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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 $199

RegisterCourse Plus Credit from UC San Diego Extension Only $429


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: 42AXX

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/Write an article reflection

Unit Two

  • Focus on Narrative Writing
  • Focus on Persuasive Writing
  • Focus on Informative Writing
  • Assignment #2: Develop writing activities

Unit Three

  • Focus on Research Reports
  • Information Literacy and Digital Research
  • Note Taking and Outlining Skills
  • Assignment #3: Develop a sample outline

Unit Four

  • The Writing Process
  • Six Traits of Writing
  • Helping Struggling Writers
  • Assignment #4: Help a struggling writer

Unit Five

  • Writer's Workshop
  • Writing Across the Curriculum
  • Writing Assessment
  • Assignment #5: Develop a rubric

Unit Six

  • Tips for Working with English Language Learners
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Writing Apps
  • Assignment #6: Design a writing lesson that uses a piece of software or app
  • Assignment #7: Reading/Learning Log (Based on required resource book)