Looking Carefully at Student Writing, Harder, Spring 2020

Course Number: EDU 5620 C03
Instructor: Leigh G. Harder, M.Ed.(Educational Leadership) and Literacy Specialist endorsement.
Location: In-person & Online. This class will meet face-to-face twice a month from 4-7 p.m. at the Salisbury Community School in Salisbury, VT with online readings and assignments given during the other weeks. 
Dates and Times: January 30 - April 16, 2020.
Credits: 2 graduate credits
Tuition: $650

Note: Course payment or purchase order of $650 payable to CASTLETON UNIVERSITY is due at the time of registration. A purchase order number can be entered into the online registration form. Financial & Registration Services, Castleton University, 62 Alumni Drive, Castleton, VT 05735. To help us ensure that your payment is applied to the correct course, PLEASE WRITE “CFS” IN THE CHECK MEMO LINE. Thank you.

Course Description

This course will consist of looking carefully at writing samples produced by participants’ current students, in order to identify writing strengths and next instructional steps in conjunction with state standards. All identifying material on writing samples must be removed in order to assure confidentiality.

By clarifying what a student can do well and what s/he is not yet able to do independently, next instructional moves will be determined. We will use a variety of protocols in order to maintain objectivity and a focus on evidence in writing samples. Students in this class will read scholarly articles and a text on student engagement, growth mindset and strategies for effective writing instruction. Participants will be expected to implement several new writing strategies in their classroom, maintain a weekly reflection journal and complete a student case study over the duration of this class. 

Audience: Pre-K-6 educators (classroom teachers, interventionists, literacy coaches)

Course Goals & Objectives

Upon completion of the course participants will:

  •  Be able to view student writing samples with a more fully informed eye, attending to visible student writing strengths as well as next instructional steps
  • Adopt a growth mindset perspective related to writing instruction
  • Gain a deeper understanding of grade level writing standards (CCSS - ELA) and student engagement in writing
  • Learn, understand and implement new writing strategies specific to next instructional steps

 Course Objectives:

  •  After learning more about growth mindset, participants will apply a growth mindset perspective to student writing, and be able to state what students are evidencing as areas of success and specific areas not yet mastered.
  • Participants will reflect in writing about their own epiphanies regarding new perspectives regarding writing
  • Participants will look carefully at the writing of one student, preparing a case study that identifies student strengths, areas not yet mastered and next instructional steps
  • Participants will engage in collaborative conversation during class to further thinking about writing; they will participate in structure analysis of student writing through the use of protocols
  • Participants will share student writing and assume the role of presenter, facilitator and observer/speaker during in class sessions
  • Best instructional strategies in writing will be accessed and applied to participant’s instructional practices

Required Texts

What a Writer Needs Ralph Fletcher (Heinemann, 2nd edition)







 *Note: Required texts not included in the course tuition.

 For additional course information

Leigh G. Harder

For additional registration information

Bethany Sprague
(802) 468-1325

Register online now!