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Paired Texts Packets

Paired Texts
Packets that differentiate reading comprehension tasks and provide teacher models for all written response.

What are Paired Texts Packets?

Writing to Win Paired Texts Packets are a literacy solution that fully integrates reading and writing activities in three 30-minute sessions over three weeks. In weeks 1-2, teachers may differentiate among four levels of reading comprehension – literal, inferential, evaluative, and applied reading to document comprehension of each text. In week 3, teachers move students through the writing process in citing evidence from both texts to support their ideas about why the texts were paired.

 Paired Texts Packets distinguish themselves from other paired texts in their consistent use of instructional tools and strategies across grade levels 3-12.

    • Lesson plans that incorporate listening, reading, speaking, and writing in each lesson
    • Reading texts more content-rich than those on state tests
    • A peer-assisted learning system (PALS) for student-centered learning
    • Setup Module for effective pre-reading of each text
    • Prewriting Module for choosing an appropriate advance organizer
    • Revision Module for choosing helpful revision strategies
    • Evaluation Module for student-friendly analytic rubrics.

The research of John Hattie reports the highly significant effect size of two aspects of Writing to Win Paired Texts Packets

    • systematic vocabulary study ( + 0.67)
    • instructional tools for planning, revising, and editing ( + 0.44).

Clients using the packets posted significant gains in the numbers of students whose writing exceeded expectations on state tests of extended writing in grades 3-11.

Once my students completed the first W2Win Paired Texts Packet, they approached the second with confidence. After the packets was complete, I heard, “We’re getting another packet, right?”  I now use the practice of whole-group Word Study when I start a new unit of study in both social studies and science. – F. Norquist, 4th grade teacher


Research and Evidence

Writing to Win Paired Texts Packets have become the proven link between the study of paired texts and double-digit growth on Milestones ELA and Writing components.

Teachers and instructional leaders love:

  • how seamlessly the packets integrate reading comprehension and the writing process
  • double-digit gains on Milestones ELA and writing, grades 3-12
  • how students are eager to “do another green packet.”

Paired Texts Packets are the preference of the Marzano Academies. Marzanoacademies.org is a growing network of competency-based learning centers and partnership schools that includes Writing to Win instructional solutions as a defining feature.

The slide presents spring 2019 achievement scores on Georgia Milestones assessment ELA (reading comprehension, vocabulary, and open-ended writing tasks). The green bar in Figure 1 presents the percent of students who completed 2 Paired Texts Packets and scored a 3 (proficient learner) or 4 (distinguished writer) on Milestones extended writing.

Data are from JE Bacon ES (Wayne County), William James MS (Bulloch County), and Bainbridge High School (Decatur County). The Paired Texts Packets (green bar) moved student achievement above the state average for the first time in recent years for all 3 schools. Note also how the 38% increase in number of proficient and distinguished writers impacted the double-digit rise for grade 9 students.

Check this – In gr 8, 39 or 93% of remedial students scored 1 (beginning writer) out of 4 points on an end-of-course test. In gr 9 with 4 Paired Texts Packets completed, only 11 or 26% of them scored 1, 16 or 38% scored 2 (developing writer), 11 or 26% scored 3 (proficient writer), and 1 or 2.5% scored 4 (distinguished writer). That’s the kind of data that makes us feel certain that Writing to Win Paired Texts make a difference with all students.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are Writing to Win Paired Texts Assessment Packets better than other available options?

Because Writing to Win Paired Texts Packets 1) guide students through the reading process at differentiated levels of reading comprehension, 2) move student responses through each step of the writing process, and 3) provide model written responses throughout.


Do Writing to Win Paired Texts Packets easily integrate with state content standards?

Absolutely! Every detail of Writing to Win Paired Texts Packets serves to connect the dots among the instructional strands of a curriculum. The reading texts align to power or priority standards of reading, science, and social studies. All written responses require two or more sentences. Every session in the pacing guides includes all four language arts – listening, reading, speaking, and writing.


How do Writing to Win Paired Texts Packets impact students as learners?

We see three notable changes. Once students complete four Writing to Win Paired Texts Packets, they 1) begin to think critically about what they read, 2) show a greater understanding of the writing process, and 3) increase their desire to challenge themselves as readers and writers.


How do Writing to Win Paired Texts Packets impact the class environment?

We see three notable changes: 1) productive small-group sessions that integrate listening, reading, speaking and writing, 2) students assessing their writing with rubrics and 3) responding to the writing of peers with response strategies.


Will it be easy to introduce Writing to Win Paired Texts Packets to my students?

Indeed. You simply follow our pacing guide with the first packet that you use. The 3-12 teachers who piloted our Introducing Paired Texts Packets guide gave it an “extremely student friendly” rating.


Do Writing to Win Paired Texts Packets help me see how my students grow as readers?

For sure. Every packet provides tasks for literal, inferential, evaluative, and applied reading comprehension. It is simple to track students’ progress through these four levels.


Do the texts in the Writing to Win Paired Texts Packets prepare students for reading texts they meet on end-of-year tests?

Indeed. Our content-rich texts are written at the upper level of the Lexile band for each grade. They include seven academic and content-specific vocabulary terms in each passage.


Do Writing to Win Paired Texts Packets give students practice in all three writing genres?

Yes they do. For students in each grade, Paired Texts Packets prompt them to write in argument / opinion, informational, and narrative genre.


Do the Paired Texts Packets really improve students’ extended responses to texts?

They sure do. Writing to Win Paired Texts Packets relieve the test-taking anxiety of composing responses to texts. Students practice precisely what they are prompted to do on the day of the test.