded by a National Writing Project grant

We are excited to partner with Atwater Elementary School District to improve the teaching and learning of opinion and argument writing. Teaching argument is entering the world of critical thinking and it begins with forming an opinion. The Common Core Anchor Standards ask students to “Delineate and evaluate argument and specific claims . . . including the validity of the reasoning, the relevance, and sufficiency of the evidence.”

Our target audience is Atwater teachers of students in grades 5-8. In the past, textbooks and teachers have focused on “persuasive writing” rather than teaching the skills of argumentation. They focused on “reasons to persuade” rather than using reasoning skills. A well-written argument relies on logical thinking, which begins with an examination of evidence that may lead to a claim. The claims then need to be warranted (explained) and backed (other examples), with the final stage allowing for rebuttals, as George Hillocks points out in his book Teaching Argument Writing 6-12.

Our program at AESD will involve the examination of student work at the beginning and end of the program to help us describe changes and improvements we see in students’ writing. The core of the program will consist of writing workshops during the school year and a weeklong seminar for curriculum development in the summer. We believe many changes in students’ thinking and writing will be evident from purposeful instruction by the cadre of fifteen participating teachers. We hope to see growth in students’ writing in both opinion and argumentation. UCMWP Assistant Director Rae Owens will serve as Coordinator. UCMWP Teacher Consultant Patty Olds will serve as Program Facilitator. UCMWP Teacher Consultant Gidget Suarez will serve as Summer Seminar Facilitator and Presenter.


AESD Summer Seminar - Argument Writing

Summer Seminar

TBD 2016
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Where: UC Merced

RESOURCES
Each participant receives:
What’s the Big Idea by Jim Burke
$300 stipend for full participation
Writing Project teacher consultants’
expertise & feedback

1 unit of credit Available through
Fresno Pacific University for a fee

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” Margaret Meade
PUTTING THE TOULMIN MODEL TO WORK
(claim, evidence, warrants, qualifiers, rebuttal)

  • FINDING ARGUMENTS IN EVERYDAY EXPERIENCES
  • WRITING FOR REAL AUDIENCES
  • REVISING TO STRENGTHEN YOUR ARGUMENT
  • FINDING CREDITABLE EVIDENCE

To Sign-up CONTACT Patty Olds polds@aesd.edu
SPACE IS LIMITED
SIGN UP EARLY