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Writing Curriculum Overview

In classrooms, writing instruction is implemented through Writing Workshop and process writing. Children engage in a balance of narrative, informational and argument/opinion/persuasive types of writing for various purposes and audiences. The teacher guides the process and provides instruction through modeling, mentor texts, shared writing, guided practice, and conferencing. Students independently utilize the skills and strategies that have been modeled. Students generate ideas, plan, draft, revise, edit, publish and reflect upon their work. Research supporting the Writing Workshop approach and the importance of the writing process is documented by numerous professional developers and literacy leaders including Lucy Calkins and Mary Ehernworth from Teachers College, Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell, Ralph Fletcher, Donald Graves, among many others. 

Writing Instruction Includes:

  • Time for students to practice skills and strategies daily.
  • Explicit instruction combined with guided and independent practice.
  • Ongoing formative and summative assessment to monitor student progress.

Instruction in Winnetka 36 Classrooms

Literacy teachers, grades K-8, developed grade-specific essential questions and understandings as well as targeted knowledge and skills (Writing Overviews). This ensures that all students will be exposed to the same language and skills at every grade level. Differences exist in the implementation of reading and writing instruction from grade to grade and classroom to classroom; however, the approach to instruction remains the same. All teachers in District 36 are viewed as informed decision-makers, and instruction should be flexible according to students' readiness, interest, and learning profiles.