Crunchtime: Lessons to Help Students Blow the Roof Off Writing Tests--and Become Better Writers in the Process

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"Our schools should be accountable, but do they have to become joyless halls of drudgery? I'm not against measuring student achievement and learning. But can't we develop lessons that use the best of what we know about learning and about children, lessons ...

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Overview

Watch an overview by Gretchen.

Book study groups and professional learning communities, click here to save when you order 15 copies of Crunchtime. A $315 value for $267.75. Save $47.25.

"Our schools should be accountable, but do they have to become joyless halls of drudgery? I'm not against measuring student achievement and learning. But can't we develop lessons that use the best of what we know about learning and about children, lessons informed by research and results, lessons that include color, life, conversation and laughter?" -Gretchen Bernabei

  • Crunchtime is a practical grab-and-go resource for teachers.
  • Crunchtime strategies are engaging and fun for students.
  • Crunchtime is especially effective in helping struggling writers, including English language learners.

In this eagerly-anticipated teacher resource, master teachers Gretchen Bernabei, Jayne Hover, and Cynthia Candler share writing lessons that are healthy for kids, promote lifelong literacy, and, coincidentally, will help your students blow the roof off of their state test scores. Organized around the writing process-selecting topics, crafting drafts, and polishing finished pieces-explicit lessons engage student writers while shoring up the gaps between learning and testing. Growing out of their own work in Title I schools, Gretchen, Jayne, and Cynthia's strategies have proven to be especially effective in helping ESL and special education students, not only pass the test, but achieve commended performance. In addition to providing classroom-tested strategies, this practical teaching resource provides a wealth of crunchtime tools (rubrics, reproducibles, and writing samples) minilessons, and lesson plans that will help you teach strategically and position your students for success on their state writing tests and beyond.

Crunchtime includes the following downloadable resources: 4-week planner, writing prompts, and reproducibles.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780325026732
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 8/12/2009
  • Pages: 166
  • Sales rank: 266,916
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Gretchen Bernabei has taught middle school and high school for 28 years. An author and an educator, Gretchen's other books include Why We Must Run with Scissors: Voice Lessons in Persuasive Writing (2001, Discover Writing Press), Reviving the Essay: How to Teach Structure Without Formula (2005, Discover Writing Press), Lightning in a Bottle (2003, Trail of Breadcrumbs), Sparklers: High Scoring Test Essays and What We Learn from Them (2007, Trail of Breadcrumbs), The Good Writer's Guide (2006, Hampton-Brown/National Geographic School Publications) and a chapter in Teaching "The Neglected R" (2007, Heinemann). She currently lives with her husband and two children in San Antonio, Texas. In her recent Heinemann book, Crunchtime, Gretchen Bernabei and her coauthors Jayne Hover and Cynthia Candler share the strategies they have developed for helping students be successful in the literate world and on writing tests. Growing out of their own work in Title I schools, Gretchen, Jayne, and Cynthia's strategies have proven to be especially effective in helping ESL and special education students.

In her new book, Crunchtime, Jayne Hover and her coauthors Gretchen Bernabei and Cynthia Candler share with you the strategies they have developed for helping students be successful in the literate world and on the writing tests. Growing out of their own work in Title I schools, Gretchen, Jayne, and Cynthia's strategies have proven to be especially effective in helping ESL and special education students. A teacher for more than twenty years, Jayne currently teaches 4th grade at Hawthorne Academy and lives with her best friend and husband in Cibolo, Texas.

In her new book, Crunchtime, Cynthia Candler and her coauthors Gretchen Bernabei and Jayne Hover share with you the strategies they have developed for helping students be successful in the literate world and on the writing tests. Growing out of their own work in Title I schools, Gretchen, Jayne, and Cynthia's strategies have proven to be especially effective in helping ESL and special education students. Cynthia has taught writing in the middle grades for over 20 years and currently is teaching 7th grade in Terrell, Texas

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Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction Gretchen Bernabei xvii

The Thermometer Rubric xvii

Sharing Within the Profession xviii

Two Teachers Jayne Hover Cynthia Candler xviii

But Shouldn't Test Writing Be the Same as Real Writing? xix

Knowing the Research xx

Part 1 From Idea to Draft (Gretchen's Story) 1

Chapter 1 Selecting a Topic 7

Levels of Personal Experience 7

The Quicklist 14

Student Spotlight Guadalupe 22

Chapter 2 Organizing and Prewriting Structures 24

The Talking List 24

Writing a Kernel Essay with Text Structures 28

The Flipbook 36

The Fake Flipbook 54

Student Spotlight Esequiel 59

Part 2 Revision and Development (Cynthia's Story) 61

Chapter 3 Writing with Style 65

Expanding a Sentence: Revision Stations 65

Telling the Story, Asking Questions 73

The F.I.T. Chart 77

Sparkling Sentences 84

Truisms with Picture Prompts 88

Ba-da-bing Sentences 98

Student Spotlight William 102

Chapter 4 The Devil's in the Details 104

Great Beginnings 104

Common Mistakes and Quick Fixes 109

Preparing the Final Copy 112

Part 3 Crunchtime Tools and Minilessons (Jayne's Story: Teaching Writing or Teaching Testing?) 115

Chapter 5 Countdown to the Test 121

KISS (Keep It Surprisingly Simple): The Concept 121

KISS Lesson Plans for Writing 123

Chapter 6 Minilessons with High-Scoring Student Papers 130

Appendix

Research on Foundations of Effective Writing Instruction 137

Beliefs and Experiences 139

Student Chart for Brainstorming "Bank Experiences" 141

Student Topic Lists 142

Quicklists for Other Genres 144

Connecting Life Experiences to Life Truths 146

A Memory Chart 147

The Story of My Thinking Chart147

Evolution of a Term Chart 147

Discovering a Lie Chart 147

Tribute to a Person Who Taught Me Something 148

Backfire Chart 148

Metamorphosis Chart 148

Cause and Effect Chart 148

Expository, I-Search, and Literary Analysis Text Structures 149

Sample Pages of a Flipbook 150

Revision Stations 151

Cause and Effect (If...Then...) 152

Student Self-Check Flipbook 153

Student Self-Check Flipbook Final Copy 154

Scoring Guide 155

The Fake Flipbook 156

Where's the BEEF? 158

F.I.T. Chart 159

KISS Lesson Plan 160

Writer's Toolbox 161

Minilessons 162

Works Cited 165

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