Our mission is to empower each learner to think with information, to organize it, and to communicate both in writing and in speaking. Our goal is to help as many learners as possible throughout the world. We do that by offering what we have to the world by leaving this process for everyone to use for free.
Yesteryear’s Beginnings: If, in the fall of 1973, you had been in Bloomington, Minnesota, you would have seen a nervous, anxious, and excited high school English teacher heading into Oak Grove Elementary for her first K-6 Media Director assignment. That would have been me, Thea Holtan. I was about to learn how I might help young learners prepare for their high school years.
The season began, and, as you might imagine, I saw young “researching” learners copying from sources and struggling to write their reports much like my teenage English students had copied and struggled. Eventually, I began sketching note-card and outline forms and duplicating them on the old ditto machine. As you may guess, by 1978, this Thinking and Writing Process had begun without a name, and its roots were taking hold. Success stories began spreading to other schools and other districts. This process was evolving, not from an editor’s desk, but from real teachers and real students in a real school.
Publications Through the Years: In 1980, you would have seen me self-publishing at my typewriter, with a ruler and double-sticky tape. I was producing my first thin paperback teachers’ guide. Having chosen this way to share the strategies with teachers, I took my books to evening meetings. My purpose was to share what I had designed. They, in turn, enlightened me with their success stories, perspectives, and suggestions. You can be sure I wove many of their ideas into the evolving K-12 processes. In this way my process was now becoming our process. I updated and published five more self-teaching guides for both teachers and students. Some are still available today.
All those publications focused on strengthening students’ and teachers’ self-reliance with each step of the process. Likewise, these on-line scripts and illustrations nurture self-reliance as participants learn to prepare and write an expository paper, using The Thinking and Writing Process.
When you open your browser to use this Thinking and Writing Process, you will be amazed by the step-by-step simplicity of preparing and writing an expository paper.
In Chapter 1 [Getting Ready] you will print forms that you will need. You will be performing the process with paper forms, rather than with on-line forms because hand-brain movements empower your learning, and because teachers can observe your on-paper progress. In Chapter 2 [Gathering Information] you will choose your subject and find sources from which you will write notes on your paper note cards. Then you will think about your notes by asking yourself a few important questions. In Chapter 3 [Organizing Information] you will organize and number your notes. You will also plan topic sentences for your paper. Finally, in Chapter 4 [Writing Your Report] you will write your whole report, proofread it for errors, edit it with changes, and assess it.
As you follow this Thinking and Writing Process, you might like its simplicity. You might even understand why thousands of learners have used it successfully for years.
I am Thea Holtan. If you have read about The Process you already know about me, the high school English teacher turned elementary media director. I moved to Oak Grove Elementary with skills from my English teaching days.
Since those days, I’ve had the good fortune of knowing the Parker family: Mom Teri, Dad John, Sr., and sons John, Jr. (J.J.), and Aaron. Through the years they have been unwavering supporters of this Thinking and Writing Process. In the mid-‘80’s, as computers entered the scene, John Parker, Sr. coached me into elevating my skills beyond my typewriter and ruler with computer graphics and a word processor. He helped me to self-publish in an entirely new way. Through the ’90’s, the ’00’s, and still today he nudges me toward better ways of bringing this Thinking and Writing Process to teachers and students. This online version began as his vision.
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