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Writing Assessment Prep and Practice from Writable

February 21, 2019

Making sure that students have everything they need before state exams is definitely stressful. As a classroom teacher, I remember just how hard it was to find “just right” prompts and practice activities for students. Writable is a practical EdTech tool for teachers and students. Educators can use it to make sure that state summative exams aren’t a painful experience. It provides a writing practice and writing assessment platform for educators to help infuse formative assessment and plenty of practice into writing instruction.

If you’re a regular follower of the blog (sign up here – it’s free) you might have seen my post earlier this year. I’m super excited about their tool for teachers and students. You can read my first blog post in this series here. Now this dynamic EdTech tool can help you accomplish lots of goals this school year. Let’s dive into their writing assessment and practice features.

Writing Assessment Tool

Writable provides schools with access to state-aligned assessment practice. Teachers can connect students to hundreds of reading passages and prompts. Not only are they tied to specific skills, genres, and grade levels, but they are also tied directly to state summative rubrics. The idea here is that you have everything you need at your fingertips to give students an online space to practice their writing while preparing for state exams. Instead of just doing state practice to prepare for the tests, you can turn this practice into another opportunity practice the authentic writing and revision. These passages become mentors for reading comprehension or analyzing evidence.

The team at Writable also wanted to make sure it was simple for teachers to customize the content they provide access to on their platform. They make it easy to edit and customize all of their assignments. They’ve also just made it possible to create assignments completely from scratch. This way teachers can work from the same rubric provided on Writable’s website but still have the autonomy to tailor the prompts and skills to the needs of their students.

Currently, Writable has assignments, rubrics, and prompts aligned to SBAC and PARCC. On their platform you’ll also find assignments aligned to Florida Standards Assessment (FSA), Text Analysis (TDA) questions, and the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR), Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL), Tennessee TCAP, CAASP (California), and Georgia Milestones (GMAS). Right now you’ll find that Writable assignments and practice cover about 75% of states — with the rest coming soon.  Check out this assessment page to learn more about how Writable can work for your classroom, school, or district.

Writing Assessment Case Study

In this case study from Writable you’ll meet  Elizabeth Crooks. She is the recently retired 6-12 Curriculum Coordinator in ELA, Social Studies, and Science Literacy for the Consolidated School District of New Britain, Connecticut. Liz shares the issues she was having in her large school district. She discusses how by using Writable, her students saw a 1.7x increase in writing growth compared to cohorts not using Writable. This resulted in a 30% increase in scores for their district calibrated assessments.

As you can see in the video above Writable was chosen by the district to make sure that feedback cycles were happening in the writing classroom. Want to learn about the whole story, and access part 1 and 2 of the case study? Check it out on the dedicated page on Writable’s website. It features more information on the writing case study as well as a link to a webinar featuring Elizabeth Crooks.

Taming the Wild Text with Writable

You may have read my book Taming the Wild Text: Literacy Strategies for Today’s Reader co-authored with Pam Allyn. Now in this book, we talk about digital classrooms. And the ways to leverage the power of digital tools to support readers and writers. One of the reasons Writable initially caught my attention is the way that it supports students as they dive into text. In Writable, students have opportunities to share their learning through writing.

Writable provides a writing practice and writing assessment platform for educators to help infuse formative assessment into writing instruction.

Once you’re inside Writable, you’ll have a feel for how easy this tool is to use. You can head over to Writable to get started and see it in action. Teacher accounts are free, and you don’t even need an account to explore all the assignments and prompts. Or take a look at this blog post I put together with a full overview of Writable to learn more!

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Dr. Monica Burns is a former classroom teacher, Author, Speaker, and Curriculum & EdTech Consultant. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

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