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Learning to Write, Writing to Learn contains the following freely available articles.

Learning to Write, Writing to Learn is the April 2018 issue of ASCD's Educational Leadership magazine. Article descriptions are from the ASCD website. As usual, the articles are written for K-12 teachers but can be adapted to our adult education population.

Letter from the editor: A Mom's Writing Lessons
by Tara Laskowski

Giving Students the Right Kind of Writing Practice
The one-shot "big essay" approach is not the answer.
High school teachers Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle describe a 9-week unit on writing a narrative they created (and taught at their respective schools) that gave students many chances to practice different elements of writing a story. Their unit "spiraled" students back to key skills at each step, providing opportunities to extend writing practice that is often lacking when teaching K–12 learners how to write.

"We are certain that unless all teachers increase the volume of students' reading, we will never see the gains we seek in our students' writing."—Gallagher & Kittle

Demystifying Writing, Transforming Education
Writing can foster deeper learning in every content area—if we let it.
Mike Schmoker argues that having students regularly write across the disciplines and connect written work to content areas will facilitate student understanding and boost most students' academic achievement. We must "demystify" writing instruction and distill it to key skills that any teacher can use to guide students by using simple prompts and questions. Schmoker provides examples of such prompts in all areas.

The Magic of Writing Stuff Down
Is the pen mightier than the laptop? Bryan Goodwin, CEO of McREL, finds that research supports his suspicion that, at least when it comes to note-taking, writing by hand stimulates a more complex and effective cognitive process than does keyboarding.

Making Student Writing Matter
Why writing instruction needs to go beyond formulas and mechanics.
Yekaterina McKenney offers a plea to writing teachers: Don't emphasize the conventions of writing, the regurgitation of facts, and correct spelling and grammar over the generation of ideas and the creativity of storytelling. She offers up fresh ideas and suggestions about how to make writing meaningful and personal for student writers—from personalizing the subjects they write about to asking them to explore their journey in understanding a short story or essay they've read.

Micro-Writing for English Learners
Larry Ferlazzo, a teacher of English language learners, describes how he uses "micro-writing" (a short writing task combined with a sharing activity) to bolster his students' writing skills. He describes several ways to include micro-writing into lessons by activating background knowledge, reflecting on and transferring knowledge, encouraging self-explanation, incorporating creativity and creative thinking, drawing on images, and using writing frames and structures. 

The Techy Teacher: Prioritizing In-Class Writing
Catlin Tucker
Blended learning models help teachers give writers more feedback.

Principal Connection: Building Empathy in Schools
Thomas R. Hoerr
In an era of rancor and polarization, let's foster empathy in our schools.

Six Roadblocks to Writing Instruction—and How to Find Alternative Routes
Brian Kissel
If we can give our students more freedom to choose topics and find their writing style, they will thrive in the classroom—and beyond.

Writing for Freedom
H. Richard Milner IV
Teach students that writing isn't just an academic exercise.

Writing with 'Babbling Exuberance'
Carol Ann Tomlinson
A few years ago, a colleague was visiting an elementary classroom. She walked among the students as they pushed pencils across papers. "What are you writing about?" she asked a girl who was dutifully scribing words on the page in front of her. The girl looked for a moment as though she didn't understand the question, and then responded. "Oh, we don't write about anything. We just write."

Deliver us all from classrooms where we just write.

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