Teaching Writing

24 Hours / 180 Days / Self-Paced

Course Overview:

Review the skills you will need to pass the Instructional Paraprofessional's exam as you explore ways creative ways to present writing skills to students. We will learn ways to help students become excited about writing. We will explore ways to present writing skills to student at all grade levels and ways to improve the assessment of writing skills. This course is applicable to teachers as well as instructional paraprofessionals.

Course Outline:

Lesson 1: Getting Started

In this lesson we are going to look at how our beliefs affect our teaching practice. We will also look at how to approach teaching writing. Instead of isolating skills, teaching skills as a part of teaching writing.

Lesson 2: Celebrating and Sharing

In this lesson we are going to look at ways we can encourage our students to become writers. We will also look at how sharing our writing life and writing process with students can help them to become better writers. We'll explore our own writing process and how it relates to how we teach our students.

Lesson 3: Raise Your Expectations

In this lesson we are going to introduce the Optimal Learning Model for teaching writing. The goal of this model is to move our students from dependence on us to being independent learners. We will see how what we have discussed so far will help us to create an environment conducive to learning with this model. We will also explore what it means to have high expectations of our students as writers.

Lesson 4: Shared Writing

In this lesson we are going to explore including shared writing activities in our writing program. We'll look at how to structure a shared writing event, and what kinds of things we can do to encourage our students to participate. We'll also look at activities we can relate to our shared writing program to help students with grammar and words.

Lesson 5: Capitalize on the Reading-Writing Connection

In this lesson we will explore the connection between reading and writing. Students can learn much about writing by reading and by creating activities that allow students to draw from what they have read we help them even further. We'll learn about different activities we can use to help students improve their writing as well as their reading.

Lesson 6: Basic Skills

In this lesson we are going to explore how we can teach basic writing skills, like voice, revision, grammar, punctuation and spelling within the context of writing. The goal is to focus on quality writing, which we've discussed teaching in earlier lessons. Once our students are creating good writing we can begin to work on the mechanics of writing, but we don't do it as lesson separate from writing but as mini lessons embedded within the context of writing.

Lesson 7: Organize for Daily Writing

One way to help students to learn to write better is to make writing a part of your daily classroom activities. It is also helpful to let students have some say in what they write. And you can encourage students to put forth their best effort by planning to publish their completed works. We will explore these topics and others as we see how to make writing a part of our daily activities.

Lesson 8: Assessing Writing

In this lesson we are going to explore ways that we can assess our student's writing. We'll look first at writing conferences and specifically the whole-class share. This is a way of having a conference with a student but in a way that all students in the class benefit from the conference. We'll also look at other ways you can conference one-on-one with students. In addition to conferences to help students improve writing we will look at building rubrics to show students how their writing will be graded. We'll also explore how to prepare students for the writing parts of the state standardized tests.

Lesson 9: Making the Most of Your Time

In this lesson we are going to look at ways to keep our teaching skills sharp. This will include investigating best practices and continuing to develop our own skills as teachers. We will also learn how to make every minute in our classroom count.

Lesson 10: Putting it All Together

In this lesson we are going to look back at what we have learned in this course and create an artifact for our portfolios.

All necessary materials are included.


System Requirements:

Internet Connectivity Requirements:
  • Cable and DSL internet connections are recommended.

Hardware Requirements:
  • Minimum Pentium 400 Mhz CPU or G3 Macintosh. 1 GHz or greater CPU recommended.
  • 256MB RAM minimum. 1 GB RAM recommended.
  • 800x600 video resolution minimum. 1025x768 recommended.
  • Speakers/Headphones to listen to Dialogue steaming audio sessions.
  • A microphone to speak in Dialogue streaming audio sessions.
Operating System Requirements:
  • Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 9, 10
  • Mac OSX 10 or higher.
  • OpenSUSE Linux 9.2 or higher.
Web Browser Requirements:
  • Google Chrome is recommended.
  • Firefox 13.x or greater.
  • Internet Explorer 6.x or greater.
  • Safari 3.2.2 or greater.
Software Requirements:
  • Adobe Flash Player 6 or greater.
  • Oracle Java 7 or greater.
  • Adobe Reader 7 or greater.
Web Browser Settings:
  • Accept Cookies
  • Disable Pop-up Blocker.


**Outlines are subject to change, as courses and materials are updated.**