• Mapleton Public Schools Standards of Practice for Writing

    Instruction, Assessment, & Administration Guidelines

    Mapleton Public Schools believes in a balanced approach of literacy instruction based on a gradual release of responsibility. All instruction begins with an in-depth understanding of the Colorado Academic Standards (CAS).   Standards are explicitly taught at each grade level to all students through a shared writing experience. Students who demonstrate skills above or below grade level receive differentiated instruction and scaffold support through one-on-one conferencing or small, skill-based groups. Independent application of Standards are required daily through the writing process. Assessments are used on a continual basis to guide and inform instruction with students actively involved in monitoring their own progress. The following content of this document explicitly defines expectations for writing through a balanced approach and provides resources for the classroom teacher K-12.

    Why Writing Matters 

    According to the National Educational Assessment of Progress (NEAP) writing is one of the primary ways that people today persuade and inform others, both socially and professionally. It produces and requires higher-order thinking, increases academic success, and is a demand of the 21st Century workplace. In order to improve writing trends, foundational skills must be explicitly taught and applied in the early grades (K-2) to prepare students for higher-level thinking and writing in future grades (3-12).  Foundational skills for future achievement is established through mastery of handwriting, spelling, vocabulary development, and sentence construction (grammar, mechanics and conventions) through the process of writing with the application of writing strategies and knowledge of the genre. Students who fail to develop basic skills and knowledge of writing especially in the early years (K-2) will have a much harder time keeping up with their peers in more complex writing tasks in later grades (3-12). 

    In order to strengthen basic foundational writing skills in grades K-12, all students are expected to master Grade Level No-Excuse Targeted Skills for grammar and mechanics, conventions, vocabulary and spelling by the end of each year. Teachers are expected to provide explicit instruction on grade level expectations and hold students accountable to apply these skills with proficiency in all forms of writing. 

    Colorado Academic Standards

    Colorado Academic Standards establish the core curriculum of what every student should master by the end of each grade level. Key shifts in Standards exist between the following grade levels: Kindergarten-SecondThird-FifthSixth-Eighth, and Ninth-Twelfth Grade. These key shifts in the standards are important to note and should be evident in school-wide curriculum maps. Teachers are expected to unpack grade level standards with students to build an understanding of what individual standards mean, what is expected, and provide support for vocabulary and mastery of skills. To learn more about Colorado Academic Standards and how to apply them to instruction, please CLICK BELOW: