Writing_Saint.jpgLet's be clear.
And honest.
Regardless of the age, level, or competence of the writer--writing is a highly complex, demanding process. Let us never lose site of that fact.
The writer must negotiate the rules and mechanics of writing, while maintaining a focus on factors such as organization, form and features, purposes and goals, audience needs and perspectives, voice and tone, conventions of spelling and grammar, choice and control over structure, focus and flow of ideas and content, and evaluation of the communication between author and reader.

Self-regulation of the writing process is critical; the writer must be goal-oriented, resourceful, and reflective.
There's a lot to it!
Teaching writing, therefor, can be a jumbled confusing undertaking. Where do you start? What do you, the teacher, focus on? And most importantly, what techniques have been proven to improve writing in adolescents?

Let's start with a model--a tool all students in SCF middle school can use for all writing tasks and purposes regardless of the class or the curriculum.
Saint's Writing: Tools and guidance for cross-curricular writing in St. Croix Falls Middle school:
SAINTS-visual.jpg


The following strategies were developed with Saint Croix Middle School teachers and students in mind. It is important to understand, however, that their creation was informed by a report of meta-analysis, commissioned by the Carnegie Corporation, entitled Writing Next. If you would like to look more closely at this report, or some of it's suggestions, please contact Chris Wondra. Or you can download the WritingNext.pdf now.
As we continue down this journey of exploration and development in SCF middle school, this wiki will continue to grow as a resource.

RECOMMENDATIONS: 11 KEY ELEMENTS OF EFFECTIVE ADOLESCENT WRITING INSTRUCTION AS IDENTIFIED BY META-ANALYSIS
1. Writing Strategies -- Self Regulation Strategy Development (SAINTS pattern)
2. Summarization
3. Collaborative Writing
4. Specific Product Goals
5. Word Processing
6. Sentence-Combining
7. Prewriting
8. Inquiry Activities
9. Process Writing Approach
10. Study of Models
11. Writing for Content Learning