English Language Arts/Literacy

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Universal Design for Learning Guidelines

These guidelines articulate the Universal Design for Learning framework and can assist anyone who plans lessons/units of study or develops curricula (goals, methods, materials, and assessments) to meet the needs of all learners from the start by reducing barriers and optimizing levels of challenge and support.

SOURCE: Center for Applied Special Technology

ELA Mini-Task

This mini-task, used by the teacher and coach in the BEAL English Language Arts videos, involves reading a nonfiction text, then making a claim and supporting it with evidence from the text.

SOURCE: Building Educator Assessment Literacy


Organizing Instruction and Study to Improve Student Learning

This guide, produced by IES, includes a set of concrete actions relating to the use of instructional and study time that are applicable to subjects that demand a great deal of content learning, including social studies, science, and mathematics. The guide was developed with some of the most important principles to emerge from research on learning and memory in mind.

Source: Institute of Education Sciences

Key Concepts in Spacing Learning Over Time

Listen to Dr. Mark McDaniel discuss how spacing learning of material over time improves memory, and understand the optimal ways to space course materials.

Featuring: Mark McDaniel, Washington University in St. Louis

Source: Doing What Works


Teaching Elementary School Students to Be Effective Writers

This practice guide provides four recommendations for improving elementary students’ writing. Each recommendation includes implementation steps and solutions for common roadblocks. The recommendations also summarize and rate supporting evidence. This guide is geared toward teachers, literacy coaches, and other educators who want to improve the writing of their elementary students.

Writing Every Day in Every Class


A member of the IES Expert Panel describes the importance of daily writing time. It is recommended that teachers make time for writing practice every day and integrate opportunities to practice writing throughout the school day.

FEATURING: Alisha Bollinger, Norris Elementary School (NE)

SOURCE: Doing What Works

Writing Buddies

An important part of the writing process is sharing. Having students regularly share their writing with one another in a format such as Writing Buddies is one way to encourage daily sharing and peer revising. This sample material can help teachers learn how to implement Writing Buddies in their classrooms.

SOURCE: Doing What Works

Writing Buddies Using the Writing Process

Watch teachers show how they use "Writing Buddies" as a way for their students to help each other brainstorm and revise. Writing Buddies learn how to ask one another questions to think about ways to improve their writing. To learn more about implementing Writing Buddies in the Writer's Workshop, view the related sample materials.

FEATURING: Ginger Mason & Jon Holleman, Fall Creek Elementary School (NC)

SOURCE: Doing What Works

Writing Conference Sheet

As part of the Writer's Workshop model, teachers conference with individual students as they share their writing at different stages of the writing process. This sample material gives some ideas for specific areas in which teachers can evaluate student progress in their writing and discuss ideas for revision with their students.

SOURCE: Doing What Works

Understanding the Purpose of What You’re Writing


Students are more likely to be engaged in writing if they understand the purpose of a particular writing assignment. Listen to a member of the IES Panel discuss how teachers can look for opportunities for students to write to inform, persuade, or convey experience. He illustrates strategies to help them plan their writing for a given purpose.

FEATURING: Charles MacArthur, University of Delaware

SOURCE: Doing What Works