Monday, June 26, 2017

Assignment One: Introduction

Welcome to Essentials of Writing! We look forward to working and learning with you. In order for everyone to get the most out of the course, please be sure to read and respond to each others comments.Please try to keep your responses within one allotted "comment" space to ensure that the blog remains manageable for all participants.

Also, you may want to type your comments in a Word Document and either copy from Word and paste onto the blog or save it in a folder on your computer and then post it to the blog. I have written a couple of lengthy comments that I lost before I was able to post it to the blog. This extra step may save you some frustration later on this term.

Last of all, we will write our comments to your posts on the blog, so you will need to check back to the corresponding week for feedback (and to make additional comments if you wish.)

Let us know if you have any questions. You can email us, but please put the words "Question for Essentials of Writing" in the subject line so that we can respond in a timely fashion.

ASSIGNMENT ONE: Post your Introduction to the course Blog.

Introduction Post- Tell us about yourself. Where do you teach? What grade do you teach? How long have you been teaching? How many students are there in your class? Do you have instructional support? What does your current literacy program look like? (If you aren’t currently teaching let us know.) What is your knowledge/training in the area of literacy (be specific about your experiences teaching writing?) Does your district provide training in literacy –especially writing? If so, what exactly have they offered? Has your district been bogged down with getting students to perform well on state writing assessments – prompts? How do you feel about teaching? Are you happy at work? Also, let us know a little about you outside of the classroom: Interests/ Hobbies/Family Life? What do you hope to get out of this course? Post your reflection to the blog.


  1. Hello. My name is Caryn Duryee and I am a 5th grade teacher at Vern Patrick Elementary located in Redmond, Oregon. I started my teaching career in 1995 and taught 5th and 6th grade full-time for approximately 8 years. After 8 years, my husband and I chose to start our family. I then had many opportunities to substitute teach in grades K-8 and in ELL classrooms, as well as counseling positions as they opened up. In 2014, I went back to the classroom full-time. I currently have finished my 3rd year of teaching 5th grade in Redmond. Each year brings new experiences along with a variety of opportunities. My classes have ranged from student numbers of 34 to 26. During the writing time, which consists of 30 minutes, my students who are on IEPs are pulled out for their own writing instruction. Our school’s literacy program is based on the basal, Reading Wonders. My district has only provided training within the program when it was adopted 3 years ago. After the adoption, I was told by the district that we needed to teach the curriculum with fidelity. Fortunately, our school hired a new principal two years ago who saw that teachers and students were able to teach to the standards using other means. Our district has been bogged down with state assessments and district assessments. Three times a year students are assessed by the district. This means that individual teachers are provided a prompt, which mimics the SBAC performance task, and assess all students in their classroom and score all assessments. Scores are not used in any other manner, except for each teacher’s discretion. We have approximately 45% passing rate of the SBAC. I want to raise my own class scores, but also give life to writing in my classroom. My hopes in taking this class is to rejuvenate my writing instruction, so that my students see themselves as writers and want to share and celebrate their writing. During these summer months, I plan on finishing this class, while enjoying all that Central Oregon has to offer with my husband, and two kids. We enjoy camping, running, hiking, paddle- boarding, and fishing.

  2. Hello Caryn!

    Welcome to our class. That is fantastic that you have a new principal that allows teachers to be the professionals that we are! I think you will love this text and come away with many new ideas to utilize and implement into your writing program. I say it every term, you WILL want to re-read this text (likely a number of times) and sections of it over the next year or two. You will come away with even more ideas and areas to focus on each time you do. I know I do!

    Let me know if you have any questions! Enjoy the holiday weekend!