Ideas & Innovations

from the DISD Curriculum & Instruction Department Mar 2017

Writing - A Powerful Tool for Learning in DISD

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Why We Must Write

  • What to increase rigor? - ask your students to write!
  • Want to use research-based formative assessments to gauge student learning? - ask your students to write!
  • Want to see precise, individual levels of understanding new concepts and skills? - ask your students to write!
  • Want to ensure your students are ready for today, tomorrow, next year and even college courses or a career? - ask your students to write!
  • Want to help students succeed on state assessments? ask your students to write!
  • Want to ensure the future generations can communicate effectively and eloquently, regardless of the topic or situation? ask your students to write!


As effective educators, we all should ask our students to engage in opportunities to write - to explore new ideas and concepts by writing their thoughts and connections; to find solutions and resolutions to issues that are complex and confusing; to express unique ideas or perceptions while also recognizing common experiences and connections.


This month, the C&I staff encourages you to push your comfort zone, and that of your students, by incorporating more writing opportunities in your classes. Writing to learn in each class is essential to significantly impacting the academic growth and success of our students.


So, sharpen your pencils, pick out your favorite pen, and model the writing as you set writing expectations for your students. Follow the "I do, we do, you do" approach when adding new writing activities or assignments - teacher modeling of writing strengthens student understanding and increases student success. Show them how, then step back and let your students amaze you with the thoughts, connections and ideas they put down on paper!

Writing Across DISD - Amazing Student Samples

Low-Stakes Writing: Writing to Learn, Not Learning to Write

Writing to Learn Activities

Here are some suggestions to easily include a Writing to Learn activity in your next lesson. These terrific formative assessment activities, along with other ideas and suggestions can be found here, the DISD Instructional Strategies & Resources on our webpage.

Additional Resources for Writing

Blog Entries and Articles

Writing Across the Curriculum: What, How and Why

4 Tips for Writing in the Math Classroom

Science the "Write" Way

The Best Resources for Writing in Social Studies Classrooms

Low-Stakes Writing Assignments


Who to Follow on Twitter for Writing Ideas & Suggestions

Alex Corbitt @Alex_Corbitt

Nancy Steineke @nsteineke

Jeff Anderson @writeguyjeff

Kelly Gallagher @KellyGToGo

Penny Kittle @pennykittle

Shanna McCracken, Curriculum Coordinator

Do you enjoy writing? Send me one of your own education-related pieces (blog, article, musing, etc) and I will be happy to include it in a future C&I Newsletter.