St. Croix Catholic has invested in a new program entitled Institute for Excellence in Writing. The program starts in 2nd grade, and continues through 8th grade. The overall goal of the program is to form confident and competent communicators and thinkers, while developing specific language arts skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking.
As they're developing these skills, students use nine structural models (note-taking, writing paragraphs, stories, simple reports, writing from pictures, research reports, inventive writing, essays, and critiques) to help them organize any type of composition and acquire the thinking skills they need to develop and express their own thoughts.
Additionally, stylistic techniques (strong verbs, quality adjectives, sentence openers, and more) are taught incrementally to gently move students from the basics into more sophisticated writing. As students work through the writing process, they use collaboration activities to learn group listening and speaking skills as well as public speaking skills.
While the school is only two years into this program and is working toward full integration and certification, students are showing tremendous growth in confidence and competence in language arts skills.