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Elementary Writing Week: The Writing Rope and Integration of Reading and Writing Instruction

Tuesday, April 23, 2024 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT

Elementary Writing Week

Presented by Joan Sedita, Founder and CEO, Keys to Literacy
Moderated by Alisa VanHekken, Chief Academic Officer, Heggerty

Sponsored by Heggerty

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This edWebinar presents an overview of The Writing Rope model for writing instruction that represents multiple components of writing instruction as strands in a rope. An explanation with references to research findings is provided for the five strands:

  • Critical Thinking (generating ideas and information, stages of the writing process)
  • Syntax (syntactic awareness, sentence elaboration, punctuation)
  • Text Structure (narrative, informational, opinion; paragraph structure; patterns of organization)
  • Writing Craft (awareness of task, audience, purpose; word choice; literary devices)
  • Transcription (spelling and handwriting fluency)

The importance of integrating reading and writing instruction, including a comparison of Scarborough’s Reading Rope and The Writing Rope are also addressed.

This edWebinar is the kickoff to Heggerty’s three-part Elementary Writing Week, a series that aims to empower educators with practical techniques and insights to cultivate strong writing foundations among elementary students.

This recorded edWebinar is of interest to K-3 teachers, literacy specialists, curriculum coordinators, and school leaders.

Joan Sedita

About the Presenter

Joan Sedita is the founder of Keys to Literacy, a literacy professional development organization training teachers across the U.S. Joan has been in the literacy field for over 40 years as a teacher, administrator, and teacher trainer. She is the creator of The Writing Rope framework, and has authored multiple literacy professional development programs, including The Key Comprehension Routine, The Key Vocabulary Routine, Keys to Beginning Reading, Keys to Content Writing, Keys to Early Writing, and Understanding Dyslexia. Beginning in 1975, she worked for 23 years at the Landmark School, a pioneer in the development of literacy intervention programs. Joan was one of the three lead trainers in MA for the Reading First Program and was a LETRS author and trainer. Joan received her M.Ed. in reading from Harvard University and her B.A. from Boston College.

Alisa VanHekken

About the Moderator

Alisa VanHekken is an experienced teacher and reading specialist. Alisa taught kindergarten and first grade and provided reading support services as a reading specialist. She holds a master’s degree in reading and literacy, along with an ESL endorsement and an administrative endorsement. Alisa was trained in the phonemic awareness curriculum by Dr. Heggerty himself and worked closely with him for over six years. Alisa began working at Heggerty in 2013 and serves as the Chief Academic Officer. She is the co-author of Bridge the Gap and the Early Pre-Kindergarten curricula.

Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.

Join the Teaching Reading and Writing community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.


Heggerty is a literacy education company providing research-based reading and writing curricula for preschool and elementary classrooms. Founded nearly 20 years ago by Dr. Michael Heggerty, a reading instruction pioneer, we provide digital and print curricula, decodable books, classroom resources, and professional development to help educators empower the next generation of readers.

Elementary Writing Week


Tuesday, April 23, 2024
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT
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