Low Performing Schools Score Big on Texas TAKS Empowering Writers Approach
MONROE, CT October 7, 2011- Houston ISD shouts from the rooftops that Empowering Writers, K-8 provider of Professional Development for the instruction of writing, is the driving force behind their TAKS test score increase in 09-10! By implementing the Empowering Writers Approach, 18 of the lowest performing schools within Houston ISD’s East Region improved an average of 11.3% on Texas TAKS tests.
Enlisting the Empowering Writers Approach to compliment their “6+1 Traits of Writing”, schools within Houston ISD’s East Region realized a 23.7% average increase in commended performance on state tests. Achieved over a 7-month period, these increases can be attributed to the Professional Development System perfected by Empowering Writers over the past 13 years. The foundation laid in these seven months provided the stepping-stones for long-term achievement and growth for K-8 writing instruction within Houston ISD’s East Region.
Rachael Jones, Kindergarten Teacher at Houston ISD’s J.W. Oates Elementary comments, “The quality of work that I am getting from my students since we started Empowering Writers has increased considerably.” Referring specifically to their “Wild Thing” project, Jones began by reading “Where The Wild Things Are” as a class followed by implementing the Empowering Writers Approach.
Jones adds, “We charted our observations, turned them into sentences and discussed how to flip sentences to limit repetitiveness. After practicing as a class, my students were able to use their imagination to turn those sentences into elaborate paragraphs, the result was phenomenal!”
The Empowering Writers Approach begins with a solid foundation of whole class instruction for the introduction, modeling and practice of explicit skills necessary for the genre being taught. Focused on the explicit, discrete skills of students, rather than an entire piece of writing, this approach keeps students from feeling overwhelmed. By empowering student writers with this approach, they have the “write” tools in their toolbox to express what is inside of them.
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