Small Group Writing

I don't teach writing. When I say this, I mean, I don't teach the writing process. Two years ago, my building began a journey to increase our state assessment writing scores and a teacher stumbled upon Every Child a Writer. Since then most of my fellow teachers have been trained in ECAW. We use it as a resource as we have a district mandated curriculum that we all use. Our of district says that Writer's Workshop is core instruction, so by the nature of how workshop works I don't teach writing. But I do teach students how to write in complete sentences and how to write about what they read. 

Many of my students have a difficult time taking their verbal thoughts and putting them in writing. So, I've been working on creating scaffolded paragraphs for them to use depending on what kind of text they have been reading. These have also helped my English Language Learners. 

What is National Literacy Coalition's “Every Child a Writer?”

Every Child a Writer (ECAW) is based on the Australian genre-based approach to writing. Through direct instruction and joint construction of text, students master descriptive, explanation, instruction, persuasive, and narrative writing.

Demonstrated Writing
                                                                                                                                     Source: via Jan on Pinteres
Demonstrated Writing offers students a daily glimpse into the thinking of the fluent writer in action. The teacher demonstrates the writing process by planning and crafting written products in the five major genres of writing (descriptive, explanation, instruction, persuasive, and narrative). Focusing on the writer’s process, the teacher models the “think-aloud” strategy, while composing for his or her students. This daily demonstration leads to small-group instruction focused on specific skills, or targets, for each group.

Differentiated Writing

Differentiated Writing, the joint construction of text,
is when the teacher and a small group of students work together to compose written products within a given genre. Instructional targets are differentiated in response to the needs of the group, and the teacher “scaffolds” their instruction, gradually releasing control and responsibility as students gain skills and confidence. Instructional targets focus on techniques for planning, organization, vocabulary usage, sentence and paragraph structure, and conventions/mechanics (including spelling).

Directed Writing

Directed Writing gives students daily opportunities for practice of the genre and instructional targets taught in the Differentiated Writing group. From plan development to drafting, revising, editing, conferencing, and publishing, students have regular opportunities to independently apply their new skills within topic areas of personal interest and experience. A central feature of the Directed Writing component is the provision of instructional time for a variety of writing conferences including small group and partner conferencing. In this way, students are prepared for genuine independence as developing writers.

Here is a sampling of the ones I have used with my small groups. I use them to focus the students comprehension but wanting them to write about they have been reading as well as talking about the book. I'm working on more that focus more on ECAW. Don't forget about the sale next Monday and Tuesday at the TpT store and extra 20% off everything in my store.


  1. Hi Alison, I nominated you for the Liebster Award! Come on over to my blog to find out all the details.

    ?Resource Room Rules

  2. Hi Alison, I'm thinking about using ECAW next year in my first grade classroom. Would you still recommend it? Do you still use it? I've been using Writer's Workshop for 19 years. But, some children just don't seem to make the progress that I would like them to make. I'm hoping that ECAW is the answer. What do you think?


  3. I use ECAW for small groups. I think it works best with the writing process. Its like reading finding the balance between the art and the science of teaching writing. I have seen great growth with students and transfer to our state assessments as well!! My students love it.



About Me

Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I empower busy elementary special education teachers to use best practice strategies to achieve a data and evidence driven classroom community by sharing easy to use, engaging, unique approaches to small group reading and math. Thanks for Hopping By.

I contribute to:

I contribute to:

Follow by Email

Search This Blog