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About Natalie Wexler
Natalie Wexler is a DC-based education journalist focusing on literacy and the so-called achievement gap. She is the author of The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America's Broken Education System--and How to Fix It (Avery 2019), and the co-author of The Writing Revolution: Advancing Thinking Through Writing in All Subjects and Grades (Jossey-Bass 2017), a step-by-step guide to using the instructional method developed by Dr. Judith Hochman. She is also a contributor on education to Forbes.com and the author of three novels. Please visit her website at www.nataliewexler.com.
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"HELP! My Students Can't Write!"
Why You Need a Writing Revolution in Your Classroom and How to Lead It.
The Writing Revolution (TWR) provides a clear method of instruction that you can use no matter what subject or grade level you teach. The model, also known as The Hochman Method, has demonstrated, over and over, that it can turn weak writers into strong communicators by focusing on specific techniques that match their needs and by providing them with targeted feedback.
Insurmountable as the challenges faced by many students may seem, TWR can make a dramatic difference. And the method does more than improve writing skills. It also helps:
- Boost reading comprehension
- Improve organizational and study skills
- Enhance speaking abilities
- Develop analytical capabilities
TWR is as much a method of teaching content as it is a method of teaching writing. There's no separate writing block and no separate writing curriculum. Instead, teachers of all subjects adapt the TWR strategies and activities to their current curriculum and weave them into their content instruction.
But perhaps what's most revolutionary about the TWR method is that it takes the mystery out of learning to write well. It breaks the writing process down into manageable chunks and then has students practice the chunks they need, repeatedly, while also learning content.
It was only after years within the education reform movement that Natalie Wexler stumbled across a hidden explanation for our country's frustrating lack of progress when it comes to providing every child with a quality education. The problem wasn't one of the usual scapegoats: lazy teachers, shoddy facilities, lack of accountability. It was something no one was talking about: the elementary school curriculum's intense focus on decontextualized reading comprehension "skills" at the expense of actual knowledge. In the tradition of Dale Russakoff's The Prize and Dana Goldstein's The Teacher Wars, Wexler brings together history, research, and compelling characters to pull back the curtain on this fundamental flaw in our education system--one that fellow reformers, journalists, and policymakers have long overlooked, and of which the general public, including many parents, remains unaware.
But The Knowledge Gap isn't just a story of what schools have gotten so wrong--it also follows innovative educators who are in the process of shedding their deeply ingrained habits, and describes the rewards that have come along: students who are not only excited to learn but are also acquiring the knowledge and vocabulary that will enable them to succeed. If we truly want to fix our education system and unlock the potential of our neediest children, we have no choice but to pay attention.
Based on real events and incorporating excerpts from actual publications, The Observer sheds light on an era when the young nation was both insecure and feisty. At the same time, it spins a universal tale of forbidden ambition, frustrated love, and ultimately, empathy across boundaries of class and culture.
By turns hilarious and poignant, The Mother Daughter Show (November 2011, Fuze Publishing) will appeal to anyone who’s ever had a daughter–and anyone who’s ever been one.