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Assessing Writing Without Grading

Over the next several weeks, OnCUE will be introducing readers to some of the presenters who will be showcased up in Sacramento at this year’s Fall CUE Conference. These presenters want to give you a teaser of what to expect at their session – and hopefully inspire you to join them! Read on to hear from them – in their own words – about their passions, stories, and areas of expertise.

Currently I am an ELA Teacher Leader in Vallejo City Unified. In this new position I hope to bring the focus to literacy across content and support teachers and students in all that they do. Previous to my experience here in Vallejo, I was Technology Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) in the Woodland Joint Unified School District. There I supported K-12 with the integration of technology into the educational setting. I left the high school classroom after ten years of teaching to begin working with educators as learners; however, I spent the majority of my time in K-6 classrooms supporting teachers and students as we navigated the challenges and successes that educational technology can offer. While in the classroom, I taught English, theatre, AVID, ELD, and ran the English Language Learner program. I am a recent graduate of CSU Monterey Bay with a Master’s of Science in Instructional Design and Technology. Not only did I study instructional pedagogy, but I also had the chance to master media arts as part of the program. Clearly my passion for technology is a large part of whatever I do! 

In my Fall CUE session, “Assessing Writing without Grading Essays,” I hope to break the traditional bindings of writing instruction and introduce new ways to assess the same skills without grading 100 essays. Skills-based writing assessments are a game changer! We will use technology to enhance student engagement (and grading ease) and learn how to really dive deep into teaching writing skills and assessment. These skills will help support ELD students, struggling learners, and advanced learners alike. Each task is easily differentiated for the various types of learners one might have in a class at any given time. With these skills, teachers can truly begin to facilitate learning and allow the students to reach higher standards.

Join Crystala Button on Sunday, October 20th from 10:15-11:15am in H114 for her session, “Assessing Writing Without Grading Essays.”


Crystala Button currently works as an ELA Teacher Leader in Vallejo City Unified School District in Vallejo, CA. She is a recent graduate of CSU Monterey Bay with a Masters of Science in Instructional Design and Technology and utilizes her skills in supporting ELD students, struggling learners, and advanced students alike. You can find her on Twitter at @lilbuttonbutton.

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Kristin Oropeza

Kristin Oropeza is currently a TK-5th Grade Technology TOSA in Southern California. She holds a masters in special education and has worked in public education for over 10 years. Kristin also serves as a director on the CUE Los Angeles board and acts as their Communications Editor. Find her on Twitter @KristinOropeza.

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