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Teaching Essay Strategies is a comprehensive curriculum designed to help teachers teach the essay components of the Common Core Writing Standards. This step-by-step program provides all of the resources for upper elementary, middle school, and high school teachers to teach both the writing process essays and the accompanying writing strategies.
Eight Writing Process Essays
The Teaching Essay Strategies program includes the writing prompts, resource texts, graphic organizers, response, revision, and editing resources to teach eight Writing Process Essays. The first four essays are in the informative/explanatory genre (CCSS W.2). The last four essays are in the argumentative writing genre (CCSS W.2). Accompanying resource texts include both literary and informational forms, as prescribed by the CCSS Reading Strand.
Diagnostic Assessment and Differentiated Instruction
This essay curriculum is built upon comprehensive assessment. Each of the eight Writing Process Essays begins with an on-demand diagnostic assessment. Teachers grade this writing task according to relative strengths and weaknesses on an analytical rubric.
Teachers differentiate writing instruction according to this diagnostic data with mini-lessons and targeted worksheets. Remedial resources include lessons in subject-predicate, sentence structure, sentence fragments and run-ons, essay structure, paragraph organization, types of evidence, transitions, essay genre, writing direction words, proofreading, introduction strategies, and conclusion strategies. Advanced resources include lessons in fallacious reasoning, logic, coherence, unity, sentence variety, parallelism, grammatical sentence openers, and writing style.
Formative and Summative Assessment with Essay e-Comments
The Teaching Essay Strategies program includes The Pennington Manual of Style, a downloadable essay e-comments bank of 438 comprehensive and prescriptive writing comments. Teachers insert these comments into a student's essay with a click of the mouse. Works for paper submissions, as well. Teachers enter the results of their formative and summative assessments on the analytical rubric.
Essay Strategy Worksheets
To master the CCSS W.4, W.5, W.6 essay strategies, students complete 42 Essay Strategy Worksheets. Students move from simple three-word paragraphs to complex multi-paragraph W.1, W.2 essays, using a time-tested numerical hierarchy for essay organization. This "coding" takes the mystery out of how to organize and compose coherent and unified essays. Students learn and apply the essay writing rules, essay structure, introduction strategies, evidence and argument, conclusion strategies, and all of the common grammatical sentence models in the context of authentic writing practice. Downloadable Wall Posters of all writing reference terms are included.
Writing Openers and Quick Writes
Teaching Essay Strategies includes a full year of Sentence Revision (sentence combining, sentence manipulation, and grammatical sentence models), Writing Style Openers, and Rhetorical Stance Quick Writes to help students practice writing dexterity and writing fluency (CCSS W.10). These 10-minute "openers" require no advance preparation and no teacher correction.
No other grammar and mechanics curriculum matches the comprehensive resources of Teaching Essay Strategies.
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Mark Pennington is an educational author, presenter, reading specialist, and middle school teacher. Mark has twenty four years of teaching experience in the elementary (six years), middle school (ten years), high school (eight years), and community college (three years part-time) settings. His MA Education (Reading Specialist) is out of the California State University at Sacramento. Mark received his teaching credential at the University of California at Los Angeles after graduating Magna cum Laude from the University of Southern California.
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