Six Traits of Writing: Implementation Strategies

Best-practice strategies for teaching the Six Traits all year long

If you’ve heard Kristina Smekens’ Six-Traits Introduction, then you’re ready to take it to the next level. This dynamic online course utilizes video footage from a full-day Smekens workshop and addresses how to take the Six Traits from six words floating around the classroom to full-blown immersion and implementation all year long. Kristina will offer you ways to organize, manage, and implement the traits to heighten the effectiveness of your writing instruction.



  • Building a writer’s workshop anchored in the Six Traits — including the instructional lesson, independent writing time, writer conferences, and the group share-out.
  • Recognizing the traits within each step of the writing process.
  • Strategies for assessing student writing, including when to score for particular traits and when to assess all of them.
  • Teaching students that the Six Traits are within every type of writing.

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Weave the trait language throughout all three phases of the writer’s workshop.
  • Plan writing units to target the most significant traits and writing skills.
  • Introduce and utilize kid-generated rubrics to assess student writing.
  • Convert a set of rubric scores to grades/points.
  • Utilize the Six Traits to organize and drive your writer’s workshop mini-lessons.
  • Improve the effectiveness of writer conferences and student revision with management routines and trait language.


Your Instructor

Kristina Smekens
Kristina Smekens

A full-time literacy consultant, Kristina has built a reputation for using enthusiasm, humor, and common sense to equip K-12 educators with practical, demystifying strategies for teaching reading and writing.

As president and lead consultant for Smekens Education, Kristina is constantly developing new strategies to help teachers meet the demands of today’s College and Career-Ready Standards. She shares those strategies with teachers across the United States and beyond through on-site school trainings, regional seminars, and an always-growing pool of print, digital, and video resources.

Kristina has a gift for making the complex seem simple— for showing teachers how to meet the needs of readers and writers by bridging the gap between education research and classroom-tested strategies that work. Well known for offering innovative ideas, Kristina has created more than 50 “Smekens Originals,” a compilation of books, guides, and classroom tools designed to help teachers implement best-practice literacy strategies. Among the most popular of these resources are her best-selling books, Launching the Writer’s Workshop: Grades K-2, and Launching the Writer’s Workshop: Grades 3-12.

You are welcome to contact Kristina directly: kristina@smekenseducation.com.



Contact Smekens Education toll free:

(888) 376-0448

What teachers say about this course

“My mind has been blown. I can’t wait to start teaching the 6 Traits. I feel like I have somewhere to start now, and I feel confident about it.” Jennifer Miller, Grade 3, Eastside Elementary School, Brazil, IN

“Kristina has what it takes to get educators excited about teaching writing.” Teresa LeBeau, Instructional Coach, CSC Southern Hancock County, Greenfield, IN

“I had been teaching 6 traits for 2 years now with no real training. This really made the big picture make sense. The training also organized my brain about each trait itself.” Brittany Grimm, Grade 2, Rosa Parks Elementary, Indianapolis, IN

“I now know where to start with my instruction. As a first year teacher, I needed the jumping-off point.” Rachel Gish, Grade 3, Holy Family School, New Albany, IN

“The best, most helpful teacher-friendly workshop I have ever been to in my 32 years in education! Love everything Smekens!” Dana Henley, Grade 1, Seymour Redding Elementary School, Seymour, IN

"This workshop gave me the confidence and excitement to incorporate the 6 traits in my classroom. I am eager to begin!" Julie Peters, Grade 1, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School, Fort Wayne, IN

"Totally changed the way I will teach writing. So helpful. Amazing! I learned so much. It was engaging and informative for K-12." Susanne Borders, Grade 1, St. Joseph Grade School, South Bend, IN


Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course can begin at any time.
How long do I have access to the course?
After enrollment, students have access to the content for 30 days. You determine how fast or slow you want to progress through the course during this time.
Can I share my course with colleagues?
Sorry, course sharing is not allowed. Our Terms of Use specify that one registration fee allows access for just one person. However, we are happy to offer group discounts. Give us a call at (888) 376-0448 to get the details.
Can I get continuing education credits?
Most likely! With prior approval from your school district, participants may receive credit for up to 5 hours of professional development for each course. A Certificate of Completion is provided to participants when they complete all aspects of the course.
Can I earn graduate credit?
Thanks to a partnership with the Midwest Teachers Institute, educators who enroll in two eligible webAcademy courses simultaneously can earn three hours of nationally-accredited graduate credit for just $375. These are non-degree credits which are designed for professional certification renewals and salary step increases. Contact Brady Smekens, Director of Professional Development, for details, (888) 376-0448.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are not satisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 10 days, and we will give you a full refund.
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