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The Vermont Writing Collaborative

What is Writing for Understanding?

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The Painted Essay™

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Purchase the Book: Writing for Understanding, The Vermont Writing Collaborative

Writing for UnderstandingThe Vermont Writing Collaborative

The Vermont Writing Collaborative is a group of teachers in Vermont (and elsewhere!) whose mission is to help all students, K - 12, write thoughtfully and effectively. We work with schools throughout Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and elsewhere in the country offering courses and school-based professional development in Writing for Understanding instruction.

The five founding members are: Jane Miller of Burlington, Karen Kurzman of Derby Line, Eloise Ginty of Thetford, Joey Hawkins of Strafford, and Diana Leddy of Strafford. Among us, we have over 130 years of public school teaching experience at all grade levels — which translates to a lot of students.

Those students have taught us everything we know about understanding and writing. Their triumphs and struggles have given us food for thought. They have sparked new ideas and new approaches to teaching. They have reminded us, over and over again, of the incredible power of the written word in making sense of the human condition.

Please use this site to learn more about the Writing for Understanding process, the book, and our courses.

“What the Vermont Writing Collaborative has done is provide a fresh, comprehensive, yet practical strategy for making good writing…more attainable, a lesson the young writer who struggles to write well needs to learn as early as possible.”

Grant Wiggins, co-creator of Understanding by Design