Central to good writing instruction is teachers’ understanding of the joys and challenges of communicating with a real audience. To achieve this goal requires that teachers experience writing and share it in a supportive setting. Teachers can then apply what they experience to instructing their own students. This approach insures, as well, that standards are addressed in effective and meaningful ways.

IWP professional development design includes multiple strategies for teachers to learn about writing instruction. In a typical IWP plan participants will:

  • Write themselves and share writing with one another in supportive, collaborative teams
  • Examine samples of student writing to identify patterns of development and typical difficulties
  • Read professional books and articles, and review research that offers solid guidance about what works in teaching writing
  • Observe and experience a broad range of practical, successful strategies
  • Troubleshoot and refine promising practices in collaboration with fellow participants.

Key topics and strategies include:

  • Writing for a variety of purposes and audiences
  • Writing as a tool for learning other subject matter
  • Classroom organization, including writers workshop structure
  • Reading-writing connections
  • Support for English Language Learners
  • Writing as an aspect of individual growth and classroom community
  • Prewriting strategies
  • Revision activities
  • One-to-one conferences
  • Peer editing
  • Record-keeping
  • Assessment of writing and student growth as writers
  • Sharing and publishing student work
  • Preparation for standardized assessments
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