Beginning this school year, the Common Core State Standards will require students to develop more rigorous writing skills with a stronger emphasis on the ability to synthesize and summarize informational text, formulate an argument and respond appropriately to source documents. To help students prepare for the rigor of the Common Core, Pearson today unveiled updates to its award-winning online literacy tool, WriteToLearn.
Recent enhancements to WriteToLearn are targeted specifically at helping students build the writing skills delineated in the Common Core. The online tool now features nearly 80 Common Core-aligned argumentative writing prompts along with a dedicated area to cite evidence as well as other sources of information or quotes included in their work. These new prompts challenge students to think critically, developing the writing skills required by the Common Core's more rigorous learning goals. WriteToLearn’s essay writing advice is also now more accessible for learners with lower reading and writing skills, and is revealed in digestible chunks, helping students understand each new piece of information. And, to help teachers use the tool more effectively in support of the standards, WriteToLearn now includes a new Common Core Guide.
“In today’s information-driven world, strong writing skills are crucial to success in college and career, regardless of what path an individual chooses,” said Alistair Van Moere, president, of the Knowledge Technologies business of Pearson. “These updates to WriteToLearn are focused on ensuring that students have the tools for developing the skills that the Common Core State Standards have set forth as requisite for achieving that success.”
In addition, WriteToLearn’s grammar checking has been updated to detect more common types of errors with improvements of 20 percent in errors such as subject verb agreement and using the correct verb form. Grammar check is now also available in the summary writing component of WriteToLearn.
To further support struggling readers and writers, WriteToLearn now features Texthelp's word prediction technology. This tool allows students to select correct word choices with fewer keystrokes and, ultimately, produce writing products with greater skill. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) has proposed word prediction as an allowable accommodation for students with disabilities on its Common Core writing exam.
WriteToLearn qualifies for for a wide variety of federal funding sources such as Title I, IDEA and Race to the Top. For more information, visit http://www.writetolearn.net.
Pearson is the world’s leading learning company, providing educational materials and services, business information through the Financial Times Group, and consumer publishing through the Penguin brand. Pearson serves learners of all ages around the globe, employing 41,000 people in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit www.pearson.com.