This resource presents instructional writing and reading practices that support the content area learning of adolescent learners.
The Write for Texas guiding principles of effective writing instruction, developed for all teachers across disciplines, focus on building every student's understanding and ability to read, write, and think like experts—historians, mathematicians, scientists, and literary critics.
Guiding Principles of Effective Writing Instruction
- Use writing and reading to support student learning in all content areas.
- Teach students the thinking skills, processes, and knowledge needed to write effectively.
- Teach students skills for writing effective sentences in order to create coherent texts.
- Provide extra assistance and instruction to students who experience difficulty learning to write.
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Strong reading, writing, and thinking skills are essential for success in school, the workplace, and life. Yet many adolescents lack even the basic literacy skills to be successful. Merging writing and reading strategies with content learning not only strengthens students' literacy skills, but also maximizes and reinforces content acquisition. Instruction that provides students with multiple opportunities — with support and guidance — to write and read daily in all content area classes gives students "a chance to take a breath, pull their thoughts together, reflect on their thinking, and appraise their own level of understanding" (Daniels, Zemelman, & Steineke, 2007, p. 29).
This resource contains original content from the Texas Adolescent Literacy Academies: Focus on Writing (TALA Writing) professional development. Any handout numbers in this resource refer to the original handouts from TALA Writing. This resource also contains additional content for using writing and reading to support learning in the content areas—with a focus on English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.
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