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A focus on writing in every class is key to success in this rural California district

Ed Source – Theresa Harrington

“The writing program helped spur a culture shift throughout the Brawley Union High School District, which includes a continuation high school for students who are behind in credits and a community day school for students who have behavior or attendance problems. The culture shift included comprehensive teacher training and staff teambuilding, new classes, and stressing the importance of standardized Smarter Balanced tests in English language arts and math to students. Over the past three years, the school, which serves about 1,670 students, has seen its scores soar on these tests aligned to the Common Core standards, which high school juniors take each spring.”(more)

Creating a Dysgraphia-Friendly Classroom

Edutopia – Jessica Hamman

“Dysgraphia is a language-based learning difference that affects a student’s ability to produce written language. In the early grades, students with dysgraphia may have difficulty with consistent letter formation, word spacing, punctuation, and capitalization. In later grades, they may have difficulty with writing fluency, floating margins, and legible writing.”(more)

Dyslexia—when spelling problems impair writing acquisition

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Dyslexia is a reading disorder that affects the ability to adopt the automatic reflexes needed to read and write. Several studies have sought to identify the source of the problems experienced by individuals with dyslexia when they read. Little attention, however, has been paid to the mechanisms involved in writing. CNRS Professor Sonia Kandel and her team studied the purely motor aspects of writing in children diagnosed with dyslexia. Their results show that orthographic processing in children with dyslexia is so laborious that it can modify or impair writing skills, despite the absence of dysgraphia in these children. The findings of this study are published in the November 2017 edition of Cognitive Neuropsychology.”(more)

Learn how these model districts implemented personalized learning

E-School News – Laura Ascione

“Personalized learning, competency-based learning and dynamic organizational design have shown promising results in school districts across the nation, according to a new report from Education Elements. The third annual Impact Report, Building Capacity for Personalized Learning and More,” shares data from specific school districts and highlights the progress each district has made in several areas, with a special emphasis on those districts that have been implementing personalized learning for several years.”(more)

Pencil Versus Keyboard: What Do We Know About Learning How to Write?

Ed Surge – Sydney Johnson

“Like many skills, good writing comes with good practice. Just ask Jane Hyatt Yolen, author and editor of more than 280 books, whose most notable quotes include: “Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.” But what does the research actually say about learning how to write in an increasingly digital age, let alone finding a good “workout” for our students to build the muscle? Researchers tell EdSurge that a shift towards digital over handwriting could have negative effects on young readers and writers, but some educators think technology and social media can create new ways to engage students in the writing process.”(more)

Three Principles of Writing Instruction in a Personalized Learning Classroom

Ed Surge – Amanda Zeligs Hand

“Writing is a deeply personal act. From process to deadlines, no two people approach writing in the exact same way. Take, for instance, environment. While some people prefer to write in complete silence, others need the din of a coffee shop to focus. Or, if you are like me, the friendly hum of the same song on endless repeat helps the words flow. These disparate settings have one thing in common: excellent writing can emerge from each.”(more)