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A Process for Developing a Framework for Writing Instruction

Central to the development of a framework for writing instruction is the collaboration between teachers, literacy and instructional coaches, literacy content specialists, and school and district administrators. The process broadly outlined below is deceptive in its neat columns. The conversations created along the way will be messy and take time. They will, however, surface the voices of different stakeholders, generate new thinking, and drive the vision toward high quality writing instruction.

Suggested Steps for District (or Building) Level Leadership Cohort

  1. Brainstorm “Writing” and/or “the teaching of writing”.
  2. Create Belief Statements / Guiding Principles.
  3. Examine “Current State of Writing Instruction”.
  4. Examine “Desired State of Writing Instruction”.
  5. Align Belief statements to “Desired State”. 
  6. Identify observable Success Indicators of the Desired State.
  7. Identify professional development and instructional materials needed to move from current state to desired state. 

Key Questions for District (or Building) Level leadership Cohort

  1. What big ideas anchor your district’s writing framework? 
  2. What belief statements about teaching writing, or about writing, emerged from the brainstorming?
  3. If you took a snapshot or video of writing instruction in your district, what would be in the photo/video?
  4. What would be in the photo/video when you reach your desired state of teaching writing?
  5. What connections can the team draw between “beliefs” and “desired state”?
  6. What observable teaching actions and student behaviors exist in the desired state?
  7. What professional development will serve teachers best? What materials do they need?

Other Considerations

As District or Building leaders bring teachers, literacy coaches, instructional coaches, and administrators together, they may want to consider the following factors:

  • What representation is present on the team:
    • Content teachers from district schools?
    • Whole school participation?
    • Grade level teams?
    • Department chairs?
  • What data will leaders have available during the conversation on the Framework:
    • State assessment data (CMAS)?
    • District/school local-assessment data?
    • Informal data?
  • In what ways will facilitation surface needs such as social/emotional learning as it pertains to writing?

In what ways will facilitation surface needs such as culturally response teaching as it pertains to writing?

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Next: Developing Shared Belief Statements