Using PEG Writing as an RTI or Screener Tool


Benchmarks. Mid-terms. Remediation. Math. Science. Reading. Multiple choice. Short answer. So many tests. So much grading to be done. Stacks of papers to read. When do you have the time? Can you administer a test, score it, give feedback and return it to students in time for it to be meaningful? Before you move on to the next topic, leaving those struggling students to fall further and further behind?

We all know that assessments are essential to see where students are in their learning. To use them effectively, teachers should be able to grade the tests and give students feedback in a short amount of time so that they can review their mistakes and learn from them. However, sometimes, that just doesn’t happen.

“I was that teacher who was lucky to have tests graded AND returned to students within two weeks. By that time, we had already moved on. I know that’s not ‘best practice,’ but it was hard to keep up with the pacing guide AND meet the needs of my students. When my school began using NC Write (now PEG Writing), I was finally able to do both, and it was a game-changer. NC Write transformed the way I was able to respond to all the wonderful (and not so wonderful) work my kids were doing. When they submitted their essays, I could see their immediate feedback and add my own comments. We would have conferences and talk about their specific needs and goals in writing. I loved saving SO MUCH TIME in reading and responding to their work, and my principal loved seeing the data I was able to collect in the reports.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -Jordan G., former ELA teacher, Roxboro, NC

Assessments? Data? WHY is this SOOO important?

Data is what should drive instruction. Finding out where your students are, figuring out how to get them where they should be, and monitoring their progress along the way is the crux of education. Superintendents know it; principals know it; teachers know it. But it’s much easier said than done. Analyzing assessment results provides information that teachers use to determine what and how they should teach. However, sometimes those assessments can take a while to be graded and opportunities to re-teach are lost. So to find something to help score, analyze and return work to students more quickly can be instrumental in improving teaching practices and helping students succeed.

HOW do I use PEG Writing as an RTI or screener?

PEG Writing is not only a time-saver, but also can be used to gather data that supports the RTI (Response to Intervention) process. Assigning strategically planned essays throughout the year can help you first, see what your students know at the beginning, and then, monitor their progress as the year goes on. The reports available in PEG Writing display the development of each student, both individually and in comparison to the class. This can, and should, be used to determine instruction.

Steps to Take:

  • Choose/create a prompt to enable for your students
  • Customize the advanced options to meet your needs (timer, draft limits, etc.)
  • Allow students to work on and submit their essays
  • Score essays on content accuracy and textual evidence, if necessary
  • Use score reports and national norms to determine where your students are on the goals you are assessing
  • Repeat the process throughout the year to track progress (always using comparable conditions - same genre, time and draft limit, etc.)

WHAT are these “national norms”, and HOW will they help you?

Great question! Check out our next post to find out more about the national norms!