This article examines three approaches to teaching writing: self-regulated instruction (Graham, 2018; Graham, 2020; Graham & Perin, 2007), metacognitive strategies (Hacker, 2018; Madison et al., 2019), and formative assessment (Black & Wiliam, 1998; Fleischer, 2013; Madison et al., 2019). Implementing these approaches, secondary ELA teachers can strike a balance between order and chaos while empowering adolescents to recognize, develop, and take ownership of their thinking and writing. Writing can and should be about grappling with big ideas that ultimately help us come to deeper, fuller understandings of ourselves and the world. This article explores how secondary ELA teachers can help free up their students’ cognitive overload that often corresponds with the complicated task of writing, which ultimately helps student writers focus more on their thinking.

Author Bio

Alyssha Ginzel is a middle school ELA teacher at Caledonia Community Schools in Caledonia, Michigan. She completed her master's in writing instruction, and is interested in helping adolescents wrestle with and communicate complicated ideas through their writing. She can be reached at ginzela@calschools.org.



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