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Six Traits of Writing: An Introduction

Best-practice strategies for teaching K-12 writing

This dynamic online course utilizes video footage from a full-day Smekens workshop to equip K-12 teachers with the knowledge and tools they need to start teaching the Six Traits of Writing right away. Whether you need to learn a lot about the Six Traits in a hurry or want a “refresher” course to get you back on track, this introductory training led by Kristina Smekens provides teachers with the confidence and resources they need to begin implementing the Six Traits model.

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Topics:

  • Answers to the questions “What are the Six Traits?” & “Where did they come from?”
  • Explanation of how to recognize the Six Traits in pictorial writing (K-1), intermediate writing (grades 2-5), and secondary writing (grades 6-12).
  • How the Six Traits unify your instruction of state and national standards and the expectations of state/national writing assessments.
  • Ways to introduce the trait language to students of all ages.
  • Numerous trait-based mini-lesson ideas to target common writing weaknesses.

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Initiate an intentional Six-Traits introduction with your students.
  • Establish a common language and understanding of the traits for the rest of the school year.
  • Better articulate to your students what “good” writing looks and sounds like.
  • Recognize the Six Traits within your students’ writing.
  • Connect each lesson in your writing curriculum to a trait.
  • Teach students how to improve their writing in each of the trait areas.

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Your Instructor


Kristina Smekens
Kristina Smekens

A full-time literacy consultant, Kristina has built a reputation for using enthusiasm, humor, and common sense to equip K-12 educators with practical, demystifying strategies for teaching reading and writing.

As president and lead consultant for Smekens Education, Kristina is constantly developing new strategies to help teachers meet the demands of today’s College and Career-Ready Standards. She shares those strategies with teachers across the United States and beyond through on-site school trainings, regional seminars, and an always-growing pool of print, digital, and video resources.

Kristina has a gift for making the complex seem simple— for showing teachers how to meet the needs of readers and writers by bridging the gap between education research and classroom-tested strategies that work. Well known for offering innovative ideas, Kristina has created more than 50 “Smekens Originals,” a compilation of books, guides, and classroom tools designed to help teachers implement best-practice literacy strategies. Among the most popular of these resources are her best-selling books, Launching the Writer’s Workshop: Grades K-2, and Launching the Writer’s Workshop: Grades 3-12.

You are welcome to contact Kristina directly: kristina@smekenseducation.com.


 

Questions?

Contact Smekens Education toll free:

(888) 376-0448

What teachers say about this course

“My mind has been blown. I can’t wait to start teaching the 6 Traits. I feel like I have somewhere to start now, and I feel confident about it.” Jennifer Miller, Grade 3, Eastside Elementary School, Brazil, IN

“Kristina has what it takes to get educators excited about teaching writing.” Teresa LeBeau, Instructional Coach, CSC Southern Hancock County, Greenfield, IN

“I had been teaching 6 traits for 2 years now with no real training. This really made the big picture make sense. The training also organized my brain about each trait itself.” Brittany Grimm, Grade 2, Rosa Parks Elementary, Indianapolis, IN

“I now know where to start with my instruction. As a first year teacher, I needed the jumping-off point.” Rachel Gish, Grade 3, Holy Family School, New Albany, IN

“The best, most helpful teacher-friendly workshop I have ever been to in my 32 years in education! Love everything Smekens!” Dana Henley, Grade 1, Seymour Redding Elementary School, Seymour, IN

"This workshop gave me the confidence and excitement to incorporate the 6 traits in my classroom. I am eager to begin!" Julie Peters, Grade 1, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School, Fort Wayne, IN

"Totally changed the way I will teach writing. So helpful. Amazing! I learned so much. It was engaging and informative for K-12." Susanne Borders, Grade 1, St. Joseph Grade School, South Bend, IN

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Class Curriculum


  Introduction to the course
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  Identify the Traits - DESCRIBE "GOOD" WRITING
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  Identify the Traits - ORGANIZATION
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  Identify the Traits - RESOURCES
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  Identify the Traits - VOICE
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  Identify the Traits - WORD CHOICE
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  Identify the Traits - SENTENCE FLUENCY
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  Identify the Traits - CONVENTIONS
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  Identify the Traits - PRESENTATION
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  Identify the Traits - CONCLUSION
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  Introduce the Traits - GRAPHIC ICONS
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  Introduce the Traits - SIX-TRAITS SONGS
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  Introduce the Traits - TRAIT CHARACTERS & UPPER GRADES
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  Conclusion - Wrap-up
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Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course can begin at any time.
How long do I have access to the course?
After enrollment, students have access to the content for 30 days. You determine how fast or slow you want to progress through the course during this time.
Can I share my course with colleagues?
Sorry, course sharing is not allowed. Our Terms of Use specify that one registration fee allows access for just one person. However, we are happy to offer group discounts. Give us a call at (888) 376-0448 to get the details.
Can I get continuing education credits?
Most likely! With prior approval from your school district, participants may receive credit for up to 5 hours of professional development for each course. A Certificate of Completion is provided to participants when they complete all aspects of the course.
Can I earn graduate credit?
Thanks to a partnership with the Midwest Teachers Institute, educators who enroll in two eligible webAcademy courses simultaneously can earn three hours of nationally-accredited graduate credit for just $375. These are non-degree credits which are designed for professional certification renewals and salary step increases. Contact Brady Smekens, Director of Professional Development, for details, (888) 376-0448.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are not satisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 10 days, and we will give you a full refund.
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