Voyager Sopris Learning releases 'Step Up to Writing'

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Voyager Sopris Learning, provider of a comprehensive suite of evidence-based preK–12 interventions, assessments, and professional services, is pleased to announce the release of the Fourth Edition of Step Up to Writing, grades 3–5, which is now available for classroom implementation. The new grade band focuses on foundational writing skills, including learning basic technology skills, as well as strategies to help students develop more grade-level proficient and advanced writing skills. Together with grade band 6–8, Step Up to Writing Fourth Edition is completely revised to reflect instructional best practices for each grade and address the rigorous new writing standards for college and career readiness.

Every Step Up to Writing strategy in the Fourth Edition is built to support specific standards in the areas of writing, language, reading, and speaking and listening. There are now comprehensive sections and strategies to support teachers with in-depth, step-by-step writing instruction in the three major text types emphasized in state standards for grade 3–5 students: informative/explanatory, opinion, and narrative writing. Additionally, new grade-level-specific Unit Maps provide a sequence of instructional strategies to teach the text types; explicit focus is placed on supporting students in producing organized, clear, coherent writing; and there is new emphasis on using technology to research and produce and publish work.

Also new in the Fourth Edition is an assessment plan designed to support teachers in assessing students' writing proficiency and making instructional decisi;ons. Grade-level benchmark and summative assessments mirror the performance tasks of high-stakes assessments, and although Step Up to Writing Scoring Guides, or rubrics, are provided, writing performance and growth can be assessed using any state, district, or school rubric.

"Step Up to Writing Fourth Edition has been developed to prepare students to be proficient writers for the 21st century while maintaining the same explicit instruction and workshop approach that first engaged and improved the skills of my students over two decades ago," said Maureen Auman, author of Step Up to Writing.

To support educators in implementing this more rigorous writing instruction, the new edition provides robust professional development, which includes point-of-use video modeling of key strategies that are posted on the all-new Online Resources site; customized, in-person initial training and ongoing support; and explicit, step-by-step systematic instruction in the Teacher Edition. Additional Resources, including Step Up to Writing Tools, Assessment Materials, Writing Prompts, and Correlations to ELA standards, are available on the new Online Resources site.

"With the rigorous writing assessments that students are taking each year comes an urgent need for students to be prepared for what they encounter on high-stakes tests. This also means there is an urgent need for teachers who are trained to teach writing," said George Logue, president of Voyager Sopris Learning. "This new edition of Step Up to Writing meets both of these needs. The new content and more comprehensive assessments give students the strategies they need to be successful writers and communicators, and the online professional development and face-to-face resources model effective writing instruction for teachers."

Although completely revised, the new edition retains the key elements that have made Step Up to Writing a top pick among educators: multimodal instruction, flexible implementation options, compatibility with any core curriculum, support for writing across content areas, and a comprehensive suite of proven writing strategies.

To learn more about the new edition of Step Up to Writing, visit www.voyagersopris.com/stepuptowriting.

About Voyager Sopris Learning

Voyager Sopris Learning is committed to partnering with school districts to overcome obstacles that students, teachers, and school leaders face every day. The suite of instructional and service solutions we provide is not only research based, but also evidence based—proven to increase student achievement and educator effectiveness. O;ur solutions have been fully tested in the classroom, ensuring that they are easy to implement and teacher friendly. They are innovative, both in overall instructional approach and in the strategic use of technology in blended and 100 percent online solutions, and they are supported by an unparalleled commitment to build local capacity for sustained success. With a comprehensive suite of instructional resources, we provide assessments, professional development and school-improvement services, literacy and math instructional tools—both comprehensive intervention and supplemental—and resources to build a positive school climate. Voyager Sopris Learning is a member of Cambium Learning Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABCD), based in Dallas, Texas. For more information, please visit www.voyagersopris.com.