We strongly believe that students learn by doing

To become effective writers, students need opportunities to learn writing skills, strategies, and techniques. They also need adequate time to practice to develop as writers. Adequate practice can help students become more confident in their writing abilities, so that’s why one story per week is required in a writer’s notebook. Our primary goal is to enable students to use writing flexibly and effectively to communicate their ideas.

Learning to write can be particularly challenging for students with learning disabilities; those who find it difficult to regulate their attention; or those who struggle with related skills such as reading, spelling or handwriting.

Writing is an essential element of our program

The Writing Process
Writing is a process that requires one to communicate thoughts and ideas. It is a highly complex, cognitive, self-directed activity. Components of the writing process include planning; drafting; revising; editing; evaluating; and in some cases publishing. Students will learn that writing is used for a variety of purposes such as conveying information, making an argument, sharing a personal experience, providing a means for self-reflection, or entertainment.

We strive to create a supportive environment that fosters a community of writers. When students are part of a community, they collaborate with other writers. Students will have structured opportunities to interact with their peers by giving and receiving constructive feedback. Collaboration can increase a sense of community as well as encourage students to become engaged in the process. Sharing and publishing their work is not only rewarding but helps them feel important and valued as writers.

When basic writing skills become relatively effortless, students can focus more on developing and communicating their ideas. Students need to be able to generate strong, interesting sentences that vary in length and complexity in order to convey their meaning and engage readers. To develop motivation, students have the opportunity to choose their own topics. When students choose their own topics, they are more engaged and motivated to write.

The ability to use technology is vital for success in school and life. This requires that students learn to type and use a word processor, use the Internet to collect information, navigate a computer and web-based testing tools. Integrating the use of technology into writing instruction is critically important.

Our writing workshop model is influenced by Lucy Calkins and Ralph Fletcher. Using a writer's notebook gives students an easy, informal, no-pressure way to start thinking about a topic and exploring with topic development. The writer’s notebook is great for "seed ideas". Using the model of Ralph Fletcher, students demonstrate playful craft that energizes their writing pieces. Using the Lucy Calkins Writing Workshop Model, children learn to stretch the action across several pages because the moment is so important. We focus primarily on personal narrative writing. Children learn to take the everyday events of their lives and make them into focused, well-structured stories. Our nonfiction writing is individualized per school project or report.

A structured writing program will address the following components of writing:

  • Organization
  • Idea Development
  • Supporting Details
  • Sentence Structure
  • Word Choice
  • Voice
  • Mechanics

"People who keep journals live life twice. Having written something down gives you the opportunity to go back to it over and over, to remember and relive the experience.”
- Jessamyn West, Novelist
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