Martha Joseph Watts, Ed.D is an educator with
23 years’ experience of teaching at all levels, ranging from elementary to
university both in the Caribbean on the United States mainland. Her diverse experiences in teaching make her a
strong voice as a student advocate. Her passion for teaching students to read
and write non-fiction was exhibited at a Kids Count conference in 2003 where
she presented to parents on “Children as Non-Fiction Writers”.
When Dr. Watts observed the reluctance, and sometimes apprehension of students’ reaction to written tasks she was motivated to develop the Writing to Respond Process as a non-threatening way to engage students in writing to respond to text. The positive reaction from her students, and fellow teachers who utilized the process within her school setting significantly impacted her continued advocacy for students in the area of reading and writing.
After four years of utilizing, and introducing the process to teachers in other districts, the results were positive. In 2013 the Dr. Watts expanded the Writing to Respond process to include writing in response to test prompts, and after three years of usage with a diverse group of students, the results were eye-opening. Dr. Watts has published resources to facilitate the use of the process at schools or at home.