Tennessee district adopts online literacy tool

Educators at Johnson County Public Schools in Mountain City, Tenn., recently turned to WriteToLearn®, Pearson’s web-based literacy tool, to support its efforts and help prepare students for the state writing assessment.

In this district of seven schools serving 2,350 students in rural northeastern Tennessee, Johnson County Public Schools principals chose the writing and reading comprehension tool after evaluating the options “and hearing a lot of great things about WriteToLearn,” said Mischelle Simcox, the district’s supervisor of K-12 Curriculum & Instruction. The district began with grades 5, 7 and 8 and plans to expand the use of WriteToLearn to all students in grades 4-8.

Providing automated scoring and immediate feedback, WriteToLearn offers students an engaging environment for practicing and refining their skills. The program provides feedback on six traits of writing – ideas, organization, conventions, sentence fluency, word choice and voice – and allows students and teachers to focus on each of these important dimensions of writing.

“We’re excited to see all that WriteToLearn can do for our students,” said Simcox. “The scoring abilities, instant feedback, alignment to our state-mandated writing assessment and the fact that it’s web-based make it a very valuable tool.”

Developed based on more than 15 years of research and evaluation at the University of Colorado and New Mexico State University, WriteToLearn aligns with the Common Core State Standards for English/Language Arts by placing strong emphasis on the comprehension and analysis of information texts while building reading and writing skills across genres.