ANSWER Key for State Assessment Writing

Keys to Literacy Event

This professional development addresses written responses to the kind of question prompts typically found on standardized state assessments. Teachers learn how to prepare students to independently write responses based on multiple sources (text and non-text) using an easy-to-follow routine. Students will be best prepared for assessments if they practice throughout the school year using subject area related writing prompts.

During training, participants practice generating writing prompts related to content classroom text and non-text sources. Emphasis is placed on having students complete content writing responses multiple times throughout the school year in order to develop the skills required to successfully complete similar tasks while taking on-demand assessments.

The ANSWER Key Writing Routine includes these strategies and skills:


A           Analyze the prompt

- determine purpose, task, audience
- determine source requirements                                                          

N          Notes

- set up two-column notes
- read actively

       S           Select

- select relevant source information/evidence
- integrate if multiple sources

W           Write

- write an introductory statement
- turn notes into sentences and paragraphs
- use transitions to connect ideas and source references

ER           Edit and Revise

- reread prompt
- check organization and clarity
- revise to improve response
- edit for conventions

During this training, participants learn:

  • Connections to related reading and writing state literacy standards
  • How to “unpack” and generate a writing-from-sources prompt
  • How to teach this routine for writing responses
  • How to provide user-friendly feedback and opportunities to revise written essay responses
  • How to identify literacy skills that may need explicit instruction

View Printable Brochure/Registration Form or Register Below

Who Should Participate

Grades 3-8 and high school teachers of any content area, educators who provide support to struggling readers, literacy specialists and coaches, and building administrators.


We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and the impact on our employees and the schools where we provide professional development.

During this time period when onsite, face-to-face training and coaching is not possible, we offer multiple options for accessing our literacy PD content and instructional practices.

If you are a current or new partner, explore our website or contact us to learn more about: