The Illinois State Board of Education is pleased to announce a new website created by the ELA Content Specialists entitled, Illinois Writing Matters. This website is a result of requests from educators for one location to find writing resources aligned to the New Illinois Writing standards. The grade - level specific design of the website allows teacher to find resources aligned directly to their classroom. Some of the resources include, Background information about each standard Progression documents Strategies Graphic Organizers Student Samples Rubrics Recommended Resources such as PowerPoints, videos, lessons and units, websites, professional books, and other professional development resources. To access the resources on the website, go to www.ilwritingmatters.weebly.com/. Scroll down and click on desired grade level. Writing Focus: Begin with Standard 10 This year’s newsletters will have a focus of writing and delve into what students will need to accomplish at each grade level in order to become college and career ready. We begin this year with standard ten due to the nature of it’s demand to implement writing into all coursework throughout the year. “To build a foundation for college and career readiness, students need to learn to use writing as a way of offering and supporting opinions, demonstrating understanding of the subjects they are studying, and conveying real and imagined experiences and events (CCAS, 2010). Standard ten requires students to “write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences” (CCAS, 2010). Organizing and building classroom activities that meet Strategy Corner Quick Write/Quick Draw: Using the graphic organizer found here , students will be asked to reflect on something they have learned through writing. The key is to only allow so much time to complete the writing/drawing and not worry about grammatical errors. The concept is more about getting thoughts on paper. Students are asked to write or draw everything they remember about the learning experience. Students may brainstorm new vocabulary words learned at the bottom of their Quick Write as well. Prompts may be given to students such as the following: • What did you learn? • What did you think about? • What did you like the most? • What did you not like? • What surprised you? • What made you curious? • What was the coolest thing you remember? Some variations on this strategy are to ask students to summarize what was learned or connect to background information or students’ lives. Page 2 4th Grade New ISBE Writing Website Revealed this standard along with combining with other literacy standards is a critical factor for the student. “They develop the capacity to build knowledge on a subject through research projects and to respond analytically to literary and informational sources. To meet these goals, students must devote significant time and effort to writing, producing numerous pieces over short and extended time frames throughout the year” (CCAS, 2010).