Leveled Writing Lab


My solution to writing skills improvement with Middle School students on all different skill levels is the Leveled Writing Lab!

Teaching writing can be tough when your middle school students are performing at so many different levels.

I've been there.  In fact, every year we give our students a writing diagnostic at the beginning of the year.   

Invariably, I discover that some students can write a sentence fluently but aren't really sure how to put a paragraph together.  Others are still working on sentences and then some students can write multi-paragraphs right away!  The range is HUGE!  And they all need to be proficient essay writers by the end of the year.

How was I going to manage that with limited time, energy and resources?

At first, I was hunting for free worksheets on many of those popular websites.  And I would assign different groups of students the different worksheets.  But then it became more difficult to find what I needed and the grading became a BEAST.  Plus the students weren't invested in their learning AT ALL.  So I knew something had to change.  And then, I created the change I needed.

My solution to writing skills improvement with middle school students on all different skill levels is the Leveled Writing Lab.  

First, I created a more skill-focused diagnostic.  After students took that diagnostic, they were assigned a color level. I created 9 color levels that grouped skills necessary to learn sentence writing, paragraph writing, and even essay skills.  Each color level has 7 independent lessons to help students develop the writing skills that they struggled with on the diagnostic.  

After completing a lesson on paper, students enter their answers into a self-checking Google Form. They record their score on their progress tracker.  The idea is that after completing 3 lessons at 80% or better, then the student can move on to the next level (after the teacher verifies the results).  

Students love the independence of working at a level that allows them to experience success.  By experiencing success, students will come to believe that they are capable writers that can improve their skills to the point where they believe they can ultimately write essays.

As each student progresses up the levels, there will be a point where all the members of the class will be better equipped to work on grade-level standards (like developing essays) with all the right tools in their toolbelts.

The Levels in the Lab are:

Level 1: Aqua - capitalization, constructing sentences, nouns, verbs, subjects, and predicates.

Level 2:  Yellow - simple, compound, and complex sentences, conjunctions, fragments, and run-ons.

Level 3:  Orange - apostrophes, appositives, subject-verb agreement, adjectives, and adverbs.

Level 4:  Green - topic sentences, supporting details, combining sentences.

Level 5:  Blue - kinds of paragraphs, summary sentences

Level 6:  Purple - citing evidence, support sentences (elaboration)

Level 7:  Red - introduction paragraphs, thesis, body paragraphs, relevant evidence

Level 8:  Silver - counterclaim paragraphs, rebuttal, conclusion paragraphs

Level 9:  Gold - essay structure (organization), combining paragraphs

Level 10: Enrichment Level - Platinum - 8 different essay projects for students who have mastered all levels in the Lab.  They will create something new related to essay writing.

All students will be developing their skills at all the different levels at the same time.  It's super engaging because students will want to move up the levels and be their personal best!

It's easy to see why the Leveled Writing Lab is the best differentiation and intervention solution for writing skills improvement in Middle School!

Watch the video to learn more and click here to try a free sample!  

Questions?  I invite you to email me:  Lisa@mrsspanglerinthemiddle.com   

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