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Sunday, February 26, 2017

I enjoyed reading this article about teaching basics in writing - across content areas - at the high school level. It has good information and references a strong instructional program, Writing is Thinking through Strategic Inquiry. Schools that have used it, have found that it accelerates writing for all of their students. Below, I have provided links for those of you who would like further information on the writing program. Enjoy.Courtesy of Mind/Shift.



  Doing things the write way | United Federation of Teachers

WITsi Newsletter - Long Island City High School




Is It Time To Go Back To The Basics With Writing Instruction?
To the average high school teacher, spending a semester on sentence-level exercises that are heavily scaffolded seems easy and boring. But Nell Scharff Panero said that when teachers try taking instruction back to basics using what she calls "progressive mastery," they see big improvements in the quality of both thinking and writing. She finds that students can meet high school expectations when teachers slow down to show them how to write well.

Dan Scanlon, principal of John Adams High School in New York, said it was difficult for his staff to acknowledge that pointing fingers at students wasn't going to improve performance. Instead, the staff had to accept the reality of where their students were at and try something new and different for most of the high school teachers. Because John Adams has been a low-achieving school for a long time and has been designated a Renewal School, teachers ultimately had no choice. The whole staff got trained in the writing strategies, called Writing is Thinking through Strategic Inquiry (WITsi), and learned how to apply them to their content areas.

"We have better teacher practice because of their implementation of WIT and that has improved performance on Regents exams," said Joanna Cohen, a vice-principal at John Adams. School administrators chose to implement writing across the curriculum because they began to see that many of the gaps in writing knowledge also pointed to fundamental abilities to express relationships. Using "so" correctly in a sentence, for example, indicates causality, an idea that's just as important in math and science as it is in more writing-intensive disciplines like social studies and English.


NOTE: Learn more at:How Progressive Mastery Works 
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