"We are living in a new era of literacy, one in which participation is key – participation in:

  • A digital culture

  • A democracy

  • A global conversation

What this participation mostly entails is writing." ~Randy Bomer & Michelle Fowler



In 2017-2018 Cleveland Middle School piloted the Lucy Calkins' Writing initiative with volunteer ELA teachers that implemented the program during instructional time. In 2018-2019, Cleveland Middle School implemented the Lucy Calkins' Writer's Workshop school-wide. Noticing the success of full implementation of the program in the previous year led to the choice to continue the program through the 2019-2021 school years.


Administration structured a designated writing time in the master schedule to ensure consistency and fidelity of the program in all grade levels. All teachers, including Related Arts teachers, received additional professional development with a trained staff member. Noticing our success rate in ELA for the ESL subgroup; the 6th grade for ELL, both the middle and lowest quintile showed growth, wherein in previous years the middle showed growth. In the 7th grade all quintiles showed growth, most noticeably the second quintile showed a growth of 6.8. In the 8th grade all quintiles showed growth, most noticeably the lowest quintile showed a growth of 10. Growth is determined as the average difference in the students current year and prior year. This contributed to our overall success rate of 32.5%.


The administration created ELL writing classes for those students to receive instruction at their exact level of need. The Lucy Calkins' writing program provides explicit instruction on the essential principles, methods, and structures of elective writing; and ample opportunity for practice that helps students meet and exceed the writing goals and high standards set forth at CMS. 

professional training

The Lucy Calkins Writer's Workshop has proven to be effective at Cleveland Middle School. However, we want to continue to grow this worthy initiative. This year, all Cleveland Middle School students will participated in Lucy Calkins Writer's Workshop training. Professional training was performed in speed learning sessions where participants were able to experience 9 different topics and speakers. Participants would rotate through different Lucy experts every 15 minutes. Sessions included Co-Teaching, Conferencing Tips, Planning a Mini-Lesson, Writing Class Expectations, and More. The speed learning sessions concluded with a planning session for teachers. 

"If you want to train innovative and successful scientists, there isn't any doubt that you want to teach them to love and cherish writing."
      ~Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein
"Turning STEM into STREAM: Writing as an Essential Component of Science Education"

"Writing Maps"

The weather was pleasant and for a change of scenery and inspiration students went to our outdoor gazebo nestled in the woods behind our school here at CMS and enjoyed writing, doing a Lucy lesson outside. The video shows how students can generate ideas for a personal narrative by mapping out a place that matters to them.  


Project Based Learning (PBL) is a constructivist instructional approach where students are engaged in meaningful inquiry of personal interest to them and where collaboration and personalized learning are emphasized. Research confirms that PBL is an effective and enjoyable way to learn and develop deeper learning competencies required for success in college, career and civic life.


Writing and speaking skills are essential for S.T.E.M. and offer a cohesive role to our approach here at CMS for a more blended pathway of teaching S.T.E.M. throughout our content areas. 


"The world is an amazing place, full of powerful ideas waiting to be discovered, analyzed, synthesized, made into movies, video games, gadgets, or life-saving, world-changing technology. The people that are changing the world and having fun while doing it are the ones that recognize what an incredible asset the creative arts are to humanizing and disseminating science...If one day we figure out how to time-travel, the question will still remain: Who would you like to visit and why?  S.T.E.M. cannot answer that question."

~Dr. Spyridon Michalakis, CalTech Quantum Physicist