Students' ability to express their thoughts and ideas using writing is an essential skill that learners will rely upon throughout their formal education and adult lives. As one of the PYP Approaches to Learning that falls under Communication Skills, skillful written expression enhances students' ability to conduct research, think critically, reflect, share their knowledge, demonstrate their understanding of concepts and collaborate with others. At McGraw, we have made writing a major focus of our ongoing school improvement efforts.
The McGraw staff has carefully examined the Colorado and Common Core standards and defined expectations for student writing across grade levels. These expectations are stated in "student-friendly" language of what students should be able to do (learning targets). We have developed K-5 writing continuums for the Informative, Narrative and Opinion-based (Persuasive) modes of writing. In addition, grade level teams are developing grade-level writing rubrics and/or checklists based on each of these modes. These tools are posted below and allow teachers, students and parents to reflect on the quality of a student's writing and to identify concrete next steps for each student to improve their writing in different sub-skill areas (focus, content, structure, connections, language and conventions).
As our work on writing continues we will post new and updated writing continuums and rubrics on this page for parents and students to reference from home. Teachers are also collecting exemplars of student writing in each mode and sub-skill area to share with parents. Please contact your child's teacher if you have any questions about grade level expectations in writing and how you can support your child's development of their writing skills from home.
McGraw K-5 Writing continuums
Grade Level Writing Rubrics/Checklists
Kindergarten Writing Rubric