Assessing Writing in Children:
Similar to evaluating oral language we need to evaluate written language. When we are looking at writing we want to examine the student’s sample in several ways
- Conventions/ Mechanics (spelling, punctuation)
- Structure/ Organization (Does it have a beginning, middle and end, is there use of transition words)
- Development (vocabulary, related to topic)
- Sentence Structure (grammar)
Most writing rubrics will have these categories or ones that are similar to it.
Something that should also be similar to oral language is the type of sampling that you should do. In a language sample you are looking for a comprehensive look at oral language and usually the language sample combines conversation or play, with a structure sample such as a story retell so you can see if they use specific types of grammatical and structure. The same thing is true when you are taking a writing sample. You need to insure that you are getting an appropriate type of sample. Usually in writing you give a writing prompt that will require the student to use a particular organization structure.
Give the student enough time to write and have you writing prompt to be related to a very specific type of writing (opinion, procedural, narrative). Use the writing rubric to grade and then determine where the weakness is. This then can be your writing goal.