Kelly Sassi first started providing professional development workshops for K-12 teachers in Fairbanks, Alaska, where she taught secondary English from 1997-2003. Since co-authoring Writing on Demand with Anne Ruggles Gere and Leila Christenbury in 2005, she has been working with teachers across the country on how to help students succeed on timed writing exams without leaving best practices behind. While studying for a Ph.D. in English and Education at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Kelly co-authored A Student Guide to Writing on Demand (Heinemann 2006), again with Gere and Christenbury. Kelly is focusing on pedagogical approaches to Native American literature in her doctoral work.
View Kelly Sassi's Resume/Vita, Publications and Workshops.
- Writing on Demand Workshops
Writing on Demand: Best Practices and Strategies for Success
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What to Expect When Expected to Write: Strategies for Writing on Demand
Workshops can be custom-designed from the following list:
The New Landscape of Writing on Demand
In this segment of the workshop, participants will learn about and discuss:
- National and state statistics regarding district tests, state tests, the new SAT, the ACT, and the AP
- What Classroom Teachers Face
- Preparing students for timed writing
- Building on, not abandoning, best practices in classroom instruction
- Acknowledging the reality of testing
- How testing affects the teaching of writing
- Practical implications for teachers and their students
This part of the workshop, which has proved to be very popular with participants, addresses how to get students to use a specific, three-step process which invites them to: Assess quality, Create possible rubrics, Create possible prompts. Using the technique of thinking backward, participants will learn how to teach the students about the relation of prompts and rubric to a piece of writing’s ultimate success. In this segment, samples from literature and from actual tenth grade writers are used.
The Processes of Writing
This workshop segment shows how the processes of writing are used within the classroom and how they can be adapted to the testing environment. Topics covered are:
Invention or prewriting strategies, Drafting suggestions, Revision and editing techniques.
Analysis of Writing Prompt
This part of the workshop introduces the Five Key Questions every student should ask of a timed essay prompt. Activities include: Modeling the Five Key Questions for use with students, Hands-on small group work, Experience with a timed writing situation.
Analysis of Contexts
Participants in this workshop segment learn about and discuss the “prompt environment” and explore: What a prompt environment entails, Strategies to help students analyze the prompt environment, Strategies to address the requirements of prompts.
Sentence Structure and Variety
This segment, which recognizes the concerns of many teachers, focuses on sentence-based pedagogies and emphasizes: Choice as a key factor in sentences, Specific strategies such as cumulative sentences, variations on sentence combining, and imitation, Developing cohesion and coherence.
Making Assessment Visible
Most appropriate for a two-day workshop after the segment titled "Analysis of Writing Prompts," this segment engages participants in scoring several samples in order to:
Deepen understanding of various writing tests, Develop greater capacity to understand rubrics, Learn more about the evaluation of writing.
Using the Student Guide to Writing on Demand
This new workshop segment, designed to introduce teachers to the student test, will: Provide an overview of the Student Guide, emphasizing how it can be used most effectively, Demonstrate connections between the teacher-directed Writing on Demand and the Student Guide, Offer strategies for teaching with key portions of the Student Guide.
Writing Tests as Genre
Best used to conclude a workshop, this segment contextualizes writing tests by: Considerating of various genres and the relationship of writing tests to these, Explorating of the features of writing tests, Discussing of the advantages and disadvantages of teaching writing tests in terms of genre.