This writing continuum can be used to help students self-evaluate their writing. Questions to ask students might be:

  • Which of these stages does your writing look like? Why?
  • How is your writing different than the stage that came before?
  • What do you need to work on as a writer to move to the next stage?
  • What is your plan to accomplish that?

Teachers can create this sample continuum and post it in an easily-accessible area.  Students can then compare their own writing to the writing on the continuum, and share with peers or teachers during writing conferences.

Download the picture labels here.

Download the actual continuum here

Stage 1 -

Student scribbles             

step-1

Stage 2 -

Student draws a picture. No text.

step-2

Stage 3 -

Student draws a picture. There is an attempt at writing, but no readable text.

step-3

Stage 4 - Student draws a picture and uses random letters OR copies random words from the room.

step-4
Stage 5 - Student writes some initial sounds. Teacher can begin to guess the meaning of the text. step-5
Stage 6 - Student writes initial sounds and some consonants and vowels using phonetic spelling. step-6
Stage 7 - Student uses initial sounds,  and has some phonetically spelled words using consonants and vowels. Student is spacing between words. step-7
Stage 8 - Student uses consonants and vowel sounds to phonetically spell words. Student spaces between words and spells some sight words correctly. step-8

Stage 9 - Student writes recognizable text using phonetically correct spelling. Student spells sight words correctly, has spaces between words, and begins to use capitalization and punctuation.

 

step-9
Stage 10 - Student writes recognizable text using phonetically correct spelling. Student spells sight words correctly, has spaces between words, and uses correct capitalization and punctuation. Student remains on topic. step-10