In working with non-ELA teachers around this shift, we have learned that it is important to talk about student writing first as an assessment of learning. Before we can begin think about how to instruct our students in writing, we need to know what they are able to do.
After providing a group of teachers with a sample of 4th grade student writing, I asked them to rate this writing on a scale of 1 to 4: 1 = this student struggles with writing and 4= this student writes very well for a fourth grader. The results of that assessment are found in the picture below.
Rubrics can help us to understand what quality writing will look like in order to provide feedback to our students. It will also help our students reflect upon their writing so that they can set goals around developing their writing. Before we begin to think about writing instruction, it is critical to think about writing assessment.