Reality Check….?

I’ve been looking at a Traits Writing Teaching Guide. What is a Reality Check? How does that work?TE_GD7

I don’t know any teacher who doesn’t constantly feel behind. Especially when it comes toteaching writing. So, in Traits Writing, instead of pretending that there is all the time in the world to write and teach writing, we built in a week after every unit to catch up: Reality Check.

During that week many options are available, depending on where students are with their unit projects and how many still need to finish. There are two things that must be done during the Reality Check week: 1) finish the unit project if needed, and 2) introduce and provide instruction on the next mode of writing (narrative, expository, or persuasive–opinion/argument). The rest of the materials provided for the week are publishing options, both digital and print. Students should publish their unit projects in one form or another as time allows so we’ve built in lots of options and possibilities that maybe teachers haven’t considered before. And during the Reality Check, we’ve provided Test Prep practice–for those folks who want students to do a little work in this area as well.

It’s a week for the teacher to wrap up and set a new direction for what comes next, and a week to celebrate the wonderful unit projects students just completed. Most of all, it’s a week for everyone to take a deep breath before plunging into the next big piece of writing instruction. I hope it gives teachers catch up time so the next unit begins on a high note for students and the teacher as well.

About Ruth Culham

RUTH CULHAM has written more than 40 books and best-selling resources illuminating both writing and the reading-writing connection for countless educators around the globe. Her groundbreaking work with the writing traits and writing from reading is the culmination of 40 years of research, practice, and passion. Ruth’s most recent books, The Writing Thief: Using Mentor Texts to Teach the Craft of Writing and Dream Wakers: Mentor Texts That Celebrate Latino Culture, are available from Stenhouse Publishers. She also conducts professional development for schools and districts and writes a regular column for The Reading Teacher.
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