Back to Resource Center

Analyzing student work for actionable trends in literacy

by Sarah Tierney

Teachers and leaders are spending more time than ever focused on improving student writing. But in order to develop strong writers, we need to have a clear picture of our students as readers, too.

Written responses to a text-based prompt offer a window into students’ writing skills as well as their reading comprehension. After all, if students are unable to understand what they read in a novel or article, it’s a safe bet that they’ll struggle to put their ideas into writing.

Working as a team of teachers looking at student work has helped us to gain a better understanding of the puzzle that makes up our students’ academic skills.
— Sarah Hartnett, literacy coach

We’ve created an efficient and effective protocol to guide teachers’ analysis of student writing. By organizing student work along a progression of learning that includes both reading comprehension and writing skills, we can identify trends and devise targeted instructional strategies to give students the support they need to be successful.

Use these resources in a data meeting or as part of a planning meeting to analyze student work and create a plan to take action to support students’ reading and writing.

We’ve spent ten years learning from thousands of leaders and teachers across the country about the things that make a big difference for schools. Now, we want to give you the opportunity to do the same. This is the sixth in a series of tools, resources, and insights we are sharing from our work with school partners.

Sarah is a director of new partnerships and former coach at ANet. She’s leading the Lessons From the Field project.

Get k12 Education Resources

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter to join our community and receive monthly selections of actionable resources, stories of best practices from across our national network of partner schools, districts and CMOs, and invitations to exclusive events. We're glad to be learning together alongside you.