Coosa Middle School started using Developing Strategic Writers Through Genre Instruction in February of 2019. I like this approach because it provides an approach to writing that can be taught consistently in all grade levels across all content areas. Dr. Zoi’s detailed lessons and prompt, helpful feedback gave the teachers the confidence to prepare lessons and deliver instruction with fidelity. By the end of 2019, students had written their way through the different genres at least two if not three times improving their thinking and writing skills with each paper. I am very pleased with the gains my students made in their confidence and ability as writers.
Sarah St. Clair, Interventionist
Coosa Middle, GA
Before using the Developing Strategic Writers approach teaching writing was a challenge. I now feel far more confident teaching writing across multiple genres and purposes. My newfound confidence has really helped my students to become excited about writing. The process has also helped them to develop their own confidence in their ability to write and express their thoughts. They can problem solve and work through any challenge they face without giving up. For many of my students this is their first time ever feeling confident in their writing ability. I will forever be grateful for the role this writing approach played in helping my students finally find writing confidence and their voice!
Allison Roberts, ELA teacher
Coosa Middle, GA
The Developing Strategic Writers approach is effective for both my regular education and Honors level classes. This writing method helped produce able and confident writers. Dr. Zoi's straightforward, consistent approach to writing provides a safe framework for students to build on, regardless of the writing occasion. Whether my middle school students started as weak writers or budding authors, they all benefited from the strong foundation of the genre-based strategy instruction lessons.
Hailey Burns, ELA Teacher
Armurchee Middle, GA
Developing Strategic Writers Through Genre Instruction was such an insightful approach to teaching writing. My students learned how to have meaningful conversations about their writing and reading with their peers. I found it valuable that our entire school used the same vocabulary when discussing writing and students were able to follow the same writing approach when reviewing an article in Science or crafting an essay in Language Arts. The instruction also benefited my own teaching with guided lessons, examples and professional development. I felt confident that my students were understanding the HOW when thinking about the task in front of them. I have witnessed incredible gains from my students throughout the school year, using this research driven approach.
Emily Majewski, ELA
Spring Lake Park, MN
Developing Strategic Writers through Genre Instruction has made a profound impact on my students and my teaching. Through training-as part of a research partnership-that was provided by Dr. Zoi Philippakos the teachers at Coosa Middle School were able to provide students with a systematic approach to writing and thinking. The five-step writing process used for all genres - plan, draft, evaluate, edit, and publish - helped my students to have an organized method for approaching writing. As a special education teacher, direct instruction of skills is vital for the success of my students. This approach helped improve the writing of many of my students from those who were struggling to write a simple paragraph to those who were composing a multiple-paragraph essay. The genre-based strategy instruction approach improved students' written expression and the language they learned about various genres and their organization, vocabulary, and syntax assisted them in reading comprehension as well. As students continue to use the approach from year to year, I anticipate a great shift in the performance of our entire district in the area of written expression and in general literacy.
Elizabeth McLemore, Special Education
Coosa Middle, GA