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Improving Student Writing: Lessons and Strategies to Aid in Writing Improvement Throughout the Year

July 15 - July 19

July 15 – 18,  8:30am – 2:30pm and
July 19,  8:30am – 12:30pm
on the UCLA campus

One of the most motivating factors for student writers and their teachers is seeing growth in their writing. Join us for a workshop series in which we share lesson ideas and strategies used by successful teachers throughout California to help their students improve. You’ll experience firsthand lessons that you can use to target specific elements of writing. You’ll work with our UCLA Writing Project Team to design a yearlong writing program for your students, and you’ll leave with resources and lessons ideas that you can use to help your students become confident and competent college and career ready writers.

Recommended for teachers of grades 7-12

Program Details

Among our focus areas are strategies for

  • getting students excited about improving their writing
  • responding to student writers with comments that help them improve
  • teaching students to revise writing with a focus on improvement

The writing is based on texts of interest to students, so there are lessons that support both reading and writing.  You’ll experience lessons and strategies that help students:

  • Read accurately for a clear understanding of the text and the writing task
  • Write dynamic, thoughtful claims/thesis statements
  • Use well-chosen examples from the passage, experience, observation or other readings to make student’s ideas clear and compelling
  • Organize their writing to establish a focus, and guide the reader through a coherent, well-ordered presentation of ideas
  • Make sophisticated use of grammatical relationships and punctuation to support the effective communication of ideas.
  • Write strong introductions and conclusions

Also included: lessons that acknowledge the strengths and next steps for English Learners, Standard English Learners, and GATE students.

Participants will receive a certificate documenting their attendance at this professional development series – up to 24 hours.

The Improving Student Writing Team

Marlene Carter
Co-Director of Professional Development, UCLA Writing Project

Kathleen Rowley
CATE Professional Writing Award 2020
Golden Valley High School teacher

David Williams
Adjunct Faculty, English Department
CSU Dominguez Hills

Norma Mota-Altman

Workshop Fee   $495

School purchase orders accepted. (Title I or Title III funding may be used.)

Marlene Carter is Co-Director of Professional Development for the UCLA Writing Project. She previously taught English at Dorsey High School in the Math Science and Technology Magnet. She has worked closely with other teachers in the California Writing Project to develop the ISW strategies and lessons that lead to student growth. Marlene believes that writing should be joyful and that all students can grow as writers.  

Kate Rowley is National Board Certified and teaches high school English in Los Angeles. Her interest in digital literacy has allowed her to work with the Youth Participatory Politics Research Network, Ahead of the Code with the National Writing Project, and within the UCLA Writing Project as a teacher leader. Her work on language acquisition and digital resources has been published by California English, Voices From the Middle, and other professional spaces. She is a Carlston Family Foundation Outstanding Teachers of America award recipient.

Albert Vazquez has been a social studies teacher in Los Angeles for 12 years. He focuses on incorporating literacy and cross-content curriculum through a collaborative approach. He has also worked extensively with ELD curriculum focused on content and language development in history.

Jason Torres-Rangel is a Los Angeles High School English teacher of 18 years. He is currently Senior Research Associate at the National Writing Project, facilitating writing assessment conferences that measure student growth. He is a teacher consultant for the UCLA Writing Project and scores for the AP English and UC English placement exams. He was named named the LAUSD and LA County Teacher of the Year in 2022, California Teacher of the Year 2023 and was chosen as the California representative in the 2023 National Teacher of the Year competition.


July 15
July 19
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Nancy Lee Sayre