Plan for outcomes, not activities

As I’ve been revamping my old you-can-teach-writing website after a nearly three-year hiatus, I’ve been looking for up-to-date resources for teaching writing in way(s) that produce entire classes in which every student age 13 and over writes competently.

I don’t mean AP classes, or dual-enrollment for college credit classes.

I mean ordinary classes for ordinary teens and adults, the ones in which most entering students have little or no interest in writing.

What I am finding is that most current resources for writing teachers are activity resources. They tell a teacher how to use a website of vocabulary activities, for example, or suggest a tool for digital publishing.

The resources support individual lessons or, occasionally, lesson units.

I’m not finding resources that enable teachers to do the kind of all-year teaching that enables students—all students—to meet the kinds of annual outcomes that make them “college and career ready” by the end of high school.

More upsetting, I’m not seeing much awareness among educators that the lesson and unit education model doesn’t work any more—if it ever did.

Some days it seems as if the only thing that’s changed since I was in high school is that digital devices have replaced glue and glitter.

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