Writing scores increase with PD

How did elementary schools in South Carolina’s Richland 1 School District achieve double-digit improvement in writing scores? With the help of Empowering Writers, K-8 provider of Professional Development for the instruction of writing, Richland 1 realized an 11% increase. What the numbers alone do not reveal is the increase in teacher engagement and student confidence that contribute to building a successful community of writers.

“Because of Empowering Writers training and coaching, our teachers have the skills and strategies to be successful with writing instruction,” said Rebecca Clark, Richland 1 Elementary ELA Consultant.

Some schools are looking for a complete writing curriculum. Others look to supplement their existing writing program. With either objective in mind, the Empowering Writers approach and methodology improve teacher practice and student responses. The methodology uses whole class instruction for the introduction, teacher modeling, and guided practice of the explicit skills called for in the genre being taught. Unlike the more traditional approach of providing plenty of time for students to “just write” the Empowering Writers methodology maximizes instructional time while providing teachers with strategies for how to teach specific writing skills.

Clark sums it up like this: “We are thrilled to see our students’ writing and increased test results.”

Her sentiment mirrors that of other schools coast to coast which have also become communities of “empowered writers.” Hartford, CT Public Schools Director of Elementary Literacy, Dr. Beryl Irene Bailey remarks, “…we have made significant gains in writing scores, especially in 5th grade. Our Superintendent was very pleased with our 5th grade writing gains, as this was one of his target areas.”

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