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Effective writing instruction - Evidence-based classroom practices

Dr Alison Davis

Skilled writers know about, use, control and select from a wide range of writing skills, strategies and processes as they write. They learn to explain, demonstrate and reflect on:

  • the skills, strategies and processes they use
  • how they use these skills, strategies and processes
  • when they use specific skills, strategies and processes
  • how using, selecting from and combining a range of writing skills, strategies and processes will help them develop as confident, competent and self-regulated writers.

In addition, skilled writers are engaged in the process of writing, and learn to write with enjoyment and confidence for a range of purposes and audiences. They learn to use writing to assist their learning in many ways—to respond, to critique, to evaluate, to consider, to examine, to report, to analyse and to reflect.

Becoming a competent and confident writer is an exciting process for learners. It can also be a demanding process and it is far more successful for teachers and students when both are active, engaged and excited about the possibilities of learning to write and learning from writing.

Effective writing instruction provides explicit support for effective classroom instruction in writing. It provides many examples of how teachers can plan for and develop instructional approaches and activities that actively engage their learners in understanding and monitoring their own progress and achievement in writing. This includes specific approaches for:

  • developing effective writing instruction
  • understanding and using assessment to inform teaching
  • preparing students for writing
  • teaching approaches
  • purposes for writing
  • composing text
  • revising text
  • celebrating and responding to writing

The accompanying CD contains blackline masters and Graphic Organisers that can be used for independent, paired and small-group work during instruction, and as part of planned practice and maintenance throughout the year. The Graphic Organisers also provide explicit models of formative assessment of writing practices and strategies.

Effective writing instruction is an essential and comprehensive reference for all teachers of writing.

Dr Alison Davis is a leading literacy researcher, writer, speaker and professional development provider. She is the author of the highly successful Building comprehension strategies and the classroom resource Explorations Strategies for Comprehension for informative texts.

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Chapter 1: Developing effective writing instruction

Effective writing instruction - Evidence-based classroom practices

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