My thought process
Originally, I wanted to know how to teach students to write to different prompts in order to prepare students for the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). However, after mulling over that idea we decided that was too broad and that I would focus on one form of writing. This is when I decided to focus on writing a narrative. I did not feel as if a narrative was often focused on in the classroom because writing an informational text could be considered more important for students becoming college and career ready. I also chose narrative writing because I felt like my students narratives were not anywhere near where they could be and narrative writing could be an option on the CAASPP.
I wanted to know if it was possible to really teach students how to write a narrative that was not only CAASPP aligned, but also common core aligned. I wanted to know if my third grade students would write a narrative that would score at grade level on the CAASPP. In order to watch progress and keep track of my students work I was going to test students using CAASPP IABs. These are practice tests from caaspp.org where students log in just like the test and take the practice test. I could grade them for data and students would get perfect CAASPP prep. I gave my students these IABs twice. While I did see progress, I noticed that my students still really struggled because there was no time to prep and brainstorm their writing and typing is hard for third grade students.
My action research plan
After giving the CAASPP IABs and trying different forms of writing instruction, most of which was just modeling how to edit writing. I noticed that my students needed different instruction. While I thought I was giving perfect models for writing, I was wrong. My students needed to build their stories from the ground up and they needed visuals and collaboration time. This is where my whole process changed. I decided to focus on one common core standard, which was CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. I had four weeks left before maternity leave and little did we know four weeks before the Covid-19 crisis would hit us. You can find my four week plan on the lessons page.
The two tools that I recommend for teaching narrative writing and incorporating technology would be typing.com and storyboardthat.com. These are the tools that I used and saw great progress with my students typing skills and narrative writing skills.
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
Establish a situation and introduce a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
Use dialogue and descriptions of actions, thoughts, and feelings to develop experiences and events or show the response of characters to situations.
Use temporal words and phrases to signal event order.
Provide a sense of closure.
On the right side of the page, you will see four pages with additional information for you:
Lessons: This page contains different lesson outlines that I used for my research and some student examples
How-To's: This page contains instructions on how to create your own storyboardthat account and how to create ones for students.
References: This page contains all my resources that I have used throughout this program
Assessment: This page contains the CAASPP writing rubric, my students IAB results, and results from a survey I gave to my students using google forms.