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PSD Philosophy of Writing Instruction 1.

Philosophy Statement

Purpose of
Integration of Writing

The culture of the classroom reflects a love of writing (student journals, free writing,
games, word play, authenticity, real communication, celebrations, teacher as writer,
Multiple opportunities for student choice are provided (topic, product, mode of
publication, etc.)
Students gain pride and ownership by sharing their writing throughout the writing

Tasks/activities are based on learning targets, which in turn, are aligned to standards.
Authentic communication and expression of ideas and/or feelings is the primary
purpose of writing.
Students understand the purpose behind a variety of writing tasks (including audience,
mode, type, publication, format, etc.).
Frequent opportunities for writing build students stamina and perseverance.

Writing and language are the primary ways of demonstrating and building
understanding throughout all content areas.
Educators and students recognize the reciprocal connection between reading, writing,
and language development.
Ways of connecting reading, writing and language include utilizing mentor texts,
exemplars, peer conferences, reading as a writer, journals, discussions, debates,
appropriate prompt response, etc.
All educators teach and model writing, reading, and language.
21st Century Skills are an inherent part of writing.



Writer Growth and Development

Culture of Writing

Instill Love of

Philosophy Statement
Feedback is a formative process that informs both educators and students throughout
writing instruction (conferring, peer feedback, self-reflection, and goal setting).
Frequent feedback moves writers forward.
Students take ownership of their writing by applying feedback.
Educators believe all students can access grade level standards and align instruction,
practice and assessment accordingly.
Success criteria and learning targets are communicated to students in a variety of
ways (models, checklists, exemplars, rubrics, etc.)
Multiple assessments accurately measure students progress towards meeting the
end of the year standards.
Inter-rater reliability is necessary for accurate evaluation and analysis of student
An analysis of students strengths and needs from formative data direct teaching and
learning (portfolios, conferring logs, rubric scores, anecdotal notes, etc.)
Educators understand that individual motor and sensory development (functionality
and fluency) influence students ability to produce written or typed work.
Explicit instruction of skills necessary for producing print or typed writing is provided.

Guiding Questions

In what ways is the love of writing an evident part of classroom culture?

What are the opportunities for student choice in writing?
What consistent opportunities are there for students to write in a variety of ways?
How do tasks and talk reveal what is valued about writing?
How do students show they have taken ownership of their writing?
What opportunities are there for students to build and self-evaluate their writing stamina?
What systems and structures are in place to allow for safe risk taking and sharing of student writing?
How do the writing standards and learning targets relate to habits of writing, transferable skills, and
students assessed needs as learners?
How do the writing standards and learning targets relate to the intellectual lives of students beyond
this classroom?
How do students communicate their understanding of the target and the rationale?
How do students demonstrate their learning in all content areas through writing?
How do students use writing to enhance their learning throughout the day?
In what ways is writing embedded into the culture of all content areas and classrooms, content
In what ways are educators modeling a love of writing?
In what ways are educators modeling writing throughout the day?

Guiding Questions
In what ways do students assess their own writing?
How do students use success criteria to self reflect and/or revise?
In what ways are students receiving authentic and frequent feedback from themselves, peers, and
How, and to what extent, are students able to evaluate and utilize feedback to improve their writing?
How are students given ample instruction and time for applying feedback to their writing?
How does the feedback build on the writers strengths while also indicating next steps?
How do educators use formative assessment and differentiation to help writers develop?
How are learning targets and success criteria leading students to mastery of the standards?
What structures are in place to ensure that educators are evaluating writing in a valid/reliable way?
How do student writing and assessments influence instructional planning?
In what ways do educators measure developmental growth in writing?
How do teachers instruct and assess student knowledge of directionality, visual-motor skills, visualspatial skills, and fine motor development related to produce writing?
In what ways do teachers make accommodations for students whose individual motor development
impacts their ability to produce written work?

Writing Process
Reading, Writing, and
Language Connection


21st Century Skills

Instructional Planning and Practices

Philosophy Statement

Guiding Questions

Students are engaged in the writing process in order to improve their craft.
The writing process is not always followed in its entirety for every writing
Students produce a variety of products while intentionally addressing the
appropriate audience.
Students at any level are given opportunities to share and celebrate their
published writing.

What contributes to authenticity of the students products?

How are students using their knowledge of audience to communicate effectively?

How do educators decide which parts of the writing process are appropriate for any
given piece?

Educators have knowledge of vertically aligned standards.

Educators apply best practices to writing instruction.
Common language benefits writers in their understanding of written language.

How do students use their knowledge and application of revision and editing in their

How are all students given opportunities to share their writing?

Explicit instruction in writing increases students reading and language skills

(vocabulary, decoding/encoding, phonics, fluency, and comprehension).
Students who read large quantities and varieties of text become better writers.
Direct targeted instruction in oral language increases students writing abilities.
Purposeful integration of reading, writing, and oral language increases students
literacy development.
Integration of reading, writing, and oral language within all subject areas will
enhance students acquisition of content knowledge.

How frequently do students talk, read, and write?

How are the connections between reading, writing, listening, and speaking evident?
How are students and educators using student talk as a tool to enhance writing?
What does the nature of the students talk reveal to educators about the students
How are students language/vocabulary needs addressed as part of writing
How does the educator vary instructional strategies used in order to engage writers
and meet their individual needs?
How is students learning of content and transferrable skills supported through the
intentional use of instructional strategies and materials?
In what ways does student writing show evidence of writing to learn?
In what ways does student writing demonstrate learning across all content areas?
What evidence is there that learning of conventions, grammar, and spelling are
transferred across writing tasks?

A variety of explicit instructional techniques engage writers (inquiry based,

modeled writing, shared writing, guided writing, independent writing, minilessons, mentor texts, exemplars, reading as a writer, etc.)
Instruction meets the needs of the individual writer through differentiation
(process, scaffolding, pacing, and/or product).
Grammar, conventions, spelling, and oral language are taught in the context of
actual writing.
Collaboration is central to improving writing products/skills, and writing is a tool
for increased collaboration in all areas.
Students use critical thinking skills and adaptive thinking to solve problems and
they recognize writing as often being part of the solution. Students take on
leadership roles to confront real life issues.
Educators allow opportunities for students to think creatively and incorporate
new ideas into their writing.
Educators provide opportunities to explore new languages and cultures through
reading/writing and have their students think about their writing in terms of
communicating with an ever growing global audience.
Students use writing to explore and cement their learning within all 21st Century
Literacies: Civic, Financial, Environmental, Health, Information, Media and
Technology, along with more traditional literacies.

How are students using writing to increase collaboration to solve real life issues?
How are students collaborating to improve their writing?
How are educators promoting student leadership within the writing and content
classes? How are student leaders using writing to solve problems?
In what ways are higher-order thinking skills being incorporated into writing and the
content areas?
How are educators promoting student creativity?
How are students and educators using reading/writing to learn more about other
languages and cultures?
How are students and educators using writing to connect to a global audience?
What evidence can be found within student writing that they are growing in all forms
of 21st Century Literacies (civic, financial, environmental, health, informational,