NoRedInk BlogThomas Rodrigues

Year in Review, Pt. 1: Our 8 Favorite NoRedInk Updates of 2022

Wooden blocks illustrating the transition from 2022 to 2023

NoRedInk introduced a wide variety of resources and features in 2022, further simplifying the process of building strong writers and critical thinkers.

From resuming in-person visits to schools to attending conferences like NCTE, we were fortunate enough to get to speak with countless educators this year. We’ve taken the major themes of these conversations and used them to inform how we update and evolve our comprehensive writing platform.

As 2022 draws to a close, we wanted to take a moment to run down some of the most exciting resources and features we rolled out this year:

Curriculum alignments

Over the course of 2022, we created sample alignments for seven common curricula:

These resources include high-level overviews of how NoRedInk can be used with each curriculum and sample alignments for one unit within each curriculum. They’re designed to help teachers understand how NoRedInk content fits within—and can help level-up—what they’re already doing in their classrooms.

Google Classroom integration

NoRedInk’s expanded Google Classroom integration gives teachers an efficient way to create NoRedInk classes and roster students directly from the information in their Google Classroom account. Instead of having to manually enroll each student in a NoRedInk class, teachers are able to sync enrollment data with Google Classroom in just a few clicks.

Combined with straightforward access through Google Single Sign-on and streamlined assignment sharing via a “Share to Google Classroom” button, this new rostering option makes it easier for teachers to incorporate NoRedInk into their existing workflows.

Modules

Modules are sequenced collections of NoRedInk activities that address a specific writing or grammar skill. They typically feature interactive tutorials, Practice exercises, Quick Writes, Quizzes, and passaged-based activities or text sets. These activities form a well-rounded unit that supports the pre-teach, practice, assess, and extend instructional model that many of NoRedInk’s most successful teachers utilize.

Each Module includes a learning objective as well as the prerequisite skills students should have before diving into the material. For example, the learning objective of the Topic Sentences Module is to ensure students can identify strong topic sentences to support an argumentative thesis. In order to do so, students should already have a strong understanding of the function of thesis statements.

Novel prompts

We’ve received a ton of positive feedback on our chapter-based literary analysis Quick Writes since rolling them out in 2021. As such, we added chapter-based Quick Writes for a host of new works this year, including:

Quick Write version history

Revision is as much a part of the writing process as planning and drafting are. To streamline feedback and revision cycles, we introduced version histories for Quick Writes. When a teacher leaves comments and then sends a draft of a Quick Write back to a student, the student gets a chance to rework their writing. Once the student submits a new draft, their teacher is able to toggle between the original and the revision(s) to quickly view the differences between the two (or more) versions and their own comments and scores for each version.

Science and Social Studies Quick Writes

Our initial batch of Science and Social Studies Quick Writes marked the first time we dipped our toes into subject matter that’s not traditionally covered in English courses. These prompts provide opportunities for students to write across content areas, and are fully customizable so that teachers—whether English teachers, science teachers, or social studies teachers—can easily adapt them to the specific topics they’re covering.

Student interests

Students learn and retain skills most effectively when they’re highly engaged. That’s why NoRedInk exercises incorporate each student’s favorite celebrities, characters, historical figures and other interests. Every summer, we update the options that appear on students’ “Interests Selection” pages based on feedback we receive from students and teachers. This year, we added 15 commonly requested interests, including the anime television show One Piece, the movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and the musician Lizzo.

(If you or your students would like to suggest a new interest, we encourage you to fill out our Interest Suggestion Form!)

Writing Portfolios

NoRedInk Writing Portfolios give educators access to lasting, personalizable collections of student writing samples. Each student account now includes a portfolio of Quick Writes and Guided Drafts that follows the student for as long as they use NoRedInk.

Students are able to curate their portfolios by adding work, removing work, or featuring work they’re particularly proud of. Featured pieces are pinned to the top of a student’s Writing Portfolio so that the student and their teachers have easy access to these standout samples.

Stay tuned for more in 2023!

We’ve made a lot of additions to NoRedInk in 2022, but we’re constantly looking for new ways to help teachers build better writers in their classrooms. We’ve got plenty of exciting updates in the works for 2023, so if you haven’t used NoRedInk before, be sure to sign up for free today!