UNDERSTANDINGS: writing to learn core standards

This routine goes beyond quick writes, free-writing responses and open-ended reflections on short and extended reading texts. It empowers students to become confident and productive writers as they analyze and respond to reading texts. For example, Writing to Win UNDERSTANDINGS does not assume that students already write rigorous journal entries. Instead, it prompts students to use a tested critical-thinking journal strategy each time they write.

Here are the instructional tools for teachers and students that make mastering core content standards with UNDERSTANDINGS possible.

"This routine pushes students to move the information out of short term and into long term memory by presenting the opportunity to use and work with the new material, not just hear it and forget it." -Middle School teacher

Primary

A teacher manual guides you through introducing and implementing the 22 critical-thinking strategies in your classroom. Use these strategies to create a community of learners who write as a way to learn core content standards. These strategies help all classes solidify and boost learning in every content area; math, science, social studies and ELA.

Twenty-two critical-thinking strategies

  • A. What I Thought You Taught
  • B. Acrostic Vocabulary
  • C. Either…Or
  • D. Focused Free Writing
  • E. Quad Cluster
  • F. Memory Sentence
  • G. Copy and Continue
  • H. Change the tense/number/point of view
  • I. Admit Slip
  • J. Sentence Expansion
  • K. Free Writing
  • L. Analogy
  • M. Response to Literature
  • N. Remember Game
  • O. Story Reporting
  • P. Framed Stories
  • Q. Sentence Dictation
  • R. Sentence Stems
  • S. Rewrite Passage
  • T. Spelling Word Stories
  • U. Slotting
  • V. Sentence Combining

Elementary

A teacher manual guides you through introducing and implementing the 12 critical-thinking strategies in your classroom. Use these strategies to create a community of learners who write as a way to learn core content standards. These strategies help all classes solidify and boost learning in every content area; math, science, social studies and ELA.

Twelve critical-thinking strategies

  • A. What I Thought You Taught
  • B. Acrostic Vocabulary
  • C. Either…Or
  • D. Focused Free Writing
  • E. Quad Cluster
  • F. Memory Sentence
  • G. Copy and Continue
  • H. Change the tense/number/point of view
  • I. Admit Slip
  • J. Sentence Expansion
  • K. Free Writing
  • L. Analogy
 

Middle School

A teacher manual guides you through introducing and implementing the 12 critical-thinking strategies in your classroom. Use these strategies to create a community of learners who write as a way to learn core content standards. These strategies help all classes solidify and boost learning in every content area; math, science, social studies and ELA.

Twelve critical-thinking strategies

  • A. What I Thought You Taught
  • B. Acrostic Vocabulary
  • C. Either…Or
  • D. Focused Free Writing
  • E. Quad Cluster
  • F. Memory Sentence
  • G. Copy and Continue
  • H. Change the tense/number/point of view
  • I. Admit Slip
  • J. Sentence Expansion
  • K. Free Writing
  • L. Analogy
 

High School

A teacher manual guides you through introducing and implementing the 12 critical-thinking strategies in your classroom. Use these strategies to create a community of learners who write as a way to learn core content standards. These strategies help all classes solidify and boost learning in every content area; math, science, social studies, ELA, CTAE and the humanities.

Twelve critical-thinking strategies

  • A. What I Thought You Taught
  • B. Acrostic Vocabulary
  • C. Either…Or
  • D. Focused Free Writing
  • E. Quad Cluster
  • F. Memory Sentence
  • G. Copy and Continue
  • H. Change the tense/number/point of view
  • I. Admit Slip
  • J. Sentence Expansion
  • K. Free Writing
  • L. Analogy