Lucy Calkins’ Writing Pathways: Performance Assessments and Learning Progressions (October 2014) is my new “go to” book for assessing writing and moving students’ forward. This new resource reminds us of effective practices for teaching, for Common Core-aligned assessing in a way that helps us decide what to teach, and then provides well organized, coherent and cohesive resources (rubrics, student-friendly checklists, and examples of student writing) for assessing students’ writing and moving our practice as well as student writers forward.
The tone is refreshing – Lucy reminds the reader consistently that teaching writing is not easy (but we can do it – together with our colleagues and over time), that you are not crazy if you assess your students and find they are performing way below Common Core standards (80% of students in the USA probably are), and that “hope, laughter and candid talk” help as well.
You do not need Calkins’ Units of Study to use this book. While it does not go into depth about how to teach writing – it’s an invaluable resource to support informed teaching of opinion/argument, informational, and narrative writing. It provides a picture of what our students’ writing should look like. I will use it anytime I need clarity about what students should be doing in writing – across grade levels – in Common Core language and in student-friendly language. The student samples (two for each genre at each grade level) will be invaluable in helping me think through planning for instruction.
Woohoo!!! Can you tell I’m excited about to have this in my collection of resources???