The Writing Connections’ tools and strategies actively engage students in writing organized, sophisticated sentences, which include academic language, voice, and vivid descriptions, while always staying on topic. Also, language is the critical key to this writing process. Second Language Learners, Resource Students, General Education Students, and Gifted and Talented Students all benefit by actively reaching their highest potential through constant vocabulary building and oral language practice.
This unique and dynamic program utilizes five basic organizers. Students learn one organizer at a time as they move through the different levels of writing from sentences to 1 paragraph and 2-3 paragraphs, and finally the 5-paragraph essay, regardless of whether the genre, is narrative or expository.Too often, I observe students trying to learn a new graphic organizer for every genre introduced. What has become clear to me, after my years of classroom experience, is that an excessive number of organizers do not provide scaffolding or support; instead, they only become overwhelming obstacles in the writing process. The elements of good writing, not mastering a new organizer, must be the focus during instruction.
Additional issues are two different parts of the same puzzle: How to assess the levels of student writing, and establishing a schoolwide common language when discussing student work. This program provides the Levels of Writing Assessment (LWA), which identifies each student’s instructional writing level with specific teaching points. The LWA has five writing levels that span from kindergarten to sixth grade, so a schoolwide master plan may be implemented with specifically designed strategies, goals, and objectives for every student and for every grade level.
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