The resources presented here have their roots in my years of work with California Writing Project's Improving Student Academic Writing (ISAW) team and in my personal focus on the idea of redefining text for a multi-modal world. My premise for study has been that anything that contains meaning counts as text; if meaning can be pulled out, that counts as reading; and, if a process is required to create something, that counts as writing. By opening up the idea of “text” in this manner, we not only free teachers and students to explore more mediums in their classrooms, we also allow students more options in their creation of culminating pieces.
When we expand our view of text, we celebrate and support a greater number of our students on a regular basis. We acknowledge the ways in which our students are already reading and writing. We give them credit for their strengths and begin an important dialogue around the transfer of skills from one mode to another. We more effectively provide differentiation both in what students read, and in what students write. Most importantly, we more regularly allow our struggling students to take on the role of expert.