Using Writer’s Notebooks as a Diagnostic Assessment and Teaching Tool

Sep 16, 2009 by

If a mini-lesson has been taught and a child is still not using the skill or strategy correctly, it is time for a one-on-one conference.  I have found it effective to use my students’ writer’s notebooks for conventions and craft conferences.  The pieces written in their notebooks are not taken through the entire writing process; that is, they are not edited and revised for publication.  Instead, I use the notebooks as a diagnostic and teaching tool for language conventions  and writer’s craft.  When I collect notebooks, I make anecdotal notes on the student’s evaluation form in my assessment notebook.  In the second column I record skills the child demonstrates s/he is consistently using correctly.  In the third column I record skills that I need to teach or re-teach.  When I meet with that child for an individual conference, I select  1-2 teaching points from that third column and work with the student on just those skills.  I then ask the student to proofread a page in his /her  notebook, looking for and correcting only the targeted skill/s.  If there are other serious errors on the page, those will become the focus of a future conference.

Writing Evaluation Form

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