Teaching the Steps to Writing
Instead of focusing on arbitrary grade level requirements, our approach incorporates the use of nine Levels of Writing that guide students in any grade from one sentence responses to multi-paragraph essays. In other words, Writing with Design gives teachers and students the flexibility to start where students can be successful with writing and builds the structure and style from there. We meet students where they are and take them where they need to go. This approach has led to record increases on assessments.
Our three Stages of Instruction, which gradually increase students’ autonomy of their writings, affords teachers the ability to model and guide students as much or as little as needed as they learn writing techniques and strategies.
Teaching the Structure of Writing
To teach the structure of each type of writing, we offer specific visual diagrams or Mind Designs, that are used as the planning stage for pieces of writing. The Mind Designs not only guide students as they build the structure of their writing, but also provide direction as to what types of content will create the most impressive piece of writing. The Designs offer teachers a quick and easy way to monitor the direction students are going in for their writing and make refinement and revision much more enjoyable for students.
Teaching the Style of Writing
Our resources go beyond just telling what should be included in each section of writing (body paragraphs, closings, etc.) to providing specific ideas and examples. We know that showing students, instead of telling them, what to do and providing stellar examples is much more powerful and meaningful.
So, for example, rather than telling students to “share the take away message of your piece in your closing” for an informational piece, in our resources on closings, we provide a number of ways to do just that: choose three memorable points from the body of your writing that encapsulate the overall message, reference back to the strategy you used in the opening, make a comparison that highlights the most important point of your writing…The list goes on and on.
We do all this while still remaining steadfast to our focus on quality, critical thinking, and creativity.