"The Universal Writing Continuum (UWC) provides a comprehensive writing instruction tool and record-keeping system for teachers to manage the numerous, complex, and multi-faceted aspects associated with a process-approach to writing. There is a multitude of resources related to the teaching of writing, such as sample letters to parents, video clips of instructional practices, UWC position papers on best practices, and grade-appropriate rubrics. The beauty of the system is its ability to assist a teacher with the daily task of keeping on top of students’ progress, giving individual student feedback on their writing assignments in a timely manner, and maintaining specific and accurate records on each student. When both the teacher and the students have access to the digital tools needed for using this program, such as classroom computers or tablets, and the brief training needed to effectively use the tools provided by the program, the benefits it provides for productive writing workshop time is enhanced."

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“Rarely do I write to other administrators and try to endorse one system or another. But here's what we're up to:"

“The Universal Writing Continuum is a new program—actually in its beta testing phase—that allows teachers to track from year to hear how students are doing on their writing. It's part database, part scoring system, part tracker. Not only does it record regular writing assignments, it keeps track of benchmark papers, so that you can assess how your building is doing in writing. We've been working with its creator, Dr. Debbie Powell, from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington."

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"The UWC is aligned with the Common Core; many of the elements of writing can be found in the Common Core. The UWC goes beyond the Common Core by including writing elements and language not addressed in the standards. The UWC simultaneously organizes the Common Core by the writing elements and by grade level. It advances the expectations mid-year, thereby helping teachers determine if the work is of grade-level (or not) performance."

"I think a continuum is helpful to teachers needing guidance on pinpointing areas of strength and weaknesses with individual students. Once I learned how to navigate through the system, the Continuum was easy to use."

"Great tool that provides informative information."

“The writing continuum is a solid tracking device for students’ growth in writing. It is easy to use and provides another data point to view growth.”

“I would say that it is very comprehensive and better than anything that we currently have for scoring a student’s writing. It is very explicit and it is easy to see the progression from one proficiency band to the next. It also ensures that teachers know the Common Core Standards not only for their grade level but as a continuum.”

“If used throughout the school year consistently, students and teachers will have great data to discuss in terms of progress or lack of in specific areas of writing. If assessed regularly, students should be able to target areas of weakness as a writer and improve those areas contributing to the whole.”

“The Universal Writing Continuum was very beneficial to my Common Core writing instruction. I was also able to address students’ strengths and weaknesses. Using the writing continuum I was also able to strengthen my knowledge of writing standards for other grade levels.”

“I just have to say that I love it; I love that it’s so broken down and so precise... It’s just not something broad to look at; you can literally go back and look at the (student’s) story and check to see did he do that? I was really taken with this.”