As the writing facilitator for my district, I model writing instruction for other teachers all the time. It gives them an opportunity to see effective instruction in practice, of course, but modeling writing itself is an important component of how we teach our students to communicate effectively.

I didn’t always appreciate the power of modeling. It’s something I began to focus on after adopting the Empowering Writers (EW) approach to professional development a decade or so into my career, and these days I’m a big advocate of teaching by example. A recent experience with one of my 6th-grade students really brought home the power of modeling for me.

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How modeling writing, one student at a time, can make a big difference

Plenty of access to language—but no English

This little girl had just moved to our district from Europe with incredible language skills. She spoke 15 different languages, but none of them were English. She was extremely smart and she walked around with the sweetest smile on her face all day, but she didn’t really know what was going on around her.

About the Author:

Kylene Reed teaches 6th grade and serves as the writing facilitator at Bushland Independent School District. She can be reached at

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