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A Think-Aloud Approach to Writing Assessment

Analyzing Process and Product with Adolescent Writers

Sarah Beck George Newell

168 pages
Teachers College Press
The think-aloud approach to classroom writing assessment is designed to expand teachers’ perspectives on adolescent students as writers and help them integrate instruction and assessment in a timely way. Emphasizing learning over evaluation, it is especially well-suited to revealing students' strengths and helping them overcome common challenges to writing such as writer’s block or misunderstanding of the writing task. Through classroom examples, Sarah Beck describes how to implement the think-aloud method and shows how this method is flexible and adaptable to any writing assignment and classroom context. The book also discusses the significance of the method in relation to best practices in formative assessment, including how to plan think-aloud sessions with students to gain the most useful information. Teachers required to use rubrics or other standardized assessment tools can incorporate the more individualized think-aloud approach into their practice without sacrificing the rigor and consistency more regulated approaches require. Book Features: Introduces a new method of writing assessment that is more effective and flexible for differentiating instruction than assessments based on rubrics. Emphasizes equity for all learners, including English learners and students with specific learning challenges. Offers recommendations and guidelines based on research-based best practices in all aspects of writing: process, instruction, assessment, and development. Designed to be used by individual teachers as well as teachers working collaboratively to develop their pedagogical content knowledge for teaching writing.
Author Bio
Sarah W. Beck is an associate professor of English education at New York University, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.