Practice Guide iconPractice Guide
Released: June 2012
(Revised October 2018)

PDF (5.2 MB)
This practice guide provides four recommendations for improving elementary students’ writing. Each recommendation includes implementation steps and solutions for common roadblocks. The recommendations also summarize and rate supporting evidence. This guide is geared toward teachers, literacy coaches, and other educators who want to improve the writing of their elementary students.
Provide daily time for students to write.
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Teach students to use the writing process for a variety of purposes.
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Teach students to become fluent with handwriting, spelling, sentence construction, typing, and word processing.
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Create an engaged community of writers.
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Related Resources:
Education Levels:
  • Elementary
  • Administrators
  • School Specialist
  • Teacher

This practice guide was prepared for the WWC by Mathematica under contract ED-07-CO-0062.

The following research staff contributed to the guide: Cay Bradley, Virginia Knechtel, Nancy Murray, Bryce Onaran, and Cassie Pickens Jewell.

These videos were prepared by WestEd under the Doing What Works Contract (ED-PEP-11-C-0068).
All videos are based on recommendations from the WWC practice guides and are designed to complement the guides.

  • Steve Graham (Chair)
    Arizona State University

    Play an interview of Panel Chair, Steve Graham: Writing as a Thinking Activity (6:09 minutes)
  • Alisha Bollinger
    Norris Elementary School, Norris School District, Nebraska
  • Carol Booth Olsen
    University of California, Irvine
  • Catherine D'Aoust
    University of California, Irvine
  • Charles MacArthur
    University of Delaware
  • Deborah McCutchen
    University of Washington
  • Natalie Olinghouse
    University of Connecticut

The practice guide is accompanied by instructional tips, a summary of evidence for the instructional tips, and a practice guide summary. Click below to access any of the available resources.

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