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Applied Vocabulary

Vocabulary building of course standards

WHY Applied Vocabulary is the
way to build content vocabulary!


It’s engaging!

Prompts in each lesson guide students to write with confidence

It’s proficiency based!

Students move from proficiency level 0 to 3 in just weeks

It’s trackable!

Students leave a trail of mastering key course vocabulary

It’s data informed!

Students completing 3+ lessons / week post significant gains

Applied Vocabulary is a vocabulary-building
system for mastering course standards.

Teachers use critical-thinking strategies to prompt short written responses as lesson activators or closes. Students begin analyzing class lessons or reading texts and explaining what they have learned with confidence.

  • 6-12 vocabulary-building strategies
  • Writing prompts for core standards in ELA and math
  • Writing prompts for national science and social studies standards
  • Teacher writing models, student exemplars, and sample writing prompts
  • Instructional tools for supporting and tracking teacher practices and student progress

Online interactive videos for training teachers and teaching the first lesson

Applied Vocabulary consistently delivers double-digit gains on end-of-year tests of knowledge in CTAE, ELA, math, science, and social studies. Writing Next, the national report of strategies that improve writing, explains why: studies of writing for content learning post an effect size of + .35 (+ .10 is significant).



Evidence from our client schools documents growth compared with two years prior and the state average after 15 weeks of writing three entries per week.

  • A rural elementary school posted scores above the state average for the first time.

  • An urban middle school reported double the number of students who met grade level expectations

  • A suburban high school posted 11% gains in number of students meeting grade level expectations


Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Writing to Win Applied Vocabulary so effective?

A daily routine of analyzing, assessing, and recapping what they have learned in daily lessons benefits students in two ways. They take ownership of what you teach and retain it long after it helps them pass a unit test.


What about the impact that Writing to Win Applied Vocabulary has on class environment?

Positive changes show up almost immediately. Our critical-thinking strategies help all students understand more clearly what you are teaching. When you prompt short writing to activate a class, students’ minds leave events in the hallway and quickly focus on the depths of knowledge about your daily lessons.


Does Writing to Win Applied Vocabulary impact student performance on tests of math, reading, science, and social studies?

It does. Applied Vocabulary ensures that students master the vocabulary in any course of study. Math, reading, science, and social studies for sure. Yet, we’ve seen significant gains in tests of knowledge in courses as varied as Algebra, Business Management, Art History, foreign languages, and ROTC.


Will Writing to Win Applied Vocabulary help my students identify and explain the topics they write about?

Certainly. Teachers report increased student participation and insight in class discussions. Data from our action research reports documents increased student scores on state tests of knowledge.


Does Writing to Win Applied Vocabulary give students practice in all three writing genres?

Without a doubt. Specific writing strategies provide students practice in creating 1) logical arguments, 2) strong narratives, or 3) detailed informational entries.


Does Writing to Win Applied Vocabulary include a pacing guide for use?

Yes it does. Writing to Win Applied Vocabulary includes a complete teacher’s manual with explanations of each critical-thinking strategy. It includes teacher models, student exemplars, and suggested teacher expectations.


What makes the Writing to Win Applied Vocabulary online better than the print edition?

It makes your teaching life easier. For every Writing to Win Applied Vocabulary prompt you assign, the computer projects your expectations, key terms, your model entry, and an online rubric for your students to use on their own writing and that of an assigned PAL. It also collects student work and creates reports to use with parents or administrators.


Will it be easy to introduce Writing to Win Applied Vocabulary to my students?

Remarkably easy. Independent reviews of Writing to Win Applied Vocabulary describe it as straightforward in design and intuitive in use.


Does Writing to Win Applied Vocabulary promote the proven power of nonfiction writing?

It does. Many of the Writing to Win Applied Vocabulary prompts give students practice with argument, informational, and narrative techniques that nonfiction authors rely on when they write.