Empowering Writers

Methodology

Our Approach

Our proprietary, research-based methodology can be systematically applied to narrative, expository, and argumentative writing instruction to dramatically improve student writing skills and enhance reading comprehension. Empowering Writers methodology uses Whole Class Instruction for the introduction, modeling and practice of explicit foundational skills.

Our interactive workshops, online tools, teacher manuals and other instructional materials for K-8 educators have a positive and lasting impact on student literacy at each grade level, and consistently contribute to higher standardized assessment scores.

Using published literature

 

Step One: Introduce and Define the Skill 

We identify the skill being taught with the use of literature and published examples through the exploration and notation of age-appropriate written work, including novels, short stories, magazine articles and non-fiction books.

In other words, let’s look at what authors do. So if we’re focusing on elaborative detail we find great published examples to share with students and examine how the author used the skill to bring detail to the piece.

 

 

Step Two: Model

Modeling involves the teacher, stepping into the role of author, verbalizing the thought and questioning processes of an author. Modeling is the best way to build powerful vocabulary by asking specific productive questions, eliciting verbal and nonverbal responses from students and incorporating these responses into powerful writing. Over time, if we ask enough detail-generating questions, students will internalize the questions and apply them independently to their own writing.

We take general or weak student responses and assign powerful vocabulary to better express their ideas – translating weak responses into powerful responses, giving students credit for their ideas.

We believe that student writers always know more than they can articulate.  Their experiences and feelings often exceed their ability to express it.  Modeling a lesson in this way empowers and affirms students and gives them the tools to express what is inside of them.

Modeled Writing Lesson

Guided writing practice

Step Three: Guided Practice

We provide students the opportunity to practice whatever skill they’ve observed in published pieces and experienced through modeling – this with plenty of teacher direction, circulating, reiterating detail generating questions, offering feedback and encouragement. We stay focused on the explicit, discrete skill, rather than on an entire piece of writing, which can be overwhelming.

 

 

 

Step Four: Application

Eventually students emulate the process and apply what they’ve learned, independently.

This methodology addresses the issues teachers have with management, breaks the writing process into manageable pieces for student writers so that they can concentrate on particular skills. In this way, students are not overwhelmed at the prospect of writing.

Students internalize and apply acquired writing skills with independent projects that demonstrate confidence and technical mastery.