So as I wrap up this research process piece that I did with my 4th-grade teacher friends, I begin reflecting back a couple of years to when I was in their shoes, preparing students to be successful on state tests. I found that what I struggled with most was not pushing my students far enough. I was keeping my level of teaching at the level they were performing. Never setting higher expectations. Every student in my class needed to make progress, not just my ones who struggled the most. So, I began to introduce all of the skills to all of my students as we did in this 4th-grade class. You can hear in the student videos below, how students will begin to pick up on these tools and use them with fidelity. In these 4th grade conclusions, students are using hypothetical anecdotes, informative verbs with their main ideas, restating their topic in a creative way, and ending with a definitive word or phrase!
So if I can give you one piece of advice, it would be to not settle. Push your students- every single one of them- until the end! Use the power of your modeling to help them see all of the possibilities in their writing.