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The Teacher Tip

Supporting Students to Develop Healthy Decision-Making Relationships

August 9, 2018

Adapted from Reimagining Writing Assessment by Maja Wilson


There is no one right learning environment for each student, but here are some ideas that I’ve found to support students in developing healthy decision-making relationships with their intentions, their audiences, and the medium of language:

  • Model the decisions you make as a writer through write-alouds: coming to and clarifying intention; using and silencing the voices in your head; clarifying your intended audience; considering the experience of your readers; using conflicting feedback to clarify your intentions.
  • Make sure that writers actually have important decisions to make when they write.
  • Afford writers regular opportunities to write with their own intentions in mind.
  • Help writers to find and create their own topics.
  • Assist children as they identify, choose, fuse, and create genres that best carry the weight of their intended meanings.
  • Help students find prewriting strategies that work for them; not every writer finds the same graphic organizer helpful, and some writers never find any graphic organizer useful.
  • Support children in identifying and understanding their intended readers in ways that don’t create paralyzing self-consciousness.


To learn more about Reimagining Writing Assessment and to download a sample chapter, visit

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