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Academic Vocabulary – Referenced in the teaching manual Glossary and woven into daily lesson plans, consistent use of these terms ensures a rigorous and consistent approach to writing instruction.

Anchor Papers – After introducing the assessment rubric to students, anchor papers are useful for guiding students to be successful self- and peer-assessors.hing/planning

Certificates of Achievement – Designed as tools for affirming student effort, Star Student Certificates can be informally used to acknowledge student effort in daily instruction, and Certificates of Completion can be formally awarded upon completion of a unit of instruction.

Consistent, Research-Based Lesson Design – All lessons at every grade level follow a well researched seven-step lesson design to optimize student learning and ensure consistent lesson delivery PreK-8.


Editing Checklists – Accurate completion of a worksheet on conventions may not transfer to student writing. For this reason, editing checklists are provided for support with the editing process. They are differentiated by grade level and include an additional MLA checklist for grades 3-8. Grades K-2 focus on self-editing and teacher editing; grades 3-8 include peer editing. 

Free Online Orientation – Quick, convenient, and cost-saving. 

Grading by Design™ – Acclaimed time-saving online program for grading student writing; immediate assessment facilitates timely feedback; develops critical thinking. 


Handwriting Instruction – An additional kindergarten teaching manual is dedicated to letter and sentence formation.


Lesson Plans – Prepared, comprehensive, and proven-effective, they alleviate the need for teacher time to prepare lessons.


Model Papers – Models of effective writing increase students’ awareness of how to present information. They support explicit and direct instruction with a Model-Practice-Reflect cycle and demonstrate the step-by-step revision process.


Online Teaching Manuals – Convenient for screen projection and remote teaching/planning.


Picture Book References – Differentiated by grade level and available on YouTube, they provide students with models of Six Traits, CCSS strands of writing, and writing genres.

PreK Instruction – Explicit instruction aligned to the unique developmental needs of PreK students.


Professional Development – Designed to support district and school needs, options range from no-cost online training to remote and in-person workshops presented by experienced Writing by Design teachers and literacy coaches

Revision Checklists – They provide grade-level and genre-specific tools to help students analyze and organize content to ensure that their ideas are clearly expressed and well supported. Strong revision strategies are crucial to becoming a successful writer and moves students to deeper learning domains.


Rubrics – Purposely designed to be student-friendly, they facilitate increased student understanding of how to achieve clear and defined targets. They can be used for teaching and scoring student writing.

Scaffolded Design – Uses a research-based backward curriculum design with each year’s instruction building on prior-year student learning. This results in exponential increases in student proficiency, consistency throughout the grades, and increased teacher and student receptivity to instruction.


Six Traits and Genre Charts – Additional tools to support lesson delivery ensuring alignment of instructional goals and State standards.  The charts guide explicit instruction through each genre units and provide clear definitions of Six Traits strategies and standards for each genre.


Six Traits of Writing – Embedded in all lessons, K-8, the Six Traits define the ingredients of effective writing for students to practice and teachers to assess, equipping both with tools for strategically analyzing written work.


Small Teachable “Chunks”– Purposely designed for all students to achieve lesson mastery, each lesson provides 10-12 exposures of instruction to one achievable concept. 


Sourcebooks – Easy to follow instructions to create student Source Books are provided for the purpose of student notetaking during lessons that relate to the Six Traits of Writing. Benefits to notetaking include active student participation, emphasizing and organizing information, and providing a condensed record for study.

Spanish-Translated Lessons & Assessments – Adopted by dual immersion schools and used for EL support, key lesson components, Six Traits and Genre charts, and Grading by Design™ are available in Spanish. 


Spelling – Explicit grade level “No Excuse Spelling” protocols ensure correct spelling of 100 high-frequency words.

Summary Writing– An important genre unit of instruction, it is crucial for all writers to understand how to summarize ideas and text for clear and succinct communication. Students find summarizing a tedious process because they have no idea how to do it properly, resulting in low grades on their papers.


Support for English Language Learners and Students with Special Needs – With a consistent process of presenting information in small teachable/learnable “chunks", students feel confident (vs. challenged) during writing instruction. The program facilitates targeted re-teaching for mastery-based instruction. 


Teacher Development – In the absence of training in teacher credentialing programs, teachers report that implementation of Writing by Design instruction develops essential understandings and application to delivering effective writing instruction.


Video Lessons & Assessments – An option for teachers, students progress through four genre studies at their own pace. Excellent lesson catch-up or remote instruction when students are absent.


Worksheets– Designed to eliminate the purchase of student consumables, all student worksheets and resources can be downloaded at no cost from the website.

Unique Highlights of
Writing by Design®
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