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Improving Student Writing: Teaching Students to Be Confident and Competent Writers

June 26

June 26 – 29 8:30am – 2:30pm and
June 30 8:30am – 12:30pm
on the UCLA campus

Looking forward, many teachers are searching for ways to re-engage students in writing. This may call for changes in the texts and strategies we use and in how we help students interact with us and each other. Join us for a week of workshops in which you will experience strategies and lesson ideas that will help students improve their writing. We believe that all students can become confident and competent college and career ready writers.

Topics include

  • Using specific strategies for writing improvement throughout the year.
  • Addressing AI (ChatGPT) Written Texts: avoiding plagiarism, finding positive uses for AI.
  • Helping students find joy and purpose in writing.
  • Connecting writing to texts and topics of interest and importance to students.
  • Using effective feedback by peers and the teacher to help students improve.
  • Assessing student writing to track growth and determine next steps for instruction.

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

The Improving Student Writing Team

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

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

David Williams
Adjunct Faculty, English Department
CSU Dominguez Hills

Workshop Fee   $495

School purchase orders accepted. (Title I or Title III funding may be used.)
A limited number of scholarships available: Contact Marlene Carter at .

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.


June 26
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Nancy Lee Sayre