If you can't adopt a new program (if your district is as strapped as mine), I'd say take a close look at your proficiency levels. I was working last year with students who couldn't write sentences in English. I took a CALL-IS class online to learn how to make a digital textbook and came up with this:
If you're dealing with more intermediate students, I'd take a look at using the Teachers College reading/writing workshop model used for elementary. There are lots of great ideas that could be adapted for high school.
Or, you could hook up with your chapter of the National Writing Project (http://www.nwp.org/). You can find great articles there.
I have done both, and I found that I had tremendous amounts of success two years ago when I insisted on daily writing. The one part that I could have/should have focused on was more vocabulary work. But varied prompts, particularly those that mirrored the questions on the high-stakes language tests (WIDA ACCESS), but also including picture prompts and videos with very little language (such as Miniscule: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6C0HSoX4b8c) got them interested and focused.
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Six Traits of Writing and Jane Schaffer the one-chunk paragraph
If you have the ability to adopt curriculum, our district uses the National Geographic ESL program - REACH, K-12, INSIDE, 5-8, and EDGE, 9-12. It focuses on writing in the content areas and we've had huge success.
You can get more information here: http://ngl.cengage.com/assets/html/edgecc_pro0000000330/
Thank you for your suggestions. I have been using a writing practice and preparation text and provide mini-grammar lessons. I agree that vocabulary study is also essential, so I am thinking I will do this every day as a warm-up that addresses meaning, usage, etc. I attended an in-service workshop that was given by Jeff Anderson. He suggests using literature excerpts that provide models for students to imitate.
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