Early Childhood students are called upon to organize and verbalize their thoughts throughout the school day. Children in Kindergarten maintain journals or writing portfolios to collect their work throughout the year. The younger students use ‘drawing a story picture’ for one of their prewriting exercises as story telling precedes written language.
During a child’s time in Lower School, there is a balance between expository and creative writing opportunities. Explicit instruction in writing, with a focus on sentence structure, is used in several classrooms. Teachers consistently draw connections between the books in the classroom and student work, encouraging students to see themselves as authors.
Middle School faculty uses a variety of approaches to guide students in developing and reinforcing their skills as writers. For most faculty, writing instruction is process-based, and teachers provide instruction through all phases of writing from brainstorming ideas to drafting and revising. Technology like Inspiration, which incorporates the use of spider maps, webbing, and venn-diagrams, help students not only to organize their writing but also to understand the relationship between main ideas, examples, and supporting information. Self-editing and peer editing skills are taught and reinforced at each phase of the writing process as appropriate for each individual assignment.