Writing in the Multiple Subjects Credential Program
The Multiple Subject Credential Program prepares teachers to work with students in grades K-8 with responsibility for all subject areas in a self-contained classroom. With this responsibility, knowledge and skill in writing is important both for the teacher’s use—in communicating clearly with parents, administrators, and staff—and in planning for their classroom students’ learning. Students who enter the Multiple Subjects Credential Program are expected to arrive with some foundational writing skills, including the ability to write responses to essay questions, differentiate among and write in several genres, use multiple pre-writing and post-writing strategies, revise written work, write in clear, concise sentences, and write a research paper of at least 5 pages.
Through coursework in the program, you will develop writing knowledge and skills further. By graduation from the Multiple Subjects Credential Program, we expect that students will be able to write a case study, plan and write an instructional unit, present thoughtful analyses of teaching units, assess student work, and utilize correct citation references. We expect you to be a reflective practitioner who holds and creates a positive attitude toward writing and teaching writing. Also, you should be able to demonstrate proficiency in narrative writing and poetry and demonstrate the ability to teach elements of these writing genres to students. Finally, you should complete your studies with a set of strategies for teaching the writing process, including prewriting, drafting, revising, and utilizing peer review strategies to share and critique writing.
Types of Writing
Students in the Multiple Subjects Credential Program should expect to use writing in numerous ways, including the following:
- Field Observations: First-hand observations of experiences in the field, followed by pertinent analytical reflections.
- Case Studies: Empirical observation of a single subject and analysis of data collected in relationship to relevant theoretical constructs.
- Reflections, Response to Readings: Personal statements, in essay or narrative form, that provides the writer’s unique interpretations and insights about a topic, experiences, or written information.
- Journals: A collection of objectively observed events or experiences that are explained with the use of subjective explanations or responses.
- Unit Plan and Lesson Plan Development: Creation of various teaching plans that can be utilized for various subject matter instruction. Plans contain an introduction, explanation of teaching strategies, a detailed plan of activities, assessment tools, references and needed resources.
- Book Reviews: Analysis of literature utilized for teaching purposes. Students examine and analyze various aspects of written materials associated with their teaching needs.
- Assessment Reports: Analysis of how teachers in training evaluate their own students and how assessment data are utilized to inform future teaching experiences.
- Position Papers: Organize, formulate, and provide written commentary on research based positions, utilizing various sources of information.
- Creative Writing: Development of writing skills in a variety of creative forms: poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction.
- Communication with Parents of Students: Various forms of communication to parents of elementary students to inform them of student progress, relevant events, and classroom needs.
- Scientific Writing: Development in writing scientific discourse, including observation, data collection, summarization, and conclusions.
In order to succeed at the varied writing tasks above, students are recommended to use the following practices, where appropriate:
- Graphics and Illustrations: Students can create graphics to demonstrate understanding of text material.
- Text to Text Connections: Students can analyze connections between different sources of materials and see relationships between them.
- Cause/Effect Analysis: Based on text information, students can identify cause/effect relationships that can then be expressed in writing.
- Compare/Contrast Analysis: Students can compare and contrast text information that can be then be expressed in writing.
- Summarize, Synthesize Information: Information from texts can be summarized and synthesized.
- Brainstorming Ideas: After reading texts, students can brainstorm ideas and concepts found in texts.
- Small Group Discussions: Talking to peers can help students identify important concepts that can then be written into essays and other responses.
- Digital Responses: Students can create digital multi-media responses to written texts.
- Extrapolation of Important Information: Students can extrapolate ideas and important information from texts to prepare in written form.
Students in the multiple subjects credential program will typically use the American Psychological Association Format (APA). We suggest that students use the following text to help them cite properly: Hacker, D. (2007). A writer’s reference with extra help for ESL writers. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s.
Students who need additional help can visit The Purdue Online Writing Lab and look at their APA resource page.
To become more proficient at writing, you may wish to use any of the following resources: