The Writing Rope: A Framework for Evidence-Based Writing Instruction

Joan Sedita

Founder of Keys to Literacy

 

Writing is a task as complex and multifaceted as reading—but it’s often taught as a single skill. Our podcast guest is Joan Sedita, the successful author of the popular book, The Writing Rope. Her book and the innovative framework she created weaves multiple skills and strategies into five fundamentals of a comprehensive writing curriculum: critical thinking, syntax (sentences), text structure, writing craft, and transcription (spelling and handwriting).

We hope you’ll join this informative discussion as Sedita shares the guidelines that demystify the process of helping students learn to write and write to learn. Our conversation will explore ways educators can plan and deliver comprehensive, explicit, and evidence-based writing instruction, aligned with IDA’s Structured Literacy approach, and based on the latest research. The focus of the book is on grades 4–8, but much of what Sedita will address can be used in earlier grades and high school.

She will share:

  • The essential skills all students must learn to become proficient writers
  • How to help students use writing to enhance their learning across different content areas
  • Ways educators can plan effective writing assignments in different content areas

 

Guest Presenter

Joan Sedita is the founder of Keys to Literacy, a literacy professional development organization working across the United States. She has been in the literacy field for more than 40 years as a teacher, administrator, and teacher trainer. She is the creator of The Writing Rope framework, and has authored multiple literacy professional development programs, including TheKey Comprehension Routine, The Key Vocabulary Routine, Keys to Beginning Reading, Keys to Content Writing, Keys to Early Writing, and Understanding Dyslexia. Beginning in 1975, she worked for 23 years at the Landmark School, a pioneer in the development of literacy intervention programs. Sedita was one of the three lead trainers in Massachusetts for the Reading First Program and was a LETRS® author and trainer. She received her M.Ed. in reading from Harvard University and her B.A. from Boston College.

 

Transcript

 

Transcript

Narrator:

Welcome to EDVIEW360.

Joan Sedita:

There is this relationship between reading and writing. And what I found in writing this and in the professional development work that I do, that many of the components that we need to teach to students, skills, strategies, are things that also support usually their reading comprehension. So, when you think about one of the strands, which is text structure, students need to know about text structure to organize their writing, but it also, if they know about text structure, it gives them clues to making meaning when they're reading. When you think about sentences and syntax, developing those skills help them write better sentences, but it also helps them parse the meaning out of really long, complex sentences when they're reading. And then of course in phonics, there's the decoding part of phonics, and then there's the encoding where the spelling part is. So, it's like a yin and a yang, and you almost can't separate them.

Speaker 1:

You've just heard from Joan Sedita, author of the popular book, The Writing Rope: A Framework for Explicit Writing Instruction in All Subjects. Ms. Sedita is our guest today on EDVIEW360.

Hannah Irion-Frake:

Welcome back to the EDVIEW360 podcast series. I'm Hannah Irion-Frake, an educator from Pennsylvania, and I'm excited to be your host today as we talk with Joan Sedita, author of the popular book The Writing Rope: A Framework for Explicit Writing Instruction in All Subjects. I had the pleasure of reading The Writing Rope as soon as I could get my hands on it, and it is an amazing and much-needed resource for all teachers of writing. As a classroom teacher, I found this book to be really straightforward and easy to understand and put into practice. I am so honored to be here talking with Joan Sedita today.

Joan Sedita is the founder of Keys to Literacy and author of The Keys to Literacy professional development programs. She is an experienced educator, nationally recognized speaker, and teacher trainer. She has worked for over 35 years in the literacy education field and has presented to thousands of teachers and related professionals at schools, colleges, clinics, and professional conferences. Her book is getting a lot of attention and we welcome the chance to speak with her about writing, reading, and ways to teach writing to elementary students. We are so glad to have you with us today, Ms. Sedita. We're excited to discuss the importance of writing instruction. Let's get started.

JS:

Thank you so much, Hannah, and also to EDVIEW360 for giving me this opportunity to talk about something that I love to talk about, and that's how we teach writing.

HF:

Awesome. So, we'll get right into it. Many listeners may already be familiar with The Reading Rope framework, but tell us, why did you create The Writing Rope framework?

JS:

Yeah. Well, the ability to write is just as essential to learning as the ability to read, but unfortunately, schools don't allocate sufficient instructional time or resources for writing instruction. Right? And many educators, including those who know a lot about reading instruction, have limited knowledge about effective writing instruction. If you ask most teachers who play any role in teaching reading, if you say, "What are the components of reading," they can at least name the basic five, often referred to as the Fab Five. They were identified by The National Reading Panel 20 years ago: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension. And many of these same educators can describe all the skills that are represented in the strands in Hollis Scarborough's Reading Rope that must be integrated at the same time in order to support skilled reading. But when you ask these same educators to say, "What are the components of effective writing instruction," they're not sure.

Too many just view it as this monolithic task. "We're going to teach phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing. And it's huge. It's just as huge as reading, but it's just really hard for people to unpack what writing instruction means. So, I really felt like that we needed a framework to help teachers understand the complexity of writing and that it also has multicomponents. For a long time, I used to use the metaphor of a wagon wheel, talking about the spokes in the wheel as the different components of writing. And if any spoke in a wagon wheel is broken or is not strong, what does it do to integrity of the whole wheel? But over the years where Hollis's Reading Rope metaphor has become so well known, I decided that probably that rope metaphor would make sense for writing as well. So, that's why I ended up switching to that. I just thought it would more readily resonate with educators because they could make that connection. So, that's basically why I created it and why I made it a rope.

HF:

I can definitely relate to that as a classroom teacher. I love Scarborough's Reading Rope. I have it posted in my classroom. And I will very soon have The Writing Rope, I think, posted right next to it because it does give such an excellent metaphor for all the pieces and helps us keep the big picture in mind while also looking at the strands that go into good writing instruction, for sure. So, there is so much attention out there right now around the science of reading. Why is the same attention just starting to follow suit for writing instruction? Or do you think it is?

JS:

That's a great question. Given how essential writing is, it's always surprised me that people have not paid it the attention that it needs. I think ever since The National Reading Panel put out the report and then we had a period of time through the No Child Left Behind funding, Reading First initiative, a ton of focus was placed on reading, and it should have been. It really shed a light on the reading issues that we have in the United States, but I think a result of that is all this funding and attention that was put on reading. And it was again, well needed, attentional time spent, especially in core reading in the beginning years of school. I think what happened as a result is that the writing got sidelined in an attempt to find more time to teach reading.

There's so much that has to be taught. And you've had schools trying to find at least 90 minutes, many 120 minutes, which is important. But I think in that quest to find more time for reading instruction, whatever writing instruction was happening, I think, got set aside. So, that's part of, I think, what happened. There's also been so much more funding and attention paid toward reading research, which is great, but it doesn't mean we don't have anything about writing. Oh, a lot of times, people will say like, "What's the research? There isn't any out there." And there actually is. We do have a pretty robust collection. Steven Graham is often playing a hand in some of the meta-analysis reports that are out there. We had not too long ago, I think it came out in about 2010, we had Writing Next come out and then we had Writing to Read. And more recently, there are two Institute of Education Science Research guides, one for elementary and one for high school. And those both really summarize the research.

What I think is nice about these guides and reports is they're based on meta-analyses. And so, you don't have to go searching for a lot of different individual studies. If you're a researcher, you want to do that, but not if you're a classroom teacher. So, they summarize it for us. And I think now that these have become available, I think that people are turning their attention more to that. One other thing that I'm actually surprised that it hasn't had more of effect, and that is when the Common Core State Literacy Standards came out. And I know that a lot of states since then have modified them and adopted their own, but if you look at them, most of them are similar. And they have 10 writing standards, just like there's 10 reading standards. And I really thought that with these standards and then especially as more states started assessing students around their writing using prompts where they have to write based on evidence and information from sources, I really thought that would maybe push the needle, but that's even taken a long time.

As to the end of your question, "Or is it", I do think I am starting to see a sea change. In my work and the work with my colleagues at Keys to Literacy, we're out training teachers all over the country, and I am starting to see more requests for, "And what about writing?" So, I think that's a really good sign. It's also why I wrote The Writing Rope book because there's just not as much out there as there is for reading. And I felt that by doing a book like this that summarize the framework, it would make it easier for teachers to start to feel like they could address writing. And just one other point that reminds me of, I also think part of the reason writing maybe isn't getting the same attention is that it's hard. It's hard to write yourself. It's hard to teach kids.

I've been in training sessions. I'll never forget one where we were training some high school teachers on content writing instructional practices. And it was beginning of the day, and this one physics teacher stood up and she turned to her colleagues and she said, "Well, listen, I know we're going to be here learning about writing, and I'm sure this woman is going to make me do some writing today. And I'm going to tell you right now, I'm a horrible writer and I'm going to be embarrassed to show you my work. And that's why I'm teaching science and not English." And I just thought that was so telling. When you're in front of a group of teachers and you say, "What are you reading today or this week," everybody can raise their hand on that. And if you say, "What are you writing," it's a scary proposition. So, I think that has something to do with it as well.

HF:

That definitely resonates with me. I know that for many years, I always thought of reading and writing as being two very separate subjects. They didn't overlap very much. And I think that's a common assumption out there in public education still today, especially when you get into the secondary level. It's its own class that it happens in another room. So, I definitely think that that is accurate, that it's things are starting to shift and change. And I do love that about your book, is that there is such a buzz out there about the science of reading. And there's teachers who are saying, "Yes, give me more. I want to learn more," and there isn't anything as user-friendly about writing. But now, I feel like there is because your book is an excellent road map.

JS:

Oh. Well, great.

HF:

For how writing can fit in the classroom. Yeah.

JS:

Thank you. Actually, I'm going to pick up on something you said. There is this relationship between reading and writing. And what I found in writing this and in the professional development work that I do, that many of the components that we need to teach to students, skills, strategies, are things that also support usually their reading comprehension. So, when you think about one of the strands, which is text structure, students need to know about text structure to organize their writing, but it also, if they know about text structure, it gives them clues to making meaning when they're reading. When you think about sentences and syntax, developing those skills help them write better sentences, but it also helps them parse the meaning out of really long, complex sentences when they're reading. And then of course in phonics, there's the decoding part of phonics, and then there's the encoding where the spelling part is. So, it's like a yin and a yang, and you almost can't separate them.

HF:

Absolutely. They really are reciprocal processes, for sure. So, our next question dives a little bit more into that. How can The Writing Rope be used by teachers and other professionals?

JS:

Another excellent question. I think the framework can be used in several ways. First of all, it's meant to remind all educators about those multiple components, that writing isn't this monolithic thing and that every component is important. But I think because they're woven together as a rope, it's also meant to remind teachers that while we can talk about each item discreetly, we can offer instructional suggestions for individual parts of The Writing Rope. Ultimately, they all need to be integrated by students, and that comes with practice writing a lot. So, I think firstly, it's meant to be used as a reminder that there are all these components. Second, and it's kind of in line with that, I can see how the framework is used. And we're already seeing lots of educators, teachers, but also administrators use it this way, to take stock of their curriculum for teaching writing, their instructional practices.

And if they have writing programs or if they're thinking about purchasing a writing program, to look and say, "Are we covering everything we need to? Is our curriculum maybe really heavy on the types of writing and the structures for informational and narrative and argument, but we're neglecting sentences, which is, it's the building block?" So, the idea is that you can use it as a way to take stock of what you're doing. If you look at The Writing Rope, there's the visual and there are the strands. But within each strand, I've identified some subtopics. And I think it's almost like a list, an outline. If you go down each section of the rope and then into the subtopics, and ask yourself, "Are we providing writing instruction for skills or strategies or techniques for every item that's on here?" Because if we aren't, if we're missing something, then it's a little bit like Swiss cheese sometimes. It's got little holes here and there.

And so, I meant it as a way, as a tool, a framework to help determine that. I also wanted to emphasize...I wanted people to see it as a framework to show that writing instruction is not just the purview of English teachers or ELA teachers, that content-area teachers play an unbelievable role in supporting writing. Now, they might not be teaching spelling or other transcription skills, or they might not be teaching some of the grammar-related terminology, but when it comes to things like text structure and critical thinking for writing for sources, I really feel like every teacher can play a role in it. So, that's how I meant it to be used.

HF:

Definitely. I couldn't agree more. I think that really speaks to how The Writing Rope can be such a powerful tool for teachers in developing their knowledge as professionals. So, let's dive a little bit deeper into The Writing Rope itself. Could you walk us through the five components of The Writing Rope framework?

JS:

Sure. And I'll summarize them starting at the top, and we'll work our way down. At the top, the first strand is critical thinking. Now, what did I think should go under this strand? A whole lot of skills that are needed in order to generate the ideas that kids and students are going to be writing about, especially if they're doing any sort of creative writing. So, it's gathering their thoughts, but much of the writing we do in school, the academic writing, is related to something we're learning. So, it's also the tools that we need to gather information from our sources. This could include note taking. For those folks who know my work, they know I'm a real strong proponent of two-column notes.

It even includes some skills that some might say have to do more with reading comprehension. But if you're reading an article and you're watching a video, two sources about a subject, and then you're going to be writing a response to a prompt, whether it's in the classroom or a high-stakes test prompt, if you don't know how to search and find the relevant information and maybe annotate your source and then lift it out into the notes. But then you've got notes, it's just a collection. So, then how do you organize all that? So, a lot of the skills that have to do with writing about what we're learning and what we're reading and what we're watching.

The other thing that I put under here is the stages of the writing process. They've been around for a while. Hayes and Flowers started studying this in the 1960s, trying to identify what are the stages in the writing process that successful writers use? And then if we knew what those were, maybe we can begin to teach those to students. And people describe them in different ways. It's organizing, drafting, writing, then revising. There's a little acronym that we developed here at Keys to Literacy to help kids remember that. We call it The Process Writing Routine. And the T is for Thinking, the P in process is for Planning, the W in Writing is for writing, and then the last is your Revision. But this involves critical thinking. There's so much that has to happen, especially at the thinking and planning before you write. So, that's what's under the critical thinking strand.

The next one down is syntax or sentence. And this is where issues related to the grammar and syntactic awareness come in, developing students' ability to have a good sense about what a good solid sentence looks like, but then also to elaborate our sentences. So, oftentimes as students move from fourth into fifth and beyond, they still write these very short, stilted sentences. And we start to say, "So, what strategies and techniques can we teach them for elaborating their sentences?" And then of course, punctuation comes into this. So, it's all about the sentence level, which to me is a major building block for writing. If you don't get the sentences right, it's going to be really hard to get anything longer beyond that.

The third strand in the rope is text structure, and there's quite a few things I put under here. I tucked in under here. Let's start with the broadest level. And if we draw from what the Common Core often identified as the three main types of writing. So, we've got our narrative, our informational and our opinion/argument. Opinion for the earlier grades, more formal argument for the upper. Those three major genres, or types, a lot of students don't know the difference. What is the purpose for each? Within those major types of writing, we have things...And these are very aligned to some of the substandards in the Common Core writing standards. Things like introductions, and conclusions, and body development. And the body is going to be developed really different for an informational piece. It's going to be big ideas and sub ideas. Narrative, it's going to be driven by order of events. And our opinion and argument, it's going to be organized around reasons and supporting evidence and maybe a counterclaim in a rebuttal. So, the broader structures of text.

Next down is paragraph. And I think along with sentences, paragraph structure is another one of those major building blocks. And we have many older students who still don't get the concept of a paragraph. They just keep writing or they indent every once in a while because they're supposed to, but they don't really have a sense that it's all about main ideas. When we shift from one main idea to another, it's about the same topic, but we're saying something different about that topic, it's time to start a new paragraph, and a lot of our students don't understand that. Another thing that's tucked in under here are patterns of organization. So, what do I mean by that? There are some major patterns. We've got description or explanation, we've got sequence, we've got cause and effect, compare, contrast, problem, solution.

These are different organizational structures. Sometimes you might have a paragraph that's just all one, we're just describing, or we're just doing a compare, contrast. Sometimes within the same paragraph, you might integrate two. The other thing that goes hand in hand with this, which is the last sub-bullet under text structure, and that's linking words or transition words and phrases. These are little golden words that they're just so valuable. And many of our students who struggle with writing because they have low levels of language, they don't come naturally, and yet they're what you need to make connections between sentences and paragraphs. And very often, linking and transition words are tied to certain patterns of organization. So, if you're doing a chronology, you might have first, next, last. If you're doing compare and contrast, you might use the word, however. So, there's an awful lot that I put here under text structure.

The fourth is writing craft. And this is where word choice comes in, awareness of vocabulary, but all within the context of an awareness of what's referred to as TAP, which stands for Task, Audience, and Purpose. When you are writing, you really need to keep the TAP and especially the audience in mind because the way you write to a certain audience will be different than the way you write to another, and that includes your word choice. In the writing craft is also where I put things like literary devices. And this can begin really early with young children just thinking about how you might use dialogue between characters. But as students move up into the grades, it can include a lot of other literary devices. I would say this about the first four that I've summarized. This last one, writing craft, does tend to be more the purview of the writing teacher, or the English, ELA teacher, whereas critical thinking certainly and text structure, any teacher of any subject plays an important role with that, and I also think with sentences.

The last strand is transcription skills, and this includes spelling and handwriting/keyboarding. Now, we really would like for most students, before they enter to grade four, to have sufficient phonics knowledge about the English orthographic system and about how letters map to sounds, which is what is the basis for a lot of English spelling. There's morphology involved, but we'd like students to have spelling pretty much under their belt, maybe not for the longest eight-syllable, scientific words, but so that they don't have to really focus on spelling while they're composing. But unfortunately, a lot of students enter fourth grade and beyond, and spelling is not automatic. And that really becomes problematic. And I think it's the same with handwriting or keyboarding.

Now, these fall under transcription because they're things we need to literally transcribe on the page, the words we want to say. They're not critical thinking though. The critical thinking is the composing part of writing. But if we have students who are struggling with the spelling and the handwriting, they are putting so much attention to that, that there isn't much left to focus on the composing. It's not that different than what happens with reading. If kids are still struggling with fluency to decode the words, it takes away from the energy to make meaning. So, those are the five strands in the rope. And as we said before, we can talk about each one separately and we can share instructional practices within each strand, but ultimately, students have to integrate them all at the same time in order to successfully write.

HF:

Absolutely. And I think that's what makes this Writing Rope framework so helpful for teachers in the classroom, is it shows them all the pieces and the little parts that go into it, but then emphasizes the big picture and how it all comes together for sure. So, knowing all these pieces and all the parts of The Writing Rope is definitely one piece of the puzzle. That's the teacher knowledge part that we spoke about. But then I'm always thinking about, as a classroom teacher, how this works in my own classroom. So, how can teachers plan and deliver the comprehensive, explicit, and evidence-based writing instruction in the classroom?

JS:

Yeah, yeah. I mean, The Writing Rope tells you the what, but your question has to do with the how.

HF:

Yes.

JS:

And I'm going to come back to the basic tenets of explicit, systematic instruction, which benefits no matter what we're teaching. I mean, we hear about it a lot with reading, but it applies to writing, but it applies to anything. If you're teaching a soccer team how to kick the ball down the field, explicit, systematic instruction. So, I think that the first thing that teachers need to be thinking about is any skill or strategy or technique that makes up the different strands of the rope, we've got to explicitly teach kids. We cannot commit what I call a suicide. That's not a real word, but it's when teachers assume that students have basic foundational skills. They assume they have transcription skills. They assume they know how to write a sentence. They assume that when they're writing an argument piece. They know how to state their position or their claim. And I think the older students they get, the more we commit a suicide.

So, we can't assume that they have foundational skills. And when we teach these skills or strategies or techniques, we want to do it in a very explicit way. In the Writing book, and in much of the PD that makes up the work I do in schools, there are seven teaching principles that I identify in the beginning of the book that I want teachers to be keeping in mind throughout. The first is Pearson and Gallagher's gradual release of responsibility, which many folks these days recognize as the I, We, You, gradually releasing where the teacher is going to explicitly explain a skill or strategy, model it using think aloud, then shift to the, We Do it stage where there's a lot of guided practice, students work collaboratively, they work individually until they get to the independent stage.

So, that's the first one. The second is explicit instruction of specific writing skills at every stage of the writing process. And that, by the way, is one of the findings that comes up in the Writing Next and the Writing to Read reports of meta-analyses of research, that we need to explicitly teach strategies, not just for writing, but also for thinking and planning and revising as well. Third, differentiate our instruction. Not all students are going to follow the same path through I, We, You. We want to provide lots of scaffolds. And that's one of the things I've tried to do in the book, is provide examples of scaffolds. One of the things I like about what the publisher, Brookes Publishing, enabled me to do is they have a website where a lot of the templates and handouts that you could use with students, those are available electronically, and I really wanted to make sure that teachers had the tools that they needed. So, scaffolds.

Another one is opportunities for peer collaboration at all stages of the writing process. We know from research that well, look, let's face it, writing is a communicative thing, or we want students to believe that, that it's not just something you do and the only person who reads it is your teacher and gives you a grade. It is a way to communicate. And so one of the things we've learned is that when students have an opportunity to collaborate with their peers, also with the teacher, while at the thinking stage, while they're thinking about what they're going to say, at the planning stage, how are they going to organize it, at the writing stage, you work together to craft a sentence or a paragraph, and then certainly at the revision stage where we're revising for content, but then also for things like spelling and punctuation and that sort of thing.

And we know from the research that when students have opportunities to collaborate, it makes them much more motivated and engaged in the writing process. So, that's another one. Another is the use of mentor texts as models. We all learn by emulating how others write. I often use this as an example. Not too long ago, I was in a car accident, and I needed to complete an accident report at the police station, and I had never done one before. So, what do you think the first thing I asked for was, "Can I see a few examples?" And then once I saw how others wrote them up, I figured, "OK, now I get it." And that's true for all of us. So, if there's a particular technique, you're maybe trying to show kids how to use transition words or how to maybe elaborate a sentence, show them examples in mentor text.

So, that was another one of the principles. And then finally, just increasing the amount the students write in all subjects. They can be short, little quick writes, they can be longer writing tests that are spread out over time, but we want students writing all day long, every day, every week. So, those are the seven principles. I think that explicit instruction, and I'll come back to it again, I think we want to be really explicit and use models to show students how to incorporate transitions, those small little words. So, I think the idea is that the Writing book and many of the other writing books that I've written as part of some of my trainings, the Keys to Content Writing, Keys to Early Writing, the idea with all of them is take what we've learned from the research about effective instruction, let's make sure we define what those components are, which is what The Writing Rope does. But then now, let's make that connection to the classroom from research to practice. And what does that look like in instructional activities and things that we can do day to day?

HF:

Awesome. Thank you. I think those are really great principles, especially for teaching writing, but even just in general for all teaching. The importance of explicit instruction is just, it can't be overlooked, for sure. This next question is illustrated so clearly in your book, The Writing Rope, but would you please explain to listeners the difference between learn to write and write to learn?

JS:

Yes. And that is so similar to a phrase that's attributed to the Great Jean Shaw, right? Learning to read versus reading to learn.

HF:

Yes.

JS:

And I think the difference between these two phrases emphasizes that distinction between explicit instruction of writing skills, and then on the flip, teaching students how to use those writing skills, how to apply them in combination to write for the purpose of communicating or learning. And the first strand in The Writing Rope that focuses on teaching skills, strategies, such as the note taking that I mentioned, that's really about what they need in order to write to learn. They're writing about something they're reading or they're watching or that they've learned in their content classroom. And that's the ultimate goal of our writing in school, is to help us learn. And that's why I called it the critical thinking strand. On the other hand, so if you're writing a summary of something or you're writing a reflection, a journal reflection about maybe characters in a story, or maybe it's something really short, it's a little five-minute quick write about a science experiment that you did.

The problem is without the sufficient instruction and practice that's really important in developing the learning to write skills, so about text structure, about how to write a quality sentence, how to do paragraph structure. Without that, it's really hard to then start writing to learn because you're putting so much energy toward the skill itself. So, I also think that the writing to learn part of the rope is the thing that I hope to grab content teachers to say, "You can play a role in writing." Yes, it's the writing teacher and the English and the ELA teacher who's going to do the learning to write stuff, but you play a really important role as well.

HF:

Yes, I love that distinction. I think it's helpful when we talk about reading and very helpful when we talk about writing as well.

JS:

Yeah.

HF:

Definitely. So, what tools and resources can help teachers who are committed to teaching writing, following this Writing Rope framework, following your framework?

JS:

Well, first, I think educators should familiarize themself with the research findings. And I mentioned some of them. All you need to do is an Internet search for Writing Next, Writing to Read, or the two Institute of Ed Science reports. Their titles are Teaching Elementary School Students to be Effective Writers. And then in the upper, it's Teaching Secondary Students to Write Effectively. Just do an Internet search of these titles, and it'll get you those guides and reports. You don't need to read anything more than that, but I think it is important to be armed and equipped to know what the latest research says. We don't want teachers to be teaching writing based on the way someone taught it to them, or maybe some theory that somebody has come up with. We really want it to be grounded in research as much as possible.

So, I think that's the first place to start, but I think there are a lot of resources out there that are free that teachers can start to tap into. It could be something very specific, like a list of transition words, or it could be something longer, recorded webinars. There are an awful lot of materials like that that I've made available over the years. The Keys to Literacy website, has a free resources section. And during the pandemic, I did quite a lot of webinars about various topics that either Keys did or other organizations. And they're all archived there, and they're free. Take advantage of them. There are printables and downloadables that people can use as well. Besides The Writing Rope book itself, there are two other books I've written that provide really practical, instructional suggestions: Keys to Content Writing, Keys to Early Writing. But besides the materials that I've made available out there to folks, there are lots of other good people doing work around writing. Just start doing Google searches and reading up and trying things out.

HF:

Thank you so much for pointing us in the right direction for resources. I know I'm taking notes of things I want to go explore myself as well. So, I want to thank you so much for joining us today, Ms. Sedita. It has been an absolute pleasure talking with you. Please tell our listeners how they can learn more about you.

JS:

I'd say go to the Keys to Literacy website, just do an Internet search of that. My bio is there, and all of the works that I've done, and a lot of the free things I've written and put together over the years. That's probably the best way to connect with me and learn more about my work.

HF:

Excellent.

JS:

In fact, Hannah, I want to again thank you and also the EDVIEW360 to give me this opportunity to talk about The Writing Rope.

HF:

Thank you again. It has been such an honor to chat with you today.

Narrator: 

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