Integrating AP English and the Collins Writing Program

By Brenda Mirsky, Teacher, Yeshivat Darche Eres, Brooklyn, NY As a teacher of Regents English, Honors English, and Advanced Placement English Language and Composition, I’ve often been plagued by how to help students develop their writing skills. To be honest, I’ve often wondered how some of my students have gotten as far as they have with […]

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How can I address the self-editing and peer editing void in the classroom?

By Gary Chadwell, Consultant and Author, Collins Education Associates Count me among the teachers who sometimes view self- and peer editing as the Bermuda Triangle of the writing process. It is too often a place where good instructional intentions go, never to be heard from again. All too often, students’ self-editing is far too casual. […]

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Why do students struggle when answering open response questions?

By Joan Pokrant, Collins Education Associates consultant and author of Open Response Writing: 18 Strategies to Improve Student Performance I often ask teachers this question when beginning a workshop on open response writing. As you can imagine, teachers can list many reasons why students struggle with open response questions such as: Students do not understand […]

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How do we help teachers do a better job implementing writing, specifically the Collins Writing Program?

By Lisa Lucas, Ed.D, Consultant, Collins Education Associates As a Collins Associate, I find that this is now one of the most common questions I receive. In my former role as a Curriculum Director, I was responsible for implementation of programs and translating the state and national standards into student expectations that were clear and […]

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What does “The Top Twenty” study reveal about writers today?

By Gary Chadwell, Consultant and Author, Collins Education Associates The rules identified as essential conventions at Level C (high school) of the Collins Writing Program’s newest product, Check Mate, were influenced by Andrea Lunsford and Karen Lunsford’s study, “Mistakes Are a Fact of Life: A National Comparative Study.” In their 2006 study, Lunsford and Lunsford […]

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How to determine if the Collins Writing Program is being implemented in your school?

By John Collins, Ed.D, Founder and Managing Director, Collins Education Associates How do you know if the Collins Writing Program (CWP) is being used in your school? The first recommendation to any school would be to perform a formal Collins “folder review” to find out exactly what is/isn’t being done. But what if your school doesn’t […]

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Another teacher folder–just what I need?

By Christine Maefsky, Consultant, Collins Education Associates Recently I had a revealing conversation with a teacher at a middle school where they’ve been using the Collins Writing Program for the past two years. The gist of the conversation was, “I love Collins Writing; things have been going great; my kids have been writing more and they’ve […]

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Whose job is it to edit students’ compositions?

By Gary Chadwell, Consultant and Author, Collins Education Associates Few of us would hesitate before answering the question above. It is the students’ responsibility to edit their own work. That is what we say, and that is what we want. But, I wonder if we aren’t sending a different message to our students through our […]

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Can Type One writing increase scores on high-stakes tests?

By Mark Dressel, Consultant, Collins Education Associates A recent study reported in Science Magazine (1/14/11) at the University of Chicago (Ramirez and Beilock, 2010) found that students who were anxious about a major exam improved the results of that exam by writing down their thoughts about the test immediately before taking it. The laboratory and […]

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“ I find that the most difficult aspect of Type Three and Type Four writing is selecting FCAs that are not too hard, too broad or, conversely, too trivial. Any help?”

By John Collins, Ed.D, Founder and Managing Director, Collins Education Associates Selecting Focus Correction Areas is part of the art of teaching—a careful mix of high standards, clear expectations, and knowledge of individual student’s strengths and weaknesses. These are the decisions that make teaching frustrating and fun. Here are some helpful guidelines: Always begin with a […]

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