Guiding Emergent and Early Struggling Writers to Success

(Grades K-2) / Flex Course

PDI Course Number: 31T02 / UCSD Course Number: EDUC41578

Course Description

Are you interested in learning how to help your struggling writers become more successful with their writing? Children often begin school excited to learn how to write, but for those who struggle, the spark is quickly diminished. This online course is designed for teachers in grades K-2 who want to help their struggling students with key writing skills. The course begins with a brief discussion of why students may struggle with writing as well as an exploration of writing standards. Then, teachers will learn the difference between, and characteristics of, the emergent writer and the early writer. Teachers will also learn how to differentiate between struggling writers and those who are learning disabled so appropriate remediations can be selected. Information on the writing process is shared together with suggestions for incorporating specific writing strategies such as the six traits and writing across the curriculum. Teachers will also learn how to motivate their struggling writers so they become more interested and focused on the process. The strong connection between reading and writing will be explored. Additional strategies such as writer’s workshop, technology that promotes writing, and using quality literature as an inspiration for writing are shared. Finally, writing assessment is fully explored. By the end of this course, teachers will more fully understand how to best help their struggling writers. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units (50 hours of training) from University of California San Diego (UCSD) Division of Extended Studies. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"I learned so much from reading the online course documents as well as reading the textbook. The writing process was discussed in a thorough manner and provided much insight on how teachers can successfully help their students learn the various writing genres." - Kelly Nichol

Enrollment Options

Course Only

$120 with the discount

Course with Credit from UCSD

$304 with the discount

This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units or 5 quarter units of graduate-level credit from UCSD.

You have up to one year from the date you are enrolled to complete a flex course.

Click here to view the course syllabus.

Print our customized course approval form to share with your school district.

UCSD Course Number: EDUC41578
Unit One
  • Why Johnny Can't Write: A Brief History of Writing
  • Writing Standards-What? There were writing standards?
  • Introduction to the Common Core Standards for Writing
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1
Unit Two
  • The Emergent Writer
  • The Early Writer
  • Developing Fluency
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2
Unit Three
  • Building a Community of Learners
  • Differentiation is Key
  • Struggling or learning disabled?
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3
Unit Four
  • Understanding the Writing Process
  • Writer's Workshop
  • The Six (plus one) Traits of Writing
  • Test #4
Unit Five
  • The Reading-Writing Connection
  • Using Literature to Teach Writing
  • Introducing Nonfiction Text
  • Test #5
Unit Six
  • Writing Across the Curriculum
  • The Gradual Release of Responsibility
  • Assessing Student Writing
  • Assignment #4: Create writing activities based on literature books
  • Assignment #5: Course Reflection

View PDI's Catalog of Courses

Check out a list of all PDI graduate-level online courses or sort by grade level or subject area.

Click Here »

Register Now!

Quick access to register for PDI's online courses using our secure system.

Click Here »

Learn More about PDI

Find out how to reach PDI and get answers to any questions you may have.

Click Here »

Access My Course

Access PDI's online learning management system to begin your course.

Click Here »