Our Methodology

Simple To Understand & Easy To Implement

Our Approach

The Empowering Writers research-based methodology uses whole class instruction to provide assured experiences for all learners. It begins with a connection to literature as a way to introduce the skill, moves into modeling for the teacher to articulate the thought processes of an author, then gradually releases to students for guided practice of explicit foundational skills and, ultimately, application of those skills.

The methodology begins on Day 1 of instruction- as soon as we start the Literacy Launch! The pairing of the methodology with our Literacy Launch and other genre lessons dramatically improves student writing skills and enhances reading comprehension with all text interactions. 

See a Sample Lesson

Our professional development, teaching guides, and other instructional materials for K-8 educators have a positive and lasting impact on student literacy at each grade level. Our tools and resources consistently contribute to higher standardized assessment scores.

We use the following steps to bring reading and writing success for every student.

Step One

Step One: Introduce and Define the Skill

We help you identify the skill you're teaching with the use of literature and published examples through the exploration and notation of age-appropriate written work. These reading sources can include novels, short stories, magazine articles, and non-fiction books.

Let's look at what authors do. If we're focusing on elaborative detail, we can 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 the questioning processes. Modeling is the best way to build robust 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 robust vocabulary to express their ideas better – translating weak responses into robust responses, giving students credit for their ideas.

Step Two

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

Step Three

Step Three: Guided Practice

We provide students with the opportunity to practice the skill they've observed in published pieces, and have experienced through modeling. We include plenty of teacher direction, circulating, reiterating detail generating questions while offering feedback and encouragement. We stay focused on the specific, 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 and breaks the writing process into manageable pieces for student writers so 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.

Step Four

What else would you like to know?


Professional Development Options

See the variety of ways we off for you to learn how to confidently teach writing, improve student performance, and maximize your instructional time

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Love to Write & Read All-Day

Check out Kylene Reed's blog and see Empowering Writers instruction in action from real classrooms in this K-5 elementary school.

The Hub

Digital Teaching Guides on the HUB

Get the all-in-one online resource that provides you with the how-to demonstration videos, teaching tools and student resources to become a successful teaching of writing.