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Writing to Win’s three integrated reading-writing routines

for public / private schools

complementary* instructional routines

Applied Grammar’s Sentence Building puzzles ensure your students use the language skills you teach in their independent writing. This routine …

  • Provides precision keyboarding with immediate feedback on capitalization, sentence structure, spelling, and punctuation
  • Impacts writing conventions, writing style, and word choice (up to 62% of the weight of state writing rubrics)
  • Opens students to a variety of language patterns for expressing their thoughts
  • Provides practice with putting sentences together instead of just taking them apart

Online value-add – organizes student work, provides immediate feedback on each puzzle, and produces reports of student performance

In 30-minute lessons twice a week for 18-20 weeks, the impact on grades 1-12 students is evident in class and on end-of-year tests.  <click to see impact data> <click to see an overview video of Applied Grammar online>.

Most schools practice Sentence Building in print (grades 1-2) and online (levels 3-10).

Call 706-850-5854 (EST) to schedule a demonstration of this instructional routine.


*Complementary (to complete or bring to perfection) – instructional routines that help teachers teach what they already teach more efficiently and effectively.

Applied Vocabulary provides vocabulary-building strategies for use in any subject area. This routine …

  • Engages students with openers and closers for productive work sessions
  • Creates “paper trails” of learning in any course of study
  • Logs notes and observations for student reflection and parent conferences
  • Supports formative assessment of student knowledge
  • Provides rubrics for self-assessment and peer responses

Online value-add – provides a variety of writing prompts for all national standards of ELA, math, and science

In 15-minute entries three times a week for 15+ weeks, the impact on grades K-12 students is evident in class and on end-of-year tests. <click to see impact data> <click to see an overview video of Applied Vocabulary online>.

Most schools select a teacher for each grade level to implement a rigorous Applied Vocabulary routine.

Call 706-850-5854 (EST) to schedule a demonstration of this instructional routine.

Applied Reading and Writing guide students responses through the steps of the reading and writing process naturally. This routine …

  • Ensures comprehension of more content-rich texts than students meet on state tests
  • Supports responses to reading texts within the steps of the writing process
  • Moves students to higher levels of reading comprehension
  • Motivates students with authentic, engaging teacher models
  • Nurtures fascination with the role of words that authors choose

In 30 minutes session three times a week for three weeks each nine weeks, students show mastery of the key elements of opinion / argument, informative, or narrative genres. <click to see impact data> <click to see an overview video of Applied Reading and Writing>.

At most schools teachers of grade levels 3-12 use the packets to complete their instruction in the informational, narrative, and opinion / argument genres.

Call 706-850-5854 (EST) to schedule a demonstration of this instructional routine.

APPLIED GRAMMAR ONLINE (grades 3-10, grades 1-2 in print)

Applied Grammar focuses on language maturity, writing style, and language conventions. Students who experience Applied Grammar online have the additional benefit of extensive practice with precision keyboarding.

Applied Grammar: acquiring mature sentence variety

Classroom studies from 1970 – 2016 demonstrate that teaching sentence patterns of Standard American English with sentence combining improves the quality of students’ independent writing. With the help of instructional videos for each grammatical pattern, students acquire the variety of mature sentence patterns needed for distinctive writing. Applied Grammar achieves mastery of each sentence pattern in three ways:

1.        An oral-kinesthetic mini-lesson (6-8 min)

2.        Work session of written practice with a PAL online or in print (12-15 min)

3.        Close for celebration and discussion of the grammatical pattern practiced (5 min).

The instructional tools include

Sentence Building student book

Sentence Building teacher manual

Sentence Building presents 10 levels of practice at increasing levels of maturity. In 30-45 lessons per level, students achieve mastery of all core language standards. Each lesson contains puzzles of simple sentences with signals that prompt students to create standard sentence patterns. When students reach a level of automaticity in creating a sentence pattern, they start using the pattern in their independent writing.

Most importantly, there are no error-ridden sentences for students to correct. They meet only acceptable sentences of Standard Written American English.

My 6th graders love solving the puzzles in Applied Grammar online. The oral-kinesthetic cheers

 became pretty exciting. When they migrated to the keyboard, some of the very best writers

became impatient with keyboarding. I let them return to the student books which

helped them work carefully in pencil. One by one, they started returning to

try the keyboarding again, this time with success. We are seeing the

sentence patterns that they practice show up in their writing.

 –  P. Huddle, Tennessee

Teachers help students complete 2-3 Sentence Building lessons per week. An oral-kinesthetic mini-lesson helps the pattern become automatic for students and the written practice online or in print anchors it in their minds.

Teachers begin with a hard copy of Lesson 1 – Pretest Rewrite Passage – that students complete with pencil and paper. They save them to compare with their Posttest Rewrite Passage at years end.

Note Simple systems in print or online help teachers monitor student progress, assemble reports, and recognize achievements of individual students or classes.

We would love for you to share your successes with Applied Grammar with us at successstories@writingtowin.com. Feel free to include pictures of your students in a group mini-lesson or working with a PAL at a computer.

Strengths of Applied Grammar online

  • engaging sentence-combining puzzles
  • signaled practice with conventions, word choice, and writing style
  • immediate feedback for students
  • instructional videos for each grammatical pattern
  • pretest, periodic written assessments, and posttest for tracking student growth
  • correlation of up to 62% of the weight on state writing rubrics
  • precision keyboarding

Applied Vocabulary

Applied Vocabulary is a system of frequent short writing entries focused on learning the content knowledge of any subject area. Students using Applied Vocabulary online have the additional benefit of extensive practice with composing their thoughts on a keyboard.

Applied Vocabulary: writing for deeper understanding

This writing routine goes beyond quick writes, free-writing responses, or open-ended reflections. Applied Vocabulary does not assume that students already possess productive habits of processing new know­ledge. Instead, proven critical-thinking strategies prompt students to explain what they have learned a different way than they were taught.

These instructional tools for teachers and students make mastering core content standards simple and likely.

Applied Vocabulary, student book

Applied Vocabulary, teacher manual


Applied Vocabulary helps students move new knowledge out

 of short-term memory into long-term memory. It prompts them to think about

new material in different ways, not just hear it and forget it.

– S. Bjornson, South Dakota

Teachers in all schools write along with their students at least three times a week as part of their ELA, math, science, or social studies curriculum. They work their way through the writing strategies one at a time, using a strategy at least 3-5 times before moving on to another. Grades 2-12 start with Strategy G – Copy and Continue. They prompt students to explain the main idea from a lesson such as

The life cycle of a frog moves through four different stages.

Students copy this prompt to kickstart their recall of the lesson taught. They then continue to explain the stages in the life cycle of a frog in their own words. They accurately embed an expected number of key terms in their explanation. Once they self-assess their writing with a rubric, they read it aloud to a PAL who responds with a PAL’s response rubric.

Teachers move on to strategies E (compare-contrast), B (concept acquisition), C (argument / opinion), and L (analogy). These strategies build the students’ academic and content vocabulary and give them confidence in writing thought at DOK 2-4  

Strengths of Applied Vocabulary


  • quantified expectations
  • critical-thinking strategies
  • systematic vocabulary building
  • engaging bell ringers / closers
  • self-assessment and PAL’s rubric
  • teacher commentary feature (online)
  • progress logs for parents and learning leaders (online)


Applied Vocabulary focuses on the content of the curriculum. Students keep a Log of Entries in My Writing to Learn Journal. If students create their own notebooks, they title them My science journal, My learning log for math, or My social studies notebook.

After a year of Applied Vocabulary, students are practiced critical thinkers and fluent writers about important subjects, events, issues, and beliefs that benefit them throughout their college and career.

We would love for you to share your successes with Applied Vocabulary with us at successstories@writingtowin.com. Feel free to include pictures of your students writing with a PAL or working in groups with you.

Applied Reading and Writing

These packets are useful as baseline assessments of students level of  reading and writing proficiency for each writing genre. They help teachers use groups of 2-6 students for differentiated instruction. They also serve summative assessment at the end of the study of a writing genre. They are especially useful in states that administer open-ended writing prompts as part of year-end tests.

Learning leaders plan with teachers to set aside three-week blocks in September, November, January, and March to guide students through a Paired Texts Packet.

Applied Reading and Writing: embedding reading comprehension into the writing process

These packets of reading comprehension and writing tasks provide concrete and practical guidance for students. They guide them in analyzing and writing full-essay responses to content-rich reading texts. Four writing modules in the teacher’s manual ensure that students grow as readers and writers – setup, prewriting, revision, and evaluation.

A pacing guide helps teachers lead their students through three 30-minute sessions each week for three weeks each nine weeks. In each session, students work with PALs to practice reading, writing, listening, and speaking with intention.

There are four Paired Texts Packets for each grade, 3-12. Three informational texts expand the power standards of science or social studies. A narrative text reinforces ELA reading / literature standards. In all four packets, students practice writing in argument / opinion, informational, and narrative genres. <hyperlink to master list of paired texts for 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12>

Writing to Win Applied Reading and Writing, student edition

Writing to Win Applied Reading and Writing, teacher edition

Writing to Win Applied Reading and Writing, teacher manual


The paired texts are challenging and engaging, just what I was looking for. My students

met the challenge, embraced the PAL system, and helped each other think through

the reading tasks. It’s great how the format for the reading and writing tasks are

consistent from packet to packet. My students are the best prepared for

 end-of-grade tests that I have ever seen in the last 6 years.

P. Williams, Georgia

Strengths of Applied Reading and Writing


  • age-appropriate, content-rich texts
  • 14 key terms for students to use as they write
  • differentiated reading tasks for tracking students’ growth as readers
  • model writing for each reading task and writing prompt
  • writing modules for prereading, prewriting, revision, and evaluation.


With Applied Reading and Writing, teachers focus on empowering students to work as PALs (peer-assisted learning system). Together PALs analyze a pair of reading texts thoroughly and help each other use the writing process to craft insightful responses.

After two or more Paired Texts Packets, students comprehend texts above grade-level expectations and write extended responses with ideas supported by evidence from reading texts.

By year’s end students are proud of their four extended responses to paired texts.

We would love for you and your students to share their successes with Applied Reading and Writing successstories@writingtowin.com. Feel free to include pictures of your students, their writing, or both!




In the summer following each academic years, learning leaders promote students to the next grade level on Writing to Win online. They provide pro­fessional development training for new teachers, using the Dashboard of Teacher Resources as www.writingtowin.com. The Writing to Win team is on call at 706-850-5854 or office@writingtowin.com to help organize and support professional development sessions.

Teachers help students continue the positive momentum established through the three phases of the Marzano Academies implementation. The three integrated reading-writing routines begin as follows.

In the first days of the next year, teachers re-launch Applied Vocabulary (M, W, F). In week 4, they restart Applied Grammar online (T, H).

They set aside three-week blocks in September, November, January, and March to help students move through each of the four Paired Texts Packets per grade level.

With conscientious leadership, all students renew the integrated reading-writing practices with ease; students new to the learning center fall into step; after all, the Writing to Win instructional routines are the simplest and most friendly way for them to learn.

Click on a Writing to Win routine for more descriptive details.

Using our three Writing to Win routines only requires home learners to have an internet connection, a device with a keyboard, and user name and password to access assignments on a Writing to Win online classroom. 

Parents in the first two groups contact their local school district for access, assignments, and reports. Parents in the last group purchase access at www.writingtowin.com  and follow the procedures on the website dashboard for using all webinars, videos, and instructional tools that make the routine work for their students.

If you are in search of access to home learning options, check out our Writing to Win routines for teaching your students at home no matter the circumstance!

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