Assessment Strengthens Writers Blog Series · blog series · writing workshop

NEW BLOG SERIES: Assessment Strengthens Writers



Over the next seven days, my friends and I here at Two Writing Teachers will share important concepts around assessment in writing workshops. We have all given a lot of thought to our best practices when it comes to using assessments to strengthen student learning. While sometimes assessment seems like an infringement on precious instructional minute, it’s important to also recognize that assessment is how we evaluate the impact of our teaching and a crucial part of determining next steps for our learners.


  • Later today, in a separate post, I’ll share my thoughts on what constitutes an assessment.
  • On Tuesday, Kathleen will share ways to communicate with families about writers’ growth. 
  • On Wednesday, Lisa will share ideas about how record keeping strengthens writers- why and how.
  • On Thursday, Beth’s post will be The Joys, Wonders, and Challenges of On-Demand Writing.
  • On Friday, Betsy shares ideas for collaborating with colleagues.
  • On Saturday,  Dana has ideas for using writing portfolios to see growth over time.
  • And on Sunday, Deb share ways she gets students to self-assess. 
  • On Monday, Kathleen will wrap up the series with an In Case You Missed It post (ICYMI) where you can revisit and highlight the tips you want to take into your workshop!
  •  In addition, we’ll host an “Assessment Strengthens Writers” Twitter Chat on Monday evening at 8:30 p.m. EDT/5:30 p.m. PDT.

To celebrate this series, we will be giving away a copy of Conferring with Young Writers: What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do.


  • This giveaway is for one copy of Conferring with Young Writers: What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do ( Many thanks to Stenhouse Publishers ( for donating a copy of this book.
  • For a chance to win one copy of Conferring with Young Writers: What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do (, please leave a reaction to any post in the blog series, including this one, by Sunday, November 6th at 11:59 p.m. ET. Dana Murphy will use a random number generator to pick the winners, whose names she will announce in our blog series’ IN CASE YOU MISSED IT POST on Monday, November 7th.
  • You may leave one comment on every post in our Assessment Strengthens Writers blog series.   
  • Please be sure to leave a valid e-mail address when you post your comment, so Dana can contact you to obtain your mailing address if you win. From there, our contact at Stenhouse will ship your book out to you.  (NOTE: Your e-mail address will not be published online if you leave it in the e-mail field only.)
  • If you are the winner of the book, Dana will email you with the subject line of TWO WRITING TEACHERS – CONFERRING WITH YOUNG WRITERS. Please respond to her e-mail with your mailing address within five days of receipt. Unfortunately, a new winner will be chosen if a response isn’t received within five days of the giveaway announcement.



There’s more! We have shared a few links to past posts about assessment in writing instruction. 

Making the Most of Pre-Assessments

Looking at Student Writing

Where Do We Go Next? Use a Checklist!

Using Assessment Tools to Teach Transference

Conversations about Standards-Based Report Cards: Do Your Students Know How They’re Doing?




38 thoughts on “NEW BLOG SERIES: Assessment Strengthens Writers

  1. I’m a first grade teacher and we are required to give letter grades to our students. We struggle with using a rubric to score their writing and then trying to transfer that into a letter grade. Would love to know how other teachers grade young students’ writing.


  2. Looking forward to this! One question I hear a lot, from the middle school teachers I work with, is how to read 150 students’ writing quickly and frequently enough for feedback to be timely and specific. (And no, they are not writing responses on students’ papers, just scanning for trends and to plan for small group instruction). Any tips that you can embed in this series would be appreciated. Thanks!


  3. After 3 years getting our curriculum in a working electronic document Pk-12, our district is moving to look at assessing this curriculum. I am looking forward to learning from you all this week!


  4. As an instructional coach, I have been trying to help my team find a way to quickly assess, record, and re-teach. This blog will be a great one to share with them.


  5. I’m really looking forward to all the subtopics in this “Assessment Strengthens Writers Series.” I am a reading specialist and my goal this year is to incorporate writing in my intervention lessons.


  6. All of these topics are spot-on for teachers on my staff! We may be using some of your posts for reflective conversations in our morning PD next week!


  7. I am excited, which seems like a rather odd feeling when talking about assessment, hear your thoughts, insights, and tips about writing assessment.


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