Constructed Responses for Learning

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Grades 1-10

Teaching students to write constructed responses does not have to become a test-prep chore. An intentional routine of constructed responses provides powerful opportunities to teach strategic thinking through writing that also deepens students’ knowledge about core subjects. In this clear guide from education consultant Warren Combs, you’ll learn how and why to teach students to write these short essays, no matter what subject or grade level you teach.




Meet the Author

Section 1 – The Rush to Constructed Responses

Chapter 1 – Constructed Responses for Assessment and Learning

Chapter 2 – The Five Key Practices of Constructed Responses for Learning

Chapter 3 – An Interactive Log of Constructed Responses

Section 2 – Critical-Thinking Strategies that Fine-Tune Constructed Responses for
                      Emerging and Independent Writers

Chapter 4 – Something on the Page that Helps You Remember What You Were Thinking

Chapter 5 – Free Writing Rigorous Thought

Chapter 6 – Recalling Knowledge as Chunks in Writing

Chapter 7 – Sharpening Understanding of Closely Related Words

Chapter 8 – Arriving in a World of Analogies

Chapter 9 – From General to Specific

Chapter 10 – Analyzing for Meaning

Chapter 11 – Prepping for Arguments

Section 3 – An Ultimate Learning Routine

Chapter 12 – Putting it All Together

Chapter 13 – Launching a Parting Shot



5 reviews for Constructed Responses for Learning

  1. Deborah Paine, Professor of Education, Valdosta State University, Georgia

    In “Constructed Responses for Learning,” Dr. Combs reveals the power of writing as the ultimate learning tool. His vast knowledge of working with teachers on how to successfully engage students in a writing routine is evident in this work. Teachers and their students will greatly benefit from using the cogent techniques and guidelines presented in this book.

  2. Donna Knight, 5th Grade Teacher, Woodstation Elementary School, Rock Spring, Georgia

    Combs has provided teachers with an exceptional methodology for students to analyze, explain, and respond to their learning. Having used many of these strategies, I can verify that his journaling techniques allow students of varying abilities to exemplify deeper knowledge and attain confidence in their speaking and writing skills. Students self-assess their work using a simplified symbol system that provides immediate feedback for both the student and teacher.

  3. Staci Haag, Language Arts Instructor, Dakota Valley High School, North Sioux City, South Dakota

    The journal strategies in this book not only promote deep thinking and analysis skills, but also allow students to meet the Common Core State Standards in an insightful way. The teacher can easily implement the strategies in any subject area.

  4. Shannah Mabry, Instructional Support Specialist, Greenville, Georgia

    Constructed Responses for Learning provides a consistent approach to teaching students how to compose short written responses, which are supported by key content vocabulary, participation in student-centered academic conversations, and self-assessment. Teachers and students can use the constructed responses to determine student mastery of standards, leading to data-driven decisions during instructional planning. These strategies will raise the expectations and rigor for student thinking in any classroom in which they are implemented.

  5. Debra Lawrence

    As a 4th-grade math and science teacher, these strategies gave me a way to bring writing into my classroom with little fuss. The kids said the prompts were like puzzles and fun to figure out, especially the Quad Cluster. I will use them always.

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