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Effective Strategies to Improve Student Writing (4-12)

Are you looking for effective ways to help your student writers? This online course provides teachers with strategies that are sure to improve students’ writing skills. Teachers will be provided with effective ways to teach students how to write successful narrative essays, persuasive essays, and informative essays. The course also focuses on teaching students a step-by-step process for writing research reports, including note-taking and outlining skills. Technology is another area of focus addressing digital research, information literacy, digital storytelling, and iPad apps. Teachers will also learn ways to help struggling writers as well as motivate reluctant writers. Assessment options will also be shared. Finally writer’s workshop is introduced within the context of the writing process. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units from UC San Diego Extension. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"This course was fantastic. The course content was excellent. I like how there is a breakdown that makes sense for teaching writing." - Jason Green


Enrollment Options

Register] Course Registration Only $120 with the discount

Register]Course Plus Credit from UC San Diego Extension Only $304


Required Resource Book: This course has a modestly-priced required resource book (available in both new and used versions) that can be purchased through Amazon using the following link. Note that you can begin and participate in your course before the book arrives.

Joy Write: Cultivating High-Impact Low-Stakes Writing” by Ralph Fletcher

If you are registering for multiple courses, use the following link to access the book list for all PDI courses with direct purchase links through Amazon. PDI Course Resource Book List


Topical Outline / Click here to request a copy of the detailed syllabus

PDI Course Number: 42T02

UCSD Course Number: EDUC41465

Unit One

  • Writing Standards in the Classroom
  • Writing and technology
  • Literature as an Inspiration for Writing
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1

Unit Two

  • Focus on Narrative Writing
  • Focus on Persuasive Writing
  • Focus on Informative Writing
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2

Unit Three

  • Focus on Research Reports
  • Information Literacy and Digital Research
  • Note Taking and Outlining Skills
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3

Unit Four

  • The Writing Process
  • Six Traits of Writing
  • Helping Struggling Writers
  • Test #4

Unit Five

  • Writer's Workshop
  • Writing Across the Curriculum
  • Writing Assessment
  • Test #5

Unit Six

  • Tips for Working with English Language Learners
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Writing Apps
  • Assignment #4: Develop a writing assignment based on your grade-level content for each of the three areas of writing: narrative, persuasive, and informative.
  • Assignment #5: Reading/Learning Log (Based on required resource book)