What is the Universal Writing Continuum?

The Universal Writing Continuum (UWC) is a PreK-13 formative assessment tool consistent with writers' workshop and the process approach to teaching writing. Our formative assessment informs the next instructional steps needed for the class, small groups and individuals while recording students’ progress on a continuum of 42 progress points.

The UWC IS NOT a computer-scored assessment. Teachers make all of the assessment and instructional decisions---the computer is just a tool to make this process more reliable, efficient, and informative.

All content teachers in grades 6-13 will find this website invaluable for evaluating writing across the curriculum. Teachers can easily assess and monitor students' progress, set goals for their students, and plan instruction based on assessment results.

The UWC has been evaluated based on the criteria established by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) for formative assessment (2013) and by the standards for reading and writing assessment established by NCTE and International Literacy Association (2009).

How Does the Universal Writing Continuum (UWC) measure up to NCTE & IRA standards for formative writing assessment? Read More

Resources That Aid Instruction

  • Searchable Teaching Strategies: Over 500 strategies for management and mini-lessons are included.
  • Glossary of Terms: Over 130 terms used in the standards and continuum are defined and illustrated
  • Interactive Mentor Texts
  • Student Self-Evaluation Checklists
  • 28 Writable Graphic Organizers
  • 380 Writing Quotes of the Day to Inspire Teachers and Writers
  • A Comment Bank to Store the Comments Teachers Use Repeatedly
  • Anchor Papers for Comparison and to Share with Students

Motivation for Teachers

We know that teaching writing isn’t an easy task. For the fun of it, we’ve included avatars that teachers can change according to how their day is going. As teachers use the UWC, they accumulate points. Each month, the target number of points increases. All teachers who reach the minimum points for the month are entered into a random drawing for $100 for their classroom. REALLY!