Case Study: How Courtney Mays' Sixth Grade Class Went From Struggling to Outperforming Their Peers

case study


Courtney Mays is a 6th-grade teacher in Ohio who faced challenges teaching writing to her students. Her students lacked formal writing experience and struggled to write cohesive paragraphs. She needed a writing curriculum that could help her students improve their writing skills and prepare them for state testing.


Courtney discovered the Simplify Writing® Curriculum, which provided her with a comprehensive program for teaching writing. She was impressed by the curriculum's inclusiveness, which included a wealth of resources and straightforward lesson plans. "I always had a lot of say in my curriculum and so I was trusted to do what I felt was right for my students." says Mays. "When I stumbled upon Simplify Writing, I knew I needed this for my students."  She implemented the curriculum and observed a significant improvement in her students' writing skills. "The growth I saw in them over the year was truly amazing." she told us. 


By the time state testing came around, Mays' students were comfortable writing a 5 to 6 paragraph essay, including an argumentative essay with a counterclaim. The students had learned how to write a polished paragraph and were fully prepared for the ELA test. Mays was excited to tell us that "In the year prior to implementing Simplify Writing, I had about 30% of my students pass the ELA state test. The year I implemented Simplify Writing, my passing percentage went up to 58%. I can say very confidently that their writing was the reason for this." Essay writing is only one piece of the ELA test, but their mastery of it brought up their overall scores significantly. Her students outperformed their peers in writing, thanks to the Simplify Writing® Curriculum.


Courtney's success with the Simplify Writing Curriculum inspired other teachers in her school to adopt the program. The curriculum's straightforward plans reduced the stress of planning explicit writing lessons. The resources provided in the curriculum are abundant, and teachers can choose which resources to use based on their students' needs.


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