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Collaborative Literacy

Being a Writer

Being a Writer: Writing Instruction

Create a reimagined, rigorous classroom culture of writing and collaboration.

Whether implemented as a standalone program or seamlessly integrated as a module in our comprehensive ELA curriculum, Collaborative Literacy, Being a Writer is a proven, research-based writing curriculum for grades K–6.

Combining a writing process approach with guided instruction, Being a Writer is student-centered, rigorous writing instruction for students in grades K–6. The program’s dual goals – fostering students’ growth as capable, skilled writers and caring, respectful members of their classroom community – make Being a Writer unique among writing curricula.

Being a Writer builds writing skills and competence by utilizing the following principles and structures throughout:

Writing Regularly: Students write regularly and with intent about topics they choose, build an understanding of, and appreciation for, the skills and conventions of writing.

Embracing process and craft: Being a Writer uses published authors as models. Students become increasingly confident as they develop their ability to express ideas in narrative, informational, and opinion writing.

Tapping into intrinsic motivation to write: To develop into strong writers and critical thinkers students need to write a lot. Being a Writer taps into students’ intrinsic motivation to express their ideas and nurtures the social skills that students need to collaborate with classmates, give and accept feedback, and develop new ideas.

Beginning writers (grades K–2): Being a Writer builds basic communication skills for beginning writers that need practice expressing their ideas and sharing them with others.

Developing writers (grades 3–6): Students have many opportunities to produce finished pieces in different genres and gain experience in the explicit teaching cycle of prewriting, drafting, revising, proof-reading, and publishing. Skills instruction occurs during the revision and proofreading phases of the writing process.

Peer conferences: Students learn to confer in pairs about their writing. As they provide feedback, students learn that a conference entails both sharing and discussing their own writing and thinking critically about supporting their partners. Students initiate and conduct conferences, and they practice the social skills necessary to ask for, give, and receive helpful feedback.

Writing Time and conferring: Every lesson includes time for teacher conferences and Writing Time, a period of sustained writing when students work independently on authentic writing tasks for various purposes and audiences.

Thoughtful assessment tools: Assessment components inform instruction by clearly identifying strengths and areas for additional instruction. Detailed rubrics help teachers evaluate students’ writing in drafts, writing notebooks, and published writing.

Diverse trade books as mentor texts: At each grade level, 14–30 trade books are provided to immerse students in each genre through exemplary writing. These book sets are specifically curated to represent diverse, authentic author voices.

Research-based and Standards-aligned: Our unique pedagogy has grown out of years of research on best practices in writing instruction and child development. Visit our correlations site to search for correlations to the Common Core and other state standards.

Collaboration with the National Writing Project: Many districts implementing the Being a Writer program are partnering with local National Writing Project sites to provide long-term professional development that supports teachers as they develop their writing instruction skills and strategies. Read more about this collaboration here.

Collaborative Classroom recognizes that educators need options that are flexible to support their students’ learning in a variety of circumstances and formats. 

Our Remote Guidance is designed to support teachers in transitioning from an “in-person” format to either a blended or fully remote design.  To support instructional planning, the guidance is organized by beginning-, middle- and end-of-year and provides instructional guidance, essential learning, and at-home activities.