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About Us

Who we are and
how we got here
Writing to Win's evidence-based learning practices boost significant higher student achievement and greater engagement in all subjects. We grow teacher capacity by establishing model classrooms in each school with online and onsite training.

Writing to Win is an established research and evidence-based school improvement provider to K-12 public and private schools and homeschool associations since 1986. The progress of students we serve is measured on state tests. Our three instructional routines –  Applied Grammar, Applied Vocabulary, and Paired Texts Packets – show a consistently positive impact on student achievement in combination or standalone.

Recent definitive research in writing, Writing Next, identifies 11 effective writing practices that blend reading into writing practices. Click here to see the full correlation between the three Writing to Win routines and Writing Next recommendations.

A positive and engaging learning environment in every classroom

Classrooms using Writing to Win instructional routines are developed with intention. Student materials (Applied Grammar, Applied Vocabulary, or Paired Texts Packets) are positioned for ease of access. Students know what to do when they enter their classrooms and are eager to engage in a day of learning. Teachers follow a Writing to Win pacing guide. Online resources spring into action with a click on the computer. Projected writing prompts activate or close the work sessions. Self-assessment and peer-response rubrics guide student responses to the quality of their own writing and that of their PALs.

Exemplary teaching and learning in every classroom

Teachers see writing as the ultimate differentiator for learning. Students work with the Writing to Win tools in a group-assigned tasks to report to the rest of the class. They eagerly participate whole-group in oral-kinesthetic mini-lessons (Applied Grammar online). They read their writing aloud to a PAL and cite evidence to support their self-assessment (Applied Vocabulary). They assume the task as spotters who analyze and report the role of key terms in reading texts (Paired Texts Packets). Teachers practice small-group conferencing and facilitating student progress.

An emphasis on purpose in learning

With every writing task, students understand the purpose of their writing for specific audiences – a small group, whole class, the class next-door, or a special person that they choose. Students write with engagement since their audience provides rubric-based responses. Their narratives entertain, surprise, or provoke empathy. Their informational essays intrigue or marvel as they explain content-rich texts. Their argument / opinion writing compels readers to agree, rethink, or act. In student-centered learning and specific reading-writing tasks, students take the lead in their learning. As they write they show what they understand and misunderstand about course standards.

Writing to Win solutionWriting to Win titleImproved student achievement
Applied Grammar (online / print)Sentence Building, levels 1-10 End-of-grade ELA tests; end-of-grade and end-of-course tests of written expression; benchmark writing tests
Applied Vocabulary (online / print)Applied Vocabulary, gr K-12Benchmark tests, end-of-grade and end-of-course tests, ELA, math, science, social studies, CTAE
Paired Texts Packets (print)Paired Texts Packets, gr 3-12Tests of reading comprehension and constructed and extended responses to texts

Our Partners

Our Writing to Win Team

Warren E. Combs
Warren E. Combs
Founder of Writing to Win
Dr. Combs began his career in teaching and learning with his dissertation that defined a paradigm shift in the teaching of English grammar. With systematic sentence-combining practice, 7th graders wrote essays typical of high school juniors. Later studies verified that sentence combining improved scores of reading comprehension and written expression for students from gifted to special education. In Applied Grammar online, Dr. Combs compiled sentence-combining lessons that cover all K-12 language standards. Classroom action data shows that this routine ensures that students use the language patterns they are taught in their writing.

With this paradigm shift in place, Dr. Combs saw two more needs. For the first of these, he developed a system of frequent short writing for building the vocabulary of math, science, and social studies. Writing on Demand online solves the problem of learning and retaining core content. For the second, he developed Paired Texts Packets to ensure that students used the steps of the writing process to respond to content-rich texts with ease and insight. These three instructional routines fully integrate reading and writing from the level of words to sentences to full texts.

In his career, Dr. Combs has taught at several universities from Washington state to Georgia. As an author of three best-selling professional development books, nine Writing to Win titles, and multiple journal articles, he has spoken at conferences across the U.S. Dr. Combs champions the Writing to Win core values of integrity and communication.

Taylor E. Combs
Taylor E. Combs
Director of Instructional Technology
Mr. Combs is a former neuroscience research assistant as part of his studies at the University of Georgia in Athens. His research with Dr. James Brown investigated vision processing. Although in working with Writing to Win, he became most interested in childhood learning and development. He loves watching students in the demonstration classes engage in applying grammar lessons. It brings great satisfaction to see reluctant learners come into the rhythm of writing and learning by the close of a lesson.

Taylor is a contributing author of Writing to Win Paired Texts Packet for grades 6-12. As a Writing to Win trainer, he works with all levels of students and teachers. He enjoys using the routines to introduce 3rd graders to the U.S. Constitution just as much as 8th graders to genetic inheritance or 12th graders to models of human learning.

He contributes much to the development of Writing to Win’s online instructional routines. He takes the lead producing interactive videos for professional development, and specific instructional strategies. The team recognizes his contribution of the core value of creativity.

Arnelle Combs
Arnelle Combs
Copy Editor and Project Coordinator
Arnelle Norwood Combs taught elementary school where she excelled at her adaptation of the Glasser Classroom Meeting model. There she honed a unique ability to motivate and inspire students without coercion or cheerleading. That gift she brought to the Writing to Win team, especially in the recent transition from print to digital media. She is especially adept at making Writing to Win materials teacher and student friendly. She is the project coordinator for the team and has directed several projects like the Our Planning Packet - a leader's guide. She keeps the team’s core value of humor and enjoyment in the forefront of our work together.
April Turner
April Turner
Dr. Combs Administrative Assistant, Customer Service, and Marketing Outreach
April Turner comes to the Writing to Win team from a local printing company where she was front office manager. There she handled all the printing and order fulfillment for Writing to Win. She was the obvious choice for the team once it required a person full time. She continues to handle order fulfillment and customer service for the team. The team finds her indispensable with formatting all texts that guide leaders, teachers, and parents in using our interactive orientation videos. Perseverance is the core value April brings to the team daily.