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Write Away Professional Development

How is Write Away organized?

The Write Away Handbook has five main sections, as you can see on the back cover.

Writers Away Cover
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  1. The Process of Writing section teaches strategies for prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing as well as the basics of sentences and paragraphs.
  2. The Forms of Writing section teaches how to write the many forms: personal, subject, research, story, and poetry. Chapters provide guidelines, models, and checklists.
  3. The Tools of Learning section teaches skills for research, reading, speaking, listening, learning, and thinking.
  4. The Proofreader's Guide provides rules and examples for punctuation, mechanics, spelling, usage, sentences, and grammar.
  5. The Student Almanac includes exciting pages on language, science, math, history, and geography—perfect for writing across the curriculum.

Take a Tour!

Page through the handbook in one of these ways:

  1. Open a Slideshow in Google Slides.
  2. Download a Slideshow in PowerPoint (7 MB).

What's in the grammar SkillsBook?

Write Away includes a grammar SkillsBook that provides activities for the rules in the Proofreader's Guide. Each SkillsBook teaches the rules of punctuation, mechanics, spelling, usage, sentences, and grammar, with examples and activities.

Write Away SkillsBook Cover
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Take a Tour!

Page through the SkillsBook in one of these ways:

  1. Open a Slideshow in Google Slides.
  2. Download a Slideshow in PowerPoint (2.5 MB).

What's in the free online Teacher's Guide?

The Write Away Teacher's Guide includes a scope and sequence, yearlong timetable, getting-started activities, chapter-by-chapter guide to the handbook, help for writing assessment, research basis, and activities and handouts.

Write Away Teacher's Guide Table of Contents
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You can get to the Teacher's Guide by going to and clicking on "Teacher's Guides" in the top banner.

Thoughtful Learning Website Top Banner
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Take a Tour!

Page through the free online Teacher's Guide on any device with Internet access—no sign-in needed.

How do these components work together?

The Write Away Handbook is designed to let you choose what you want to teach and when. Instead of marching page by page through a basal, you select the chapters you teach throughout the school year.

Here's one sample way that you might organize the first four weeks of instruction in your classroom, drawn from the "Yearlong Timetable" in the Teacher's Guide:

Write Away Yearlong Time Table
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Most numbers represent pages in the Write Away Handbook, but those marked SB represent pages in the SkillsBook. Here's one suggested teaching plan:

  • Week 1: Download "Getting Started Activities" and distribute them to your students. They can complete the activities in Word or Google Docs, or they can work on paper printouts. These fun scavenger hunts and other activities help them become familiar with their handbooks. "Your First Week with the Handbook" acquaints students with the table of contents and the overall organization of the handbook. Then get students started with "Writing in Journals." You also can start teaching conventions with "Checking Your Sentences" from the Proofreader's Guide and the corresponding SkillsBook activities on pages 107–108.
  • Week 2: You can teach the chapters "Starting to Write" and "Using the Writing Process" to help students learn the basics of good writing. You can also continue your work with sentences in "Parts of a Sentence" in the handbook and the SkillsBook.
  • Week 3: Warm up student writers with "Writing Friendly Notes." Present "The Qualities of Writing," which teaches the most important traits for young writers: structure, ideas, and conventions. Continue your instruction in the "Kinds of Sentence" in the handbook and SkillsBook.
  • Week 4: Introduce students to formal writing with "Writing Friendly Letters and Emails." Help students gather writing ideas by teaching "Keeping an Idea Notebook." Continue your work with sentences.

How can I get started with these materials?

Download the Write Away Program Sheet. The first page provides an overview of what you have just learned about the three components. The second page gives you a simple four-step process for launching the program in your classroom—getting you and your students comfortable with Write Away.

Write Away Program Sheet 1
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Write Away Program Sheet 2
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