Trait expert Ruth Culham has culled papers from diverse K-2 classrooms and collated them here into a unique trait-based teaching resource. Each paper is scored by trait and includes teacher commentary explaining the evaluation based on Culham’s scoring guides, which are included in the book. You’ll find six papers per trait, spanning the grading continuum from low to high. Put papers on the overhead or Smartboard as models for a whole-class writing lesson, make copies for small-group discussions of a trait, invite students to critique or rank papers . . . these are just a few of the possibilities. All papers are included in two versions—original and with teacher comments.
Help! I Don’t Have an Interactive Whiteboard!
Don’t panic. Although you may not have the technology to highlight a trait within each paper electronically, you can still use these papers to practice assessing and to help students understand the traits as well.
If the latest technology is not on the horizon for you and your class, do the lessons the old-fashioned way! It will work just as well. Project the papers on an Elmo or an overhead projector. If you wish, you can make a copy of the paper you want students to read and discuss, then give them highlighters to mark key passages. You are still using student writing to teach what a trait is and how it works!