How would you like almost all of your students to pass the state writing test? There is a school in southern California that is doing just that. At Euclid Elementary School in Ontario-Montclair Unified School District, at least 95% of all 4th graders have passed the state writing test, and more and more students have been receiving perfect scores for 4 consecutive years in a row.
Did I also mention that over 80% of the student population are English language learners?
What is their secret?
All the teachers are visually showing their students how to think. Teaching students how to think is just as common as seeing students line up for recess at this school. Each teacher, starting in kindergarten, has taken responsibility to have all their 4th graders pass the state writing test. Thinking Maps, Write From the Beginning and Beyond, as well as Path to Proficiency have been implemented school-wide. Not only do you see evidence of implementation of Thinking Maps, you see it blended into everyday instruction and in all content areas, not just writing.
What you will also see are the 4th grade teachers teaming together to teach specific content. Ms Otero, the “writing teacher” for the entire 4th grade class, is so proud of her students and should be recognized for all her hard work. She credits her colleagues in the primary grades for establishing a strong foundation in writing. In essence, it took 5 teachers over 5 years to provide quality writing instruction for all her students. What a collaborative staff!