The focus on formulaic approaches to writing in today’s classrooms can be problematic, for it may inadvertently cause the quality of students’ writing to decline. The National Writing Project (NWP) provides teachers with professional development to learn how to effectively incorporate evidence-based practices into their writing instruction. The aim of this study was to explore the practices of three elementary teachers who received professional development training from the NWP. The researchers investigated how these teachers navigated the tension between creativity in a workshop approach and accountability for teaching the Common Core writing standards. Findings suggest participants navigated the standardization of writing curriculum in various ways, teachers use of resources and strategies varied, and student engagement was more apparent when given more freedom. Implications for teaching practices in schools and for future research are included.



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