Reading to admire: A webcast with Mark Overmeyer

October 14th, 2009

“Assessment must encompass so much more than grading,” writes Mark Overmeyer in his new book, What Student Writing Teaches Us: Formative Assessment in the Writing Workshop.

In this webcast, recorded recently with a small group of teachers, Mark talks about how he reads student work “to admire,” to take the focus away from strictly grading the work, to consider opportunities for helping students become stronger writers. During the webcast, he walks participants through the final draft of a picture book by a third-grade student, Veronica, to demonstrate how he focuses on her strengths as a writer.

(Note: this is a large file and might take a few minutes to load. Click here for a lower resolution version.)

“When I think of what to admire about Veronica’s piece, I can do so much more than when I think of grading or evaluating…. When I choose something to admire first, I not only stifle the editor in me but also find ideas for conferences,” Mark writes. By reading to admire, teachers will become familiar with each student’s individual strengths, will be able to select possible topics to begin a conference, and will find possibilities for using student work as a model during a mini lesson.

You can preview Mark’s book online and see Veronica’s completed picture book, along with more of Mark’s comments in Chapter 6.

About the webcast: When you start the webcast, it will launch in any media player installed on your computer (Windows Media Player or QuickTime). Make sure the sound is turned on on your computer. You will hear the audio from the presentation and you will see the slides Mark presented during each part of the presentation.

Entry Filed under: Assessment,Writing

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