Delivering an Effective Writing Programme
This ebook resource will be an overview of what needs to be in an effective writing programme and what teachers need to know and do in order to be effective teachers of writing. It will be based on a belief that teachers can make a difference for all students, regardless of their level of ability.
It will be comprised of:
- School and classroom guidelines for effective practice
- Extended video clips and scenarios of effective practice in action
- Links to resources and research
- Reflective questions for teachers
- Professional readings for leaders and teachers
It will be divided into the following sections:
- Introduction: what the resource is all about and how to use it.
- Teacher Knowledge: what knowledge about writing teachers must hold.
- Expectations for Achievement: holding and communicating high expectations.
- Scheduling: how often should students be writing?
- Purposes and Audiences: coverage of purposes and text-types over time.
- Topic and Task Selection: choosing purposeful and engaging topics and tasks for writing.
- Teaching Approaches and Routines: what teaching approaches and routines should teachers use?
- Instructional Strategies: what instructional strategies should teachers use?
- Goal Orientation: deciding on and using learning goals and success criteria.
- Grouping: ways of differentiating for student learning in writing.
- Assessment: using formative and summative assessment in the writing programme.
- Literacy Across the Curriculum: writing in other curriculum areas.
- Reading-Writing Links: linking writing to reading in the literacy programme.
- Spelling: the role of spelling in the writing programme.
- Extending Able Students: ways of extending able students as writers.
- Struggling Writers: ways of working effectively with struggling writers.
- Boys as Writers: lifting the achievement level of boys as writers.
- Oral Language: the place of oral language in the writing programme.
- Self-Regulation: making students more independent as writers.
- Teacher as Writer: being a writer in the classroom.
- Classroom Environment: what a writing classroom should look and sound like.
- Writing Tools: tools for helping students to write effectively.
- School-Home Links: extending writing beyond the school.
Note that the content is being developed from the best of international and New Zealand research on writing instruction (including the author’s own research) and will be embedded in the best of New Zealand classroom practice as recognised by the author.
How to Use the Resource: School Leaders
It is primarily suggested that school leaders (particularly literacy leaders) will be able to use the resource to lead professional learning and inquiry amongst their teachers.
They can do this at the whole school level (teacher-only days or staff meetings), small group level (team meetings) or individual level (meetings or conversations with individual teachers about their writing practice). They can move teachers through all sections of the resource (as above) or they can select combinations of sections or individual sections according to teachers’ inquiry needs.
School leaders might also be able to use the resource to assist with school reviews and to help ascertain what needs to be in place in their school operationally if the teaching of writing is to be effective across the school.
They might also use it as the basis for their own document on ‘what the effective teaching of writing looks like at _____ (your) School’; that is, when developing a local curriculum.
How to Use the Resource: Teachers
Individual teachers might also want to use the resource to learn about good instructional writing practice and to inquire into the effectiveness of their own writing programmes and practices and decide what changes need to be made to them.
They might want to do this independently (by reflecting on the content and resources included in each section) or as guided by school leaders.
This process may lead to the establishment of inquiry goals for teachers.