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10 Writing Opportunities to “Teach to the Test”

Authors

  • Danielle L. DeFauw


Abstract

Within the current political and educative context, where high-stakes standardized assessments create a pressure-filled experience for teachers to “teach to the test,” time spent on writing instruction that supports students in transferring their learning between classroom and assessment contexts is crucial. Teachers who must use prompts to prepare students for standardized writing assessments can utilize writing contests and/or publication opportunities available on the Internet to prepare students for the context of standardized assessments. Contest writing can motivate students to practice writing to prompts for distant audiences. Ten websites are shared of organizations that host no fee writing contests and/or publishing opportunities for students to write in various fiction and/or nonfiction persuasive, explanatory, and narrative genres. The majority of these sites also post winning contest entries and/or publish anthologies/magazines of students’ writing that can be used as mentor texts for students to analyze and emulate to improve their writing.

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