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Writing Essentials at ISM

Sam Cook, Coordinator for Student and Faculty Learning, International School of Manila

On November 12–13, 2016, International School Manila was pleased to host the EARCOS Sponsored Weekend Workshop “Writing Essentials in Pre-School to Grade 6 Classrooms” with Matt Glover from Heinemann Publishing. The two-day workshop focused on exploring beliefs and practices that nurture young writers in inquiry-based classrooms. Authentic writing samples and video clips were used to see and practice strategies for supporting writers in Preschool through Grade 6 classrooms.


Matt Glover with over 100 attendees at the EARCOS Weekend Workshop

Day one focused on valuing young students’ attempts at writing and giving them bite-sized steps to keep them moving forward, a practice Matt refers to as “honoring approximations and nudging development.” Matt also discussed the role of having quality mentor texts mini lessons, holding student writing conferences, and designing units of study that model what good writers do when tackling a particular idea. Matt also encouraged teachers to really think about their students in designing writing units so there are opportunities for choice of topic and genre. Students also should be encouraged to “read like a writer” so they can understand what the audience appreciates in a good piece of writing.



Day two dug into the process of writing a unit of study. Teachers began by studying a stack of possible mentor texts to determine where they might best be used and then discussed what mini lessons would best support student understanding. By the end of the weekend, all teachers walked away with a unit of study they could take back to their school and implement on Monday. It was a collegial and collaborative two days with over 120 teachers from twenty-two schools in the Asia region. Matt Glover is truly one of the premier consultants in the area of writing in Elementary Schools and he is highly recommended for any school looking to further develop its writing program.

Published in ISS NewsLinks: Volume XXXII Number 2

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