Media Highlights

The Writing Revolution and the Hochman Method in the Media:

atlantic-logo The Writing Revolution by Peg Tyre.
To the professor whose class can’t craft a sentence: College expository writing alone can’t fix this by Natalie Wexler, The Hechinger Report If college administrators truly want to equip students with the skills they need, they’ll find a way to implement coordinated, faculty-wide writing efforts rather than asking adjunct writing instructors to perform miracles.
twp-hp-logo-small Why Americans Can’t Write by Natalie Wexler
twp-hp-logo-small How Common Core Can Help in the Battle of Skills vs. Knowledge by Natalie Wexler
twp-hp-logo-small If students can’t write, how can they learn? by Natalie Wexler
iPads < Teachers: Why technology-assisted learning will never, on its own, solve our education crisis,’s Bright: Innovation in Education, by Peg Tyre Technology-assisted personalized learning is not going to get rid of a central problem in American schooling: We are not training and retaining nearly enough great teachers.
Effective Writing Instruction, Time for a Revolution, Perspectives on Language and Literacy, Spring 2015 by Judith Hochman and Betsy MacDermott-Duffy A combination of evidence-based sentence strategies to build linguistic complexity in writing and the use of linear outlines to develop well-structured paragraphs, summaries, and expository and argumentative essays will enable students to master the skills that are essential for close reading, effective communication, and, most importantly, to advance analytical thinking.
Hochman’s ‘But, Because, So’ Sentence Expansion Activity, by Doug Lemov “An example of a productive exercise [Hochman] suggests is “But, Because, So” in which students are asked to take a short independent clause and expand upon it using each of these three conjunctions.  Hochman advocates using a range of “sentence expansion” exercises like this to build literacy and thinking skills.”
Judith Hochman on Editing versus Revising, by Doug Lemov “I keep thinking of one insight in particular- even without going back to check my notes. This was Hochman’s reflection on the difference (and the importance of distinguishing) between editing and revising.”
A new writing program wins over a skeptical DCPS high school teacher by boosting students’ skills,, by Liz Braganza  We asked some of the DCPS educators who used the program last year to write about their experiences. This is the first of a 3-part series. (Disclosure: The editor of Greater Greater Education, Natalie Wexler, is a board member of The Writing Revolution, an organization that brings the Hochman Method into underserved schools.)When I first heard about the Hochman Method, I was skeptical. But in the 8 years I’ve taught writing to high school students, I’ve never seen a program work as well as this one.
At one DCPS high school, teachers work together to improve student’s writing,, by Lauren Johnson High schools often struggle to implement effective writing initiatives. But when the staff at Eastern Senior High School used the Hochman Method to focus intensely on student writing last year, the choice proved phenomenally successful.
How a writing program helped Daniel and other struggling middle-grade DCPS students,, by Lauren Castillo and Adam Zimmerman In the past, DCPS teachers were left to their own devices to figure out how to teach writing and critical thinking. But last year our high-poverty school helped pilot a comprehensive approach to those all-important skills with our 6th-to-8th graders. It produced dramatic results.
How Self-Expression Damaged My Students“, The Atlantic, by Robert Pondiscio “And so it is, all too often, for struggling writers in low-performing schools. They’re missing something essential, because we model and coach and they still can’t write. But good writers don’t just do stuff. They know stuff. They have knowledge of the world that enlivens their prose and provides the ability to create examples and analogies. They have big vocabularies and solid command of the conventions of language and grammar. And if this is not explicitly taught, it will rarely develop by osmosis among children who do not grow up in language-rich homes.”
“GPAs, SATs, and TMI?” by Robert Pondiscio “The impulses underlying the Writer’s Workshop model are deeply humane and undoubtedly, for some subset of children, liberating. The open question is whether or not the techniques espoused by its legions of devotees and gurus, including Calkins, Nancie Atwell, and Ralph Fletcher, are helping to produce writers who can escape the gravitational pull of their navels long enough to crank out a decent essay or research paper when they get to college. A promising counter-movement focusing on writing structure and mechanics seems to be gaining momentum, driven in equal measure by the Common Core and a 2012 article in the Atlantic highlighting the success some schools have had with a back-to-basics approach, especially with low-income students and English language learners.”
Robert Pondiscio’s 2014 article “Literacy is Knowledge” A fresh reminder of the difficulty came in August, when New York released scores from its first round of tests aligned with the Common Core State Standards, now adopted by most states. Students in schools across the state fared poorly on the tests; some of the city’s most celebrated charter schools posted disappointing results as well. The silver lining is that by adopting reading curricula aligned with the Common Core and abandoning failed approaches to literacy instruction, New York City could be poised to lead a reading renaissance in the coming years—but only if city schools also make significant shifts in classroom instruction and exercise patience.
Academic Writing Isn’t a Throwback to the 1950s Judith Hochman’s response to Peg Tyre’s Atlantic Monthly article.
Writing Next:  Effective Strategies to Improve Writing of Adolescents in Middle and High Schools This report, by Steve Graham and Dolores Perin, summarizes the results of a large scale study of writing research regarding the effects of specific types of writing instruction most beneficial for students in grades 4 though 12.
Writing to Read: Evidence for How Writing Can Improve Reading Writing to Read is a new Carnegie Corporation report published by the Alliance for Excellent Education which finds that while reading and writing are closely connected, writing is an often-overlooked tool for improving reading skills and content learning. Writing to Read: Evidence for How Writing Can Improve Reading identifies three core instructional practices that have been shown to be effective in improving student reading.
The Nation’s Report Card The “gold standard” assessment of 26,000 students in grades 8 and 12. The 2011 results once again clearly demonstrate that traditional writing instruction is not working.
Handwriting Skills This November 12, 2009 article in Newsweek magazine reinforces the importance of handwriting. Over the years, this skill has been neglected to the detriment of student writing and learning in every subject. The problems many students have writing quickly and legibly didn’t begin with computers. It began when direct instruction in handwriting became practically non-existent in elementary schools. Many students cannot read cursive writing, much less use it effectively. This affects the speed of their note-taking and the effectiveness of their written work. Perhaps now that it is an SAT essay requirement, handwriting instruction will be taken more seriously in the early grades.
The National Commission on Writing This is a  series of reports prepared by the National Commission on Writing, a research group developed by the College Board, to promote the importance of high-quality writing instruction