© Copyright 2017 Randi Whitney Consulting
Reaching students one teacher at a time!

Evidence of Success

 QUOTES FROM PRINCIPALS, SUPERVISORS, AND TEACHERS:  (This is just a sampling - we have hundreds!) “I had to call.  I have taught high school for 25 years and the “I-Write” is the most valuable piece of information I have ever received in an in-service!  My Pre-AP Freshman scored higher than any of the previous year’s groups had.  They all scored (combined graders) 6s & 7s.  In addition to the test, I always ask my freshman on the last day of class to write down the one thing we did that year that I should not do with the class the following year.  Then I ask them to write down the most valuable thing I should keep doing.  They cannot talk or share with each other.  The I-Write was the number one thing I should continue to do according to this year’s freshman!” - Joan Nelson, Greenville High School “I hope all is well for you and your colleagues at the Writing Academy.  I wanted to share the good news that my 4th graders had an 86% passing rate on the STAAR writing.  Wow!  I believe the Writing Academy made the difference for these 4th graders.  I am thankful for all that the Writing Academy did to support our academic efforts in writing!  Every child counts!” – Audrey N. Sanders, Ed.D., Director Arrow Liberation Academy, Missouri City, Tx “I wanted to tell Randi Whitney (developer of The Writing Academy) that I have used the Writing Academy curriculum for two years now.  Previous year my STAAR Writing score was 79%, last year 89%, this year 95%!  I am excited to tell you that my 4th grade class was #1 in state with 95% passing.  Only one other school in my region scored 95 this year.  I am just thrilled to see that this works for our students here at Banquete.  I am very proud of my students.  Now my school is using 2nd and 3rd grade curriculum.” - Robin Sykora, Banquete Elementary “I wanted you to know that our school, Horn Elementary, Houston ISD, received 97% passing and 43% advanced on the 4th grade STAAR Writing.  I have used the program all year and it works!”  – Betsy Garner, 4th Grade Teacher  “Last week a Writing Academy consultant came to present for my district, Greenville ISD.  As a TWA Four Day Institute veteran, I was thrilled to have a bit of it presented to more staff in my district.  Last year my coworker and I implemented TWA into our writing curriculum completely.  I have never seen kids so excited to write!  It completely changed how I taught, how my kids learned, and the whole tone of my room.  I only taught 4th grade Writing/Language Arts for the past two years, so writing has been my main focus in the classroom.  I was able to watch my kids go from dreading the unknown of 4th grade writing to loving coming to class and being successful writers. I don’t define their success in terms of scores (although they did increase well over 24% on the STAAR.  My campus also had the highest writing scores by 20%).  I define their success in the capability to really express themselves.  They were proud of their work and took a great sense of accomplishment in their writing abilities. I am a huge fan of TWA philosophy and how it can really impact students if given even the smallest chance.” - Nicole Cardwell, 4th grade teacher, Greenville ISD “I worked at Longfellow Elementary in Houston ISD as a Magnet Coordinator when The Writing Academy came to our campus.  We were very pleased with the outcomes.  I am now a Director of Curriculum & Instruction and want to utilize the STAAR Student Writing CAMPs for our students.” - Tracy Van Wright, M.Ed., Director of Curriculum & Instruction. “I attended your narrative in-service last year, and my kiddos scored within the top 3 schools in our district on the STAAR exam!  We have 13 schools in our district.  The information from these TWA sessions are invaluable!” - Ashley Lyon, 7th Grade Teacher Yes Prep Academy “Just wanted you to know that Pineywoods 4th grade STAAR writing scores were the highest in the county!  We scored 80%.  We appreciate the quality training, and credit The Writing Academy with helping to increase our score.  Thank you.” –Marla M. Pickard, Dean of Instruction (also everyone on Facebook is saying the training is great!)  “We had our 4th graders trained in the new STAAR Narrative and STAAR Expository last year.  They loved it and used The Writing Academy all year.  The fourth grade writing scores were so high now we are going to train our teachers district- wide.  In fact, our 4th grade scores were so much higher than the state average a nearby district will be calling you to have your consultants come to their school!”  – Nerissa Erickson, Canton ISD, Grants and Federal Programs Coordinator “I attended one of the four day writing institutes in July. Today, my 7th grade students played Magnifying Baseball in class.  At the end of the day, five students came to my class  for mandatory tutoring.  They begged me to play Magnifying  Baseball.  When I told them no, they asked if we could please play tomorrow in class.  Wow!  I never thought I would see 7th graders WANTING to work on writing topics. Thanks for teaching me how to make writing fun for the kids.  I can’t wait to use all my other “goodies” from this summer.” - Lisa McNally, 7th grade teacher, LCISD “My name is Laura Christian.  I attended the TWA workshop last summer in Kemah and absolutely loved it!  After the week in Kemah, my co-worker and I immediately went back to our school and began sharing all of the wonderful information we had received with our students.  By utilizing our “bucket of goodies” and using the curriculum guide, we were able to achieve a 90% success rate with our students on the Writing STAAR test!!” “Randi, I attended your conference last week and wanted to tell you that I had a “teach BIG” moment today.  Today was the first day this school year that I have had fun teaching!  It has encouraged me to Teach BIG tomorrow.  Today we were learning about the 4 types of sentences.  Instead of just telling the kids the types, I taught by location and incorporated hand signals.  The students were so excited and participated like never before.  How awesome is it that I actually changed and I was successful with the kids.  Thank you for your inspiration!” – Merideth Dudley, Alvin ISD About our Teacher In-services: This is the best writing workshop I have been to in the last 7 years.  Thank you!  I know teaching Narrative and Expository Writing will be more fun this way.  I would love to go to the Teachers’ Retreat in the summer.  –Vicky Guillen, Admin. of 3-5, Rio Hondo Intermediate Best Workshop Ever!  Finally, felt that, for once, this won’t just get “thrown on the shelf!” Love participating & actually doing the activities!  I’m a hands-on learner! – Sabrina Richardson, 3rd Grade teacher, West Hardin Elementary, WHCISD I wish I was always as energetic as our presenter!  It reminded me that even Pre-AP kids like manipulatives and movement. – Leigh Cockrill, 10th Pre-AP, Tivy High School This is the most valuable presentation I have ever participated in.  I have been attending workshops for 20 years!  Using the check mark and the not sign on the multiple choice section is eye opening.  – Diana Bainbridge, 4th Grade teacher, Emerson Elementary, Houston ISD I love this workshop! So many useful ideas and strategies to take directly back into the classroom!  Bravo!  - Maria Gimela, 6th ESL, BTW, Kerrville ISD I love the hands on activities!  So many to choose from for differentiating instruction to different learners.  – Engeline Trevino, Magnet Coordinator, Roosevelt Elementary, Houston ISD You are always fun!  All of the learning games make it fun and make me want to teach again!  Comma issues:  loved the ideas that simplified the rules!  - Michele Brannon, 7/8 ELA Dept. Chair, Charles Baxter Junior High, Everman ISD I love the consultant’s positive attitude!  Everything was fun and engaging.  Her sense of humor is refreshing and keeps you entertained and engaged.  I love the structure and organization you have created for us to teach grammar in a meaningful way.  It will completely be my big change this year! – Wendy Montgomery, 4th Grade teacher, Wilshire Elementary, North East ISD I loved the extra handouts in the packet.  I liked the short selections.  It is something we can do from start to finish in one class period.  My “Ah-ha” moment was when the presenters showed that students need to be able to distinguish between a summary and paraphrasing.  – Cristina Criel, 9th ELA, Martin High School Absolute blessing!!! Teaching BIG means teaching from your heart.  What was my favorite part?  EVERYTHING!!!  My surprise moment:  Grammar is fun!  Sentence storming was pretty amazing!! – Angela Brown, 4th Grade Writing teacher, Woodville Intermediate, Woodville ISD The consultant was very entertaining and it helped to get her message through.  My favorite part was using pasta as a comma!  I will take that to my classroom.  My biggest “ah-ha” was knowing how to keep my students focused by using fun games to learn a skill. – Cynthia Rubio, 2nd Grade teacher, Las Yescas Elementary, Los Fresnos ISD I have taught 24 years.  I learned grammar rules I have never thought of or realized – you’re never too old to learn something new. – Carol Rogers, 4th Grade teacher, Bowie Fine Arts Academy, Midland ISD High five to her.  She was very energetic and the 3 days from morning to end of the day were Awesome!!  Plenty of hands-on activities that I will use in the classroom.  – Claudia N. Cardenas, Sam Houston Elem., Eagle Pass ISD So funny, enthusiastic and engaging.  Best all day PD I have ever attended (no lie!)!!  I loved the I-Write Chart.  Graphic organizers – awesome.  –Laurie Tuttle, Librarian, Oak Grove, North East ISD Today was amazing!  The ideas were great and actually putting them into practice was even better!  I can’t wait to implement it in my class! Biggest “ah-ha” was a new insight in teaching transitions to my students. I loved the Blueprint. – Ysenia Hernandez, 4th/Reading/Language Arts, Rio Hondo Intermediate I truly enjoyed this workshop and will use ALL of the strategies! My biggest “Ah-ha” moment is when I realized tactile learning works. – Leslie Bird, 9th Reading Teacher, E.C. High School, Laredo ISD My biggest “ah-ha” moment was when I realized I am a “life” teacher, not a “test” teacher. – Rene Jimenez, 2nd Grade teacher, LBJ Elementary, Elsa- Edcouch ISD Beginning my first year of teaching and I was feeling VERY overwhelmed and intimidated.  After this seminar, I feel so much more confident and equipped to Teach BIG!  - Angela Crowson, EJ Moss Intermediate, Lindale ISD I love how fun the seminars are – enjoyable and easy to listen to.  Thank you for the super ideas that make the abstract process of writing concrete. – Rebecca McCright, 3rd Grade I love how you have broken the skills down into lots of different ways we can practice. – Cheryl Manchester, 3rd Bilingual Teacher, Kerrville ISD The presenter was personable and knowledgeable.  Her enthusiasm was contagious!  I love all the helpful hints and resources to help our kids “get it.”  I teach strugglers, so these ideas are great. – Deborah Marusak, Hill Country High School About our 4 Day Summer Institutes: This was the best seminar I have ever attended!  I love the hands-on manipulatives, handouts, and skits!  Not to mention the snacks!  My favorite part of the seminar was the strawberry used for object placement.  That story will stay with me for the rest of my life and will be shared.  I teach BIG, but this year I will teach BIGGER because of this experience and YOU!  I have fallen in love with all of you! – Charlotte G. Carter, 4th Grade teacher, Felix Cook Jr. Elementary, Houston ISD Your passion is contagious!  This is exactly what I needed this summer as I transition to a new campus.  I love My Bucket! I am so grateful to have these activities ready to go.  It makes the beginning of the year much easier.  I’ve taught a while now, and I always struggle with making writing “active.”  Thank you for the simple, engaging lessons that will inspire my kids.  – Robyn May, 7th ELAR, Clark Junior High, Princeton ISD Randi, you are amazing!  Such an inspiration.  I have been teaching 26 years and I have attended many trainings…the Writing Academy has been the best by far!!! – Natalie Cobb, Lang. Arts Skills Specialists, Francis Elementary, Aldine ISD I have never attended such a relevant, fun inservice. There was so much information given, however, it did not get overwhelming.  Perfect!  My favorite part was having ALL the activities copied and complete for instant use in the classroom.  Also, the motivation provided to teach BIG!  My biggest “ah-ha” moment was that writing can be enjoyable and fun to teach.  I have been so intimidated by this subject and now I feel like I have the knowledge and abilities to not only teach writing but teach the LOVE of writing! – Monica Hunter, 3rd Grade self-contained teacher, Springtown ISD Thank you for all the awesome make and takes and organization.  Thank you for the overall inspiration and praise to God!  The one who blessed you with these talents! – Angela Wilson, 4th RELA, Huffman Intermediate, Huffman ISD Thank you for being passionate about what you do.  The interaction we experienced showed how we can apply it to our students.  I loved the splashes of development to expository papers.  The whole staff is a blessing! Each of you are an inspiration and a light for me when teaching.  God Bless You!  - Amanda Soliz, 4th Grade Teacher, Navarro Elementary, Lockhart ISD Thank you so much for the hospitality and for providing so many things we can take back and use!  All of the games will make writing more enjoyable for the lil ones.  I had an ah-ha moment every time we received more and more activities!  - Monique Cobb, lst Grade teacher, Hidden Cove Elementary, Southwest ISD Wonderful inservice!  Physical demonstration, organization, and materials provided!  I loved how manipulatives are used in ELA.  Easy to modify for special education students. – Raven Wright, 7 & 8 Resource, Missouri City Middle School, Fort Bend ISD One of the best workshops ever!  Very interactive, definitely not boring!  I loved all of the activities and waves (make-n- takes).  My ah-ha moment was seeing how easy it will be for the students to learn to write a complete sentence by using the weather sentences. – Julie Montalvo, 2nd Grade teacher, Pittman Elementary, Raymondville ISD You paid attention to every small detail.  You made us feel special.  The whole Expository presentation was great.  I cannot wait to take it back to my classroom. – Erica Porter, 8th ELA teacher, Adams Middle School, Galena Park ISD This is the best conference I have ever attended!  We were so pampered, and went home feeling ready to teach writing!  I received many wonderful ways to keep my kinders excited about writing…They can do so much with all the new ideas I have! – Lori Holliday, Kindergarten teacher, Burnet Elementary, Burnet CISD The consultants have the most infectious personalities.  You forget you are at a workshop and feel at home with family and friends!  The fact that we leave with a whole year of activities and manipulatives, and a whole bucket of materials is great.  My favorite part was the idea of taking something from concept to whole body to writing product.  – Douglas Dorsten, 3rd Grade teacher, Collins Elementary, Alief ISD Compliments:  Handouts great to have and will be used; loved the enthusiasm and the ending send off!  Will use with my students! Great brain breaks, snacks, and anecdotes.  You convinced me that writing shouldn’t be scary; I shouldn’t be nervous to teach writing.  I will be confident because of everything I have learned to effectively teach my students writing. – Melissa Perez, 4th Grade teacher, Lockland Elementary, Lockland ISD In 25 years of teaching, this has truly been the best seminar! – Lisa Hawsy, 4th Grade teacher, Steward Elementary, Hitchcock ISD By far the best training I have been to.  Please keep it up!  I would love for you to come to my school.  My favorite part was the skits, and the paragraph building with people.  I also loved the splashing technique!  Please inform me of ALL other trainings.  I will follow the Teach BIG model and your curriculum.  The most support I have received – EVER! God Bless. – Andesia de Jesus, 3rd grade teacher, Gallegos Elementary, Houston ISD The presenter was wonderful.  Passionate, funny, engaging!  I loved the waves (make-n-take) and teaching ideas generated at our table during the waves.  I believe I can really teach writing and bring up our scores while taking the students on an amazing journey! – Sabrina Pyke, 4th Grade teacher, Golden Acres Elementary, Pasadena ISD Great job! Had a Blast! Making all the materials and having everything ready to go was great!  I loved how easy everything I learned is to use right-away in the classroom. – Idlina Escobar, Kindergarten teacher, Laster School, Brooks County ISD I want to return every summer to be inspired for the next school year!  I was inspired, made to feel at home, entertained, and educated in the writing process.  Snacks were awesome! My “ah-ha” moment was that the prompt does not control the author, the author controls the prompt and  how he wants to present it.  I promise to go back and teach BIG, hoping it will be contagious at my school. –Andrea Browder, K-2 Skill Specialist and 3-4 Writing Skills, Francis Elementary, Aldine ISD The Composition 4 Day and the Editing and Revising 4 Day rate #1.  No, not # 1, #2, etc. = Number 1.  I cannot pinpoint one single thing that rated less than #1.  It all makes me excited to have this experience and to be able to have great tools for teaching!  Awesome! – Laura Pompa, 4th Grade teacher, Stewart Elementary, Hitchcock ISD Best workshop I have ever attended.  The pieces of grammar all put together in a logical, teachable order was my biggest ah-ha moment. – Linda Ray, 7th ELA, Palacios Junior High, Palacios ISD I loved the energy and joy each staff member carries.  You wear your faith on your shoulders.  The make-n-take helped us digest what we just learned.  I also loved the chocolate covered strawberries!  I am leaving feeling that I can teach BIG every day without having to do much. (Walking away with materials ready) I want to be remembered by my students and change lives. – Dee Dee Jones, George Junior High School, LCISD  
To give you an idea what a difference implementing The Writing Academy can make, the following is a cross-section of STAAR Results of schools using The Writing Academy:
About our Student Writing CAMPs: (No place for names on the evaluation) The Writing Academy consultants always bring energy and insight with your STAAR Writing CAMPs.  These strategies are a major reason our writing portion scores went up last year! - Teacher on CAMP Evaluation, Los Fresnos United High School   Our students love doing your CAMPs!  This is our second year and our students benefit every time.  I think it also reminds our teachers of things to revisit in their classrooms to prepare the students for STAAR Writing.  Thank you so much!! – Torres Elementary Good information.  The CAMPs are very relatable to students and state assessment.  Allows for students to make connections with task and expectations for EOC. – Freer High School Strategies and activities are great motivational ways to get our students excited about writing and scoring high on STAAR.  Thanks! – Daiches Elementary The consultant was very effective.  She used several strategies to keep the students’ interest.  All writing strategies are very useful. – Mercedes Junior High Excellent activities for students and teachers to take back to the classroom and incorporate in their writing! – M. S. Ryan Elementary The students enjoyed the CAMP.  I am sure that I will be able to use what we learned today in my classes.  Thank you for your energetic presentation!  It was very informative, with lots of energy that kept the kids engaged.  Great job! – Kenedy Middle School Great activities for kids – entertaining and hands on.  I can see them using this for their writing!  Awesome strategies and manipulatives! Excellent ideas! Very interesting and entertaining! – Goliad Elementary I moved to this campus from our K-3 campus.  As a third grade teacher last year, I would have given anything to witness this to help my third graders prepare for 4th. – Little Cypress Intermediate Great set of tools that the students can use on their STAAR exam. - Dr. Leo Cigarroa High School This was an excellent writing presentation.  Super interaction with students.  Excellent strategies for teaching students how to write a personal narrative. - Shadydale Elementary Awesome job!  Very enthusiastic and great activities.  Great Stuff! – Mercedes Early College Academy Useful tools for the classroom teachers!  Presenter was very engaging! - Mauriceville Elementary Great energy.  I really enjoyed the manipulatives that my students and I can use in class.  The ideas presented are realistic and feasible to using in the classroom.  High energy, relative content. – Cleburne High School Students were very engaged and enjoyed learning new ideas on how to become strong and effective writers on the expository essay. – Hachar Elementary Great enthusiasm!  Presenter is great at getting kids involved with hand on activities!  I truly loved the energy and the information given. – Aquirre Junior High I loved the movements, songs, and how the children caught on. - Roberts Elementary Excellent presentation! – Los Fresnos United 9th Grade Fantastic workshop.  Students engaged and showed understanding of new ideas. These activities will help me in my instruction. – Pittman Elementary Very enthusiastic!  Students were engaged throughout the CAMP.  She caught everyone’s attention at all levels. I learned a lot! Excellent CAMP – Freer Junior High Consultant was very energetic and knowledgeable.  She made a difficult topic to teach exciting.  I enjoyed the different foldables, and the fact that the students were active participants. - L.C. Smith Elementary Professional Presentation!  Very well organized and presented material for student participation.  Great tools for writing!  Students walked away with a packet of helpful manipulatives.  Great ideas for students. – Mercedes High School Motivating presentation – kept the students’ attention and actively participating in the training.  Great strategies with supporting visuals shared.  Can’t wait to use with my students! – Charlotte High School I feel this was an outstanding opportunity for each of the students.  The experiences gained through the CAMP will play a huge role in their success on the STAAR test.  I can’t wait to see our writing scores soar because of you! – Rusk Junior High Very Informative and engaging.  Perfect prep for the STAAR test! – Montgomery Elementary Students enjoyed the CAMP!  Well-paced.  Good quick activities.  Students stayed engaged!  - Alice Johnson Junior High The kids learned a lot. I think the CAMP information is going to raise those STAAR scores! – Martin High School