Do you struggle with teaching writing? Do your students struggle with writing? Does their writing frustrate you? Does your writing instruction bore them? Do you believe there has to be a more effective way to teach writing? Have you tried different methods? Have you explored different theories? Do you believe that there must be a method or a theory… that works effectively for each and every student and for each and every teacher? Well, that time is near. I call it “The Ultimate Writing Curriculum.” My team of scientists and myself are currently working hard creating it.
This ultimate writing curriculum will take students from kindergarten all the way through twelfth grade. It will be an interactive software database guiding and monitoring each and every student enrolled in the program. This writing program will be both interactive and adaptive. It will incorporate grade-by-grade analysis, as well as student-by-student analysis. This ultimate writing curriculum will span all the subjects across the entire curriculum. Additionally, it will incorporate all state standards from across the nation, as well as incorporate all known theories, strategies, and ideas surrounding effective writing instruction. Yes, I am hard at work… and I do have a ways to go…
This software solution will allow for high-speed scanning of all student work. This software will be able to analyze all writing across a minimum of 1,052 natural traits of good writing. Of course, each and every one of the six traits of writing from the Six Traits of Writing model will be included. However, each trait will be broken up and dissected and then reformatted with additional criteria: modes of writing, grade level, ESL/ELL level, learning disabilities, strengths/weaknesses, GPA, and socio-economic environment (just to name a few.)
This software solution will allow for the input of work from each stage of the writing process. It will be able to monitor and evaluate each stage while incorporating the actual time that was spent at each stage of the writing process. It will also analyze every type of writing imaginable: note taking, brainstorming, journaling, free writing, poetry, academic writing, and creative writing (just to name a few.)
The purpose of monitoring, evaluating, measuring, and analyzing is to guide instruction. As such, this ultimate writing curriculum will be highly individualized. It will be able to meet, match, and even exceed students’ needs. The system will include high-tech biofeedback tests which will allow for accurate analysis of students’ natural learning styles, as well as their state of being. These tests will determine visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles and will also incorporate the Myers Briggs Personality Test. It will analyze all these learning styles alongside the most proven theories surrounding effective writing instruction.
Since the first step of effective writing instruction is delivering assignments that contain high built-in motivation, all assignments will be individually computer generated providing challenging, yet highly motivating assignments. This ultimate writing curriculum will include a complete article database which will allow for appropriate grade level and skill level student research into most any subject or topic.
This article database will be integrated with a national curriculum database. As such, this article database will be an extension of each and every textbook in each and every subject. (All curriculums across the nation will be integrated within this system.) This article database will tailor articles to individual student needs based on reading ability and a multitude of other factors. All this means no more boring and unrelated writing prompts! Students will read, research, and respond to the topics they are just dying to write about; topics even their closest friends would not have guessed in a million years.
Although this ultimate writing curriculum is automated, it does allow for both teacher and student input. Both teacher and student will be able to override the system’s decisions a set number of times throughout the school year. This will have the effect of both guiding and training the computer.
Additionally, teachers will be able to emphasize strategies and theories they feel are important… and which they believe will be effective. Students will continually be providing information as to what their interests are, as well as their educational goals. Using this massive database of knowledge that will be developed over time, the system will make decisions designed to challenge and support areas of weakness and of strength. The computer will be able to determine when students are simply being lazy and when other more serious issues are involved.
This closed, dynamic system will constantly evaluate, grade, provide feedback, and assign remedial work… all in a nurturing way. As it is a computer, students will gladly accept this unbiased feedback which is free of emotion and judgment. This computer will have weekly conferences with each student about their writing and their progress. Students will be able to respond to suggestions in these discussions, and while doing so the system will evaluate each student’s attitude to the suggestions and adapt its feedback strategies. Additionally, the computer will review prior problem areas looking for patterns of struggle and resistance followed by success, and will remediate in a way which has been successful in the past.
This ultimate writing curriculum will spiral naturally, while always headed towards specific and measurable goals. Through its spiraling process, students will be introduced to all types, styles, modes, and genres of writing. Furthermore, this ultimate writing curriculum will spiral students toward their natural interests and abilities. The writing instruction will be in line with their strengths, as well as with their long-term college and career goals.
I am working on this ultimate writing curriculum night and day. (Just sorting through the multitude of writing theories is a full-time job in itself.) Phase 1 of creating this ultimate writing curriculum has involved determining what the foundations of good writing are… and then creating a framework which guarantees that all students will be able to achieve true writing success. The result of this first phase is “Pattern Based Writing: Quick and Easy Essay.” It provides the foundation and framework that all students simply must have. Studies show that it is perfect for all students in grades 2-6, and for remedial writing instruction in middle school. This pattern based writing program is the true foundation of writing success! Give it a try… (click here.)