Read our December 2017 Newsletter here!
WritetoLearn™ by Pearson - Click here to view the brochure
WriteToLearn™ (WTL) is a fully automated online literacy tool for building writing skills and developing reading comprehension for students in grades 4-12. Feedback is aligned to either College and Career Ready Standards (the Core) or the 6-Traits of Writing, both of which provide excellent support to students for editing their work and to teachers for planning instruction. WTL feedback is immediate, ongoing, and related to the meaning of the text they have written. This feedback related to the meaning of the text makes WriteToLearn™ unique; in addition, as do many programs, WriteToLearn™ offers feedback in conventions - mechanics (spelling, punctuation, capitalization), usage, and sentence structure.
This innovative web-based program offers three activities for improving literacy skills:
- Summary Writing to develop reading comprehension
- Vocabulary exercises to expand word knowledge and improve reading comprehension
- Essay Writing to build writing skills
What is best practice in Writing Instruction?
There's an old saying that suggests what gets measured gets done. In Iowa we are required to measure reading, math, and science and as a result, in many schools, those disciplines get the lion’s share of attention. Though the stakes are high for schools in the content areas reported and no one wants to be on “the list,” the stakes are at least as high for our students who have limited writing skills, a content area that is NOT required to be assessed in Iowa. Students with underdeveloped writing skills will not only have trouble mastering writing assignments in higher education, but also struggle to garner well-paying jobs, both white and blue collar, and may never be promoted should they be hired. Writing is critical to success in college and careers, and it is up to all of us to make sure students leave school with well-developed writing skills.
View our March/April Issue of the School Improvement Booster to learn more about the importance of writing in schools.
Teacher Time and Student Writing
Jeff Pence, a middle school teacher in Georgia, shares information about his use of WriteToLearn™ and how it elevated his ability to assign more writing and for students to receive the kind of feedback that would help them move forward in their writing performance. Teaching writing has always been a tricky balancing act for teachers. Between lesson planning, classroom instruction, grading, and living your life, there are only so many hours in the day, and there’s a very real limit to how much writing practice a teacher can assign. Here’s what Jeff Pence did in the 2014-15 school year.
Jeff serves 129 writing students per school day.
Each of those students completed 33 essays and summaries.
The average number of drafts for each of the 33 assignments that were submitted and scored was 6.
That means that 25,542 drafts were thoroughly evaluated and returned to students with specific feedback and absolute consistency.
- Jeff did the math and realized that if he had hand scored each of those drafts for 2 hours each day, it would have taken him 9 years without a day off to score them all.
As usual, ISFIS will provide extensive training and support to schools who subscribe to this new service.
Madeline Will notes CCSS and SBAC both demand more writing, and teachers need more support. Click Here to read the full article.
WriteToLearn is now a winner of the Best of Show award from the 2016 ISTE Conference, one of the country's largest education in technology conferences!