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Being a Writer, Third Edition

Comprehensive Writing Instruction

Being a Writer™ is the only time-tested, research-based program that successfully integrates essential components of comprehensive writing instruction and explicit social skills development to foster students’ ability to communicate as writers and become responsible, caring members of the classroom community.

Being a Writer can be implemented as a powerful, stand-alone curriculum for grades K–5 or serve as a seamlessly integrated program within our comprehensive K–5 English Language Arts curriculum, Collaborative Literacy.


How It Works

Teaches Process and Craft

Research is clear that when students learn the writing process—from planning to publication—they gain proficiency in developing their ideas and creating effective pieces. With its predictable lesson structure, Being a Writer lessons include explicit opportunities for students to hear, discuss, and analyze mentor texts, and incorporate elements of author’s craft, genre, and organization into their own writing.

Integrates Grammar Skills and Conventions

Learning grammar and writing conventions is made accessible through explicit, integrated instruction. Being a Writer offers clear and comprehensive guidance, seamlessly incorporating grammar and skills instruction into the writing process.

Taps Into Intrinsic Motivation to Write

To develop into strong writers and critical thinkers, students need to write a lot. In Being a Writer, students have time to write every day on topics they choose and care about.

Nurtures a Community of Writers

To develop as writers, students need opportunities to collaborate with others across the writing process. In Being a Writer lessons, students:

  • Generate ideas together
  • Choose ideas to write about, then share them with a partner before putting them on paper
  • Learn how to ask for, give, and receive helpful feedback through peer and teacher conferring
  • Share their work publicly and learn to express appreciation for their classmates’ writing

Uses Digital Writing Tools

When technology is integrated into the writing process, the overall quantity and quality of students’ writing improves. In Being a Writer grades 3–5, students develop word processing skills (both on and offline) and conduct online research.


Program Features

Research-Based and Standards-Aligned

Our pedagogy has grown out of years of research on writing instruction.

According to the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, a successful writing program must:

  • Provide time to write daily
  • Teach the writing process and have students apply it for a variety of purposes
  • Help students develop fluency with handwriting, spelling, sentence construction, and typing and word-processing
  • Create an engaged community of writers

Diverse Trade Books as Mentor Texts

Trade books representing inclusive, authentic author voices are provided to immerse students in each genre through exemplary writing. Additional mentor texts including essays, articles, podcasts, and videos are also used in the lessons.

Thoughtful Assessment Tools

Class assessments, teacher conference notes, student self-assessments, and individual writing assessments 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.

Integrated Social Skills Development

Creating a writing environment that is encouraging, nonthreatening, and enjoyable is critical to students’ writing development. Explicit social skill instruction teaches students how to agree and disagree respectfully, take responsibility for their learning and behavior, and reflect on their interactions with others.

Embedded Professional Learning

Being a Writer is an educative curriculum, constructed so that teachers expand their content knowledge and develop their pedagogical expertise every day as they engage with the program. Educators learn and deepen their practice as they teach.

Comprehensive Digital Resources

Each Being a Writer classroom package includes a seven-year license to the Learning Portal, which gives teachers access to digital manuals and allows them to:

  • Manage program resources and access digital instructional media
  • Download and print all student consumables and reproducibles
  • Build and share paperless assessments and reports
  • Get the very latest communications, updates, and instructional pacing notifications

Professional Learning

For schools looking for additional implementation support, Collaborative Classroom offers a variety of in-person and virtual learning pathways including year-long or summer-specific learning plans that can be tailored as needed, and one-on-one virtual coaching with Collaborative Coach.

Related Resources

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Get Sample Lessons

Download free Being a Writer sample lessons and the program brochure.