Cindy Sherman is the founder and principal of The Write Turn. She is a speech-language pathologist with a doctorate in special education. As an SLP, Cindy serviced students with communication impairments in grades K-12 and developed a specific interest and expertise in literacy intervention. Cindy is trained in various reading intervention programs and uses a more language-based approach when helping students improve their phonological awareness, reading comprehension, and written language skills. While volunteering and working in many classrooms in DC and Maryland, Cindy observed the number of students who lacked written language skills and realized the need for more explicit instruction in many public and private schools.
Cindy developed a writing intervention program that teaches students revising and self-regulation strategies that improve their ability to brainstorm ideas and write better papers.
In 2003, Cindy was offered a fellowship at the University of Maryland. Through further research, Cindy developed The Write Turn®, a research-based program that helps novice and struggling writers plan, write, and revise narrative and expository essays.
Cindy has written articles on the effectiveness of her strategy instruction in writing, including A Strategic Approach to Writing and Revision for Students with Learning Disabilities; The Effects of Strategy Instruction with A CDO Procedure in General Education Settings; Revising Strategy Instruction in Inclusive Settings: Effects for English Learners and Novice Writers; and FIX: A Strategic Approach to Revision For Academically and Linguistically Diverse Learners. Cindy has also written a chapter entitled “Technology to Facilitate the General Education Curriculum" for Communication Technology for Students in Special Education or Gifted Programs.
Cindy holds a B.S. in Communications and Psychology from the University of New Mexico, an M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of the District of Columbia, and a Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Maryland.
Written language is a difficult
skill to teach because it is
such a complex form of
communication and the result of
multiple interactive processes.
Regardless of their achievement level, students who struggle with written language, can improve the quality of their written language with explicit instruction and assistance in planning, writing, and revising.
According to the 2017 National Assessment of Education Progress report, an overwhelming majority of students in grades 8 and 12 performed at or below the basic level on a nationally representative writing assessment. The statistics are even more alarming for English language learners (ELL) and students with disabilities (LD/ED). A consistent pattern has been observed since 1998: of those students who performed at an advanced writing level (3%), only 1-2% could write a persuasive essay at an advanced level. It is also important to note that students who are classified as basic writers in high school are often considered “poor” writers in college.