8 Ways to Shift Writing Instruction for Remote Learning

Writable is committed to supporting educators and students in the transition to remote learning and we acknowledge that engaging students in a virtual writing process can be a challenge. As teachers and parents, we’re working side by side with you – we already support virtual writing and thinking every day. Effective immediately, we are extending our free trial to any school that’s affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through the rest of this school year. For any questions on the status of your trial or subscription, or thoughts on how we can make your life easier during this time, please email us or use the Live Chat window inside Writable.


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1. Print or Photocopy Reading Passages

Writable has 600+ assignments for grades 3-12 for argumentative/persuasive, informational/expository, and narrative writing. We also have reading passages and graphic organizers to help educators easily assign scaffolded, engaging writing while virtual instruction is underway. Teachers can curate reading passages digitally by uploading a PDF or copying/pasting a reading passage. New! Any reading passage can now be printed and photocopied at school or printed at home for students with limited device access.

2. Customize Learning Experiences, Pacing, and Scaffolding

Every one of the assignments in Writable is completely customizable to meet the needs of your students, including prompts, reading passages, rubrics, and pre-writing supports. Scaffold assignments with video lessons, embedded resources, or graphic organizers to ensure support for all types of learners from afar. Writable fits with any curriculum already in place and can help you adjust your pacing during periods of virtual instruction.

3. Integration with Tech You Already Have

Writable is cloud-based and works on any browser and all desktops and tablet devices. Teachers and students can log in with their Google or Microsoft emails, or through many LMSs like Schoology, Canvas, and Google Classroom. And if your students are currently using Google Docs in the classroom, Writable will already feel familiar to them. Every writing assignment can be exported to Google Docs so student portfolios continue to grow!

4. Feedback is More Important Than Ever

Research shows that feedback and revision are the keys to writing growth. During periods of virtual learning, feedback gets even more essential since it’s harder to gauge where students need more support. With Writable, students are guided on how to give and receive targeted feedback with sentence starters and scaffolds to model effective peer review. Plus, with student-friendly rubrics, students can easily understand their assignment goals when you aren’t there with them. 

5. Work Smarter

For anyone that’s ever tried keeping track of student work in different files or folders, you know it’s harder than it looks to provide feedback in an organized way! Writable starts with a teacher dashboard that shows you how writing is progressing and who needs support most urgently. A virtual stack of assignments and stored comments help you give students feedback more quickly, then automatically push your grades back to Google Classroom or your LMS. Beyond peer/self/teacher feedback, Writable also offers automated AI feedback through RevisionAid and Originality Check by SimCheck from Turnitin to help with plagiarism and originality review.

6. Personalize Skill-Building Activities

Writable’s Skills Activities and Response to Reading collection allow educators to grab chunked out practice – complete with reading passages, graphic organizers, and simplified student checklists – and assign them with ease.  Use this collection of assignments to build writing skills with the whole class or assign a choice of assignments to small groups or individuals to increase choice & voice and personalized support.

7. Use Assessment for Learning

Writable provides growth monitoring for teachers and assessment functionality for schools and districts. Writable also provides practice aligned with State Assessments, Advanced Placement Tests (English Lit., English Comp., US History), and EL Learners (ELPAC, WIDA, TELPAS).  Though assessments may be postponed during periods of virtual learning, Writable makes it easy to customize, turning a typical assessment into a learning opportunity at home. Writable’s growth monitoring can provide deep insight into student progress, whatever your instructional focus.

8. Check-in With Each Other

Coaches, lead teachers, administrators, and PLCs can increase clarity and collective efficacy with information on student progress, feedback, and grading from the ‘Report’ dashboard. During times of virtual learning, even short paragraph writing and high-interest prompts can show your co-teachers or your team how student writing is progressing with the use of Writable dashboards! And, as you check in with each other, you can check in with us too; we’re here to support you in our Live Chat window or virtual office hours.

What’s next?

Important in every educational shift is a deep understanding of our customers’ key challenges and needs. We have already spent hours planning for this shift to virtual and talking to our virtual schools that are leaders in their fields. 

Coming shortly will be new features that help teachers interact with their students with greater degrees of personal connection, whether they need instructional guidance asynchronously or in real-time in the middle of an assignment.  Stay tuned for new prompts, assignments, and programs designed to help you learn from each other across the nation.

Join our Writing PLC

We welcome all to join our Facebook educators group for comprehensive support on virtual and in-person learning. Plus, sign-up for our mini-courses and office hours for targeted support in teaching remotely, and join in our weekly #WritingMatters twitter chat every Wednesday night at 4 PM PT/ 7 PM EST.  All of this, of course, is free, and aimed at helping teachers continue to learn about best instructional strategies together.

Mini-Courses by Writable
Writable Office Hours
Facebook Educator Group
Weekly #WritingMatters Twitter Chat
Past Writable Academy Webinars
Writing Matters Podcast with Dr. Troy Hicks

Are you new to Writable curious to learn more? Create a free teacher account, schedule a personalized demo, or Join our Writable Educators Facebook Community!

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