The Writing to Win model for teaching and learning challenges students to think critically and take an active roles in their learning through writing. The use of our learning routines are resulting in higher achievement and greater engagement in school.
What you can expect as a Writing to Win school?
A positive and engaging learning environment in every classroom
Writing to Win classrooms focus on learning every day in every class from start to finish. Constructed response entries shore up instruction at teachable moments: they activate lessons, anchor summary points or bring work sessions or tasks in projects to a close. Armed with specific PALS (peer-assisted learning systems) strategies, students respond to the quality of each other’s writing, and student self-assessment insures that students take responsibility for their learning.
Exemplary teaching and learning in every classroom
Teachers trained in the Writing to Win routines see writing and their students in a new light. They realize writing is the ultimate differentiator. As all subgroups of students use the Writing to Win tools and employ the strategies, they drive the learning in their classes. Teachers can then spend time and effort on small-group conferencing and on coaching, facilitating and tracking student progress, all hallmarks of exemplary teaching.
An emphasis on purpose in learning
With every writing task, students respond to an assigned purpose or identify a purpose for their writing. They may aim to master academic standards, present new knowledge for an audience, or persuade their readers to take action. In expeditionary tasks, student writing documents their progress toward their stated goals. In a Montessori classroom, writing solidifies student ownership of new tasks that the student has selected. In a more traditional learning environments, writing shows students and teachers what they understand and misunderstand about course standards.
Rising expectations for all students
As teachers hold to the five key practices of writing-based learning, students rise to the challenge. For each assigned writing task, teachers
- quantify their expectations
- provide model writing for students to follow
- guide student choices as they write
- prompt students with concrete strategies for responding to the quality of peer writing
- empower students with a simple self-assessment rubric.
Our action research studies shows that these 5 key practices grow confident, independent writers. Achievement gaps for English language learners and for Hispanic, African-American, low-income and special needs students disappear.