Friday, January 22, 2010

Evaluating Your Children's Writing

I led a homeschool support group meeting Thursday night on the topic of Evaluating Your Children's Writing. I thought I'd share the outline from that meeting here and also the list of websites I handed out.

1 – Not all writing needs to be evaluated. Some can just be left as written.
2 – Choose your goals and communicate those to the student. Not every assignment needs to be polished. Not every item needs to be evaluated every time.
3 – Writing is highly subjective and difficult to evaluate (grade). Rubrics are very helpful for gaining a sense of objectivity, especially when you are close to the writer. (If you don't know what rubrics are or how to use them, check out some of the links below.)
4- What is Good Writing? (
• Ideas that are interesting and important.
• Organization that is logical and effective.
• Voice that is individual and appropriate.
• Word Choice that is specific and memorable.
• Sentence Fluency that is smooth and expressive.
• Conventions that are correct and communicative.

5 – Assessment is more than just grading. What is your purpose?
(Baseline, Instruction, Assessment)
6 - SAT/ACT Essay Scoring and Writing
7 – Motivation
8 – What do they need to write? (Grade level expectations)

ACT/SAT Essay Writing
ACT - ACT Write: The First Words on Essay Writing

Ten Tips for Composing a Successful Essay for the SAT or ACT

Official SAT Essay Scoring Guide

Official ACT Essay information

ACT Essay Writing Test Prep

17 ACT Essay Writing Prompts for Practice (LINK APPEARS TO BE BROKEN)
Since the link appears to have been taken down, I've uploaded the file to Google documents and you can download the .pdf file from HERE.

Free Online Writing Classes
FREE online seven-week writing course called "Make Your Voice Heard: Express Your Ideas Effectively." Topics include breaking the writing process into manageable steps, getting feedback by conferring with a partner, and packaging your message so that it receives the attention
you desire. Three of the lessons deal with specific aspects of editing: usage, punctuation, and conciseness. The course is appropriate for students (junior high or older) and for adults. To
register, visit

MIT Open CourseWare: Writing and Humanistic Studies Course Offerings (FREE)

10 Universities Offering Free Writing Courses Online

Rubrics for Writing Assessment

Generic Writing Rubric

Elementary/Intermediate Rubric

18 different writing rubrics ranging from grades 1-12

Writing rubrics for grades 3-11 (Word docs)

Letter Writing rubrics (friendly & business)

Graded Writing Rubrics (use the old archived site)

One more rubric

Resources for Learning More about Writing Assessment

Assessing Writers, Assessing Writing by Steve Peha (45 pp resource)

Marking & Grading: A few thoughts about a tricky subject by Andrew Pudewa

Teaching that Makes Sense – Many good writing resources

What is Good Writing

Student Writing Samples from every Grade

Writing Fix: Northern Nevada Writing Project

Also, here are the two publications I shared from the Michigan Dept of Ed on grade level expectations for writing. (If you weren't at the meeting, you didn't hear my comments on grade level expectations. PLEASE understand I only give them because people seem to like these
types of lists. I don't follow them myself and I don't want anyone to be overwhelmed by reading them. They are IDEALS only, in my humble opinion.) (High
School Writing, pp7-9)
(Grades K-8 Writing)

I also mentioned National Novel Writing Month quite a bit, since that has been extremely formative for our family's writing. Check out


MICHELE said...

Thanks Lisa, for taking the time to research and put this up on your blog! I'll be checking things out.

Essays Writing said...
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