Write from the Start: Evidence-Based Writing Instruction www.ceedar.org H325A120003
Part 1: Reflect • Do you consider yourself a writer? How comfortable do you feel writing? • How comfortable do you feel teaching writing? How comfortable do you feel teaching writing at different levels of support? • What do you know about the Common Core State Standards for writing?
Objectives:After studying this module, you will be able to... • Explain why writing is important • Understand why writing may be difficult for students with and without disabilities • Note how the CCSS address writing • Articulate what teachers and students need to know and be able to do to understand evidence-based practices for writing • Discern 10 evidence-based instruction and assessment practices • Select evidence-based practices for implementing writing in the classroom • Plan effective, evidence-based scaffolds for students with learning difficulties
CCSS Instructional Shifts • Emphasis on • Writing throughout the grade levels • Increased sophistication throughout the grade levels • Use of evidence from sources to inform or make an argument • Critical and analytical writing • Academic vocabulary (Adapted from (a) http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/W/introduction/ Introduction, and (b) www.engageNY.org, Instructional Shifts for the Common Core)
ActivityGet familiar with the key features of standards for English/Language Arts • Form pairs of partners A and B • A move to the right and partner with another A • B move to the left and partner with another B • Directions: • Answer the question: What are students expected to know about English/Language Arts? • Write 2-3 insights on chart paper and post within 3 minutes.
The Writing Standards • There are 4 types of standards and 10 standards total • Text Types and Purposes • Production and Distribution of Writing • Research to Build and Present Knowledge • Range of Writing for 3-12
How the Standards Change by Grade Level • The standards change and increase in sophistication throughout the grade levels. • Vocabulary • Syntax • Development and organization of ideas • Address increasingly demanding content and sources • Each year, students will meet standards and further develop skills and understandings mastered in preceding grades.
CCSS and Writing • What does Dr. Steve Graham say about CCSS and writing? Let’s view this quick video. • *Dr. Steve Graham is a prolific and esteemed writing researcher.
What is writing? • Using multiple, coordinated processes and skills in a certain context to create written products • Writing skills include proper use of phonology, morphology, orthography/spelling, syntax, handwriting, and vocabulary • Historians, scientists mathematicians, poets, musicians, artists–all approach writing from unique perspectives • The social context of the classroom and motivation of the students can be capitalized to enhance the platform from which students practice these processes and skills
Refuting the Untruths of Writing • Writing is creating a final product for an assignment • The writing process matters • Revision and dialogue matter • Using technology to write can be as beneficial as writing by hand • Research has shown that handwriting can work to improve spelling as well as competency in written expression (Cahill, 2009) *Although technology can be helpful to those who often struggle with text production
Refuting the Untruths of Writing • Editing is the same as revising • Revision occurs throughout the writing process, whereas editing refers to the final step—a final “clean up” of conventions, spelling, etc. • Writing can be isolated from reading • Reading and writing are reciprocal processes (Berninger, Abbott, Abbott, Graham, & Richards, 2002; Elbow, 1993) • Listening, speaking, reading, and writing are correlated (Berninger et al., 2006)
Importance of Writing • Writing skills positively impact... • Success in school (e.g., testing, use to support learning in content areas, potential for college acceptance; Coker & Lewis, 2008; Schumaker & Deshler, 2009) • Completion of a college degree (National Commission on Writing [NCW], 2004) • Reduction of mental and physical distress (Harris, 2004)
Importance of Writing • Success in the future workplace (NCW, 2004) • Obtaining a salaried vs. hourly job • Keeping or maintaining a career/job • Gateway for promotion • The power to disrupt and challenge current norms in education and communities at large (Comber, Thomson, & Wells, 2001)
Why is Writing Difficult for Students? • Students may lack... • Coordinated cognitive processes and strategies leading to deficiencies in planning, organizing, and revising (Graham & Harris, 2005; Monroe & Troia, 2006; Reid & Lienemman, 2006) • Requisite foundational skills (e.g., handwriting, spelling, orthography, syntax)
The Processes in Writing (Berninger, Abbott, Whitaker, Sylvester, & Nolen, 1995)
Writing for Students with Writing Disabilities • Let’s take a look at this webpage from PBS Parents. Now that we have reviewed the writing process, let’s take a look at 7 categories of developmental functions that in which students with writing disabilities may need support. • Then, let’s see what Dr. Graham says about writing for students with learning disabilities (This video is one part of a much longer video from Reading Rockets with Drs. Susan Neuman and Louisa Moats).
Rethinking Writing Instruction • “A major goal of education reform is to incorporate the findings from clear, consistent, and convincing scientific research as much as possible into the day-to-day operations of schools—to help create a culture of evidence-based educational practices to promote instruction and, as a results, improved student outcomes.” (Troia, 2014)
Teachers Expected to Know • 1.1: Teacher candidates and completers know subject matter (including pedagogical content knowledge) and pedagogy CAEP (Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation) • IGC4S15: Teach strategies for organizing and composing written products CEC (Council for Exceptional Children) Grades 3-12 Standard 10: Write routinely over extended and shorter time frames for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences CCSS (Common Core State Standards)
Evidence-Based Instruction and Assessment Practices for Writing • Writing should be an essential part of the school experience • Recognize there are a variety of approaches to teaching written expression • Instruction to focus on helping students understand and deftly execute the elements of the writing process • Instruction to focus on helping students understand and use elements that appear in the text and that make the text pleasurable, informative, and/or provocative for the reader • Take advantage of available technological tools and modes
Evidence-Based Instruction and Assessment Practices for Writing • Offer feedback on deeper features of writing (e.g., content, organization, form) • Explicit, systematic, and sustained instruction in basic writing skills to reach automaticity • Capitalize on informational source text about people, places, and things • Teach students to set concrete goals for composing, monitor their progress toward these goals, and evaluate text according to goals • Create a supportive environment to promote the value of writing and student motivation
Selected Evidence-Based Practices for Implementing Writing in the Classroom • Freewriting • Strategy instruction • Teaching revising and editing • Vocabulary instruction • Text models • Assistive technology • Utilizing rubrics • Sentence-combining instruction • Summarization instruction • Write in response to text • Setting product goals • Adaptations • Conferencing
What Works in Teaching Writing • Let’s watch this final two-minute video to see what Dr. Graham says about what works in teaching writing. • You will notice overlap between what he says and the information in the three preceding slides.
Examples of Evidence-based Writing Instruction Strategy Instruction (e.g., Self-Regulated Strategy Development, SRSD)
Instructional Stages in Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) • Activate & Develop Background Knowledge • Discuss It • Model It • Memorize It • Support It • Independent Performance
Instructional Stages in SRSD 1.Activate & Develop Background Knowledge • discuss the characteristics of good writing • teach text structure for genre to be developed
Instructional Stages in SRSD 2. Discuss It • review current writing performance based on assessment data • discuss present attitudes and beliefs about writing and ineffective techniques • introduce the strategy to be taught and discuss its benefits and applications
Instructional Stages in SRSD 3. Model It • model strategy steps and self‑regulation procedures across varied tasks • discuss ways that strategy steps may need to be modified for varied tasks, settings, or goals • collaboratively develop self‑talk, self-monitoring, and self‑reinforcement procedures
Instructional Stages in SRSD 4. Memorize It • have students memorize strategy steps, mnemonics, and self‑talk
Instructional Stages in SRSD 5. Support It • collaboratively practice using the strategy steps and self‑regulation procedures • collaboratively establish challenging but attainable writing goals • gradually fade support as students gain competence • discuss generalization and maintenance; assign homework for generalization
Instructional Stages in SRSD 6. Independent Performance • fade overt self‑regulation procedures • embed in process writing framework
Revising • Re-seeing goals, ideas, and text • Occurs throughout the writing process • Metaphor of pruning and grafting
Why is Revising So Difficult? • Miss inaccuracies and confusing spots and/or do not know what to change when a problem is detected • Feel too wedded to text already produced • Difficulty managing revising along with other cognitive, linguistic, physical, and motivational operations • Little instruction is devoted to helping students revise • Teachers give limited helpful feedback on papers
How Can We Foster Effective Revising? • Activities to develop genre and topic knowledge (e.g., SPACE LAUNCH, DARE to DEFEND) • Extensive modeling (SRSD) • Word-processing software • Checklists (e.g., SEARCH) • Peer and teacher conferencing • Tactical procedures (e.g., goal setting)
Another Strategy for Planning Writing: DARE to DEFEND (opinion/persuasive writing)
DARE to DEFEND Opening has a “hook”: an unusual fact or detail, quotation, anecdote, or question Conclusion has a summary of most compelling arguments and a call to action or a solution
Some Effective”Hooks” Lead 1: Who in their right mind thought that high school students should get up in the dark when their natural rhythm is just the opposite? Who in their right mind would put the most inexperienced drivers on the road before the sun is even up? What parents in their right minds would sign up for a morning fight 180 days a year? What teacher in his or her right mind would want to motivate a somnambulant first period class? Only someone who is actually in their right mind would move the start time of high school to a sensible 10 am. Lead 2: The majority of high schools have kept a starting time that was begun in the 1920’s when students needed to get back to their farms to tend to chores. This means that class still starts at 7:30 am, which current research proves is the worst time for the teen mind. Why then do we continue to use a system that we know doesn’t work well for the very students that the school is trying to teach? To ensure student success, we must change our schedule to start school at 10 am.
Some Effective Conclusions Conclusion 1: According to high schools with the highest test scores across the country, homework is only necessary when an individual student doesn’t understand a concept or needs additional practice. Therefore, mandatory homework in every class would be meaningless. Instead, teachers should assign homework on an individual basis. This solution would provide students with needed practice without needless busywork for students and endless grading for teachers. When students work on just their own weaknesses, rather than work assigned to the whole class, they will quickly see improvement and will be more motivated to stay in school. Conclusion 2: Daily mandatory homework for high school students would serve no real worthwhile purpose but to unnecessarily stress out students and teachers alike. Teachers and students are busy, stressed, preoccupied, and quite frankly, strung-out enough as it is without this. Please, I urge you not to put this in effect. Not simply because I don’t want homework for all seven classes every day, but because it would truly be detrimental to everyone actively participating in the public school now and in the future.
K-W-L-H + • K-W-L-H + (Carr & Ogle, 1987; Ogle, 1986) is method for activating background knowledge about a topic (Know), setting learning goals (Wonder), summarizing learning from text (Learned), and promoting continued investigation (How to Find Out More) and/or reflection (How Do I Know This).
K-W-L-H + • Step 1: Teacher asks students to brainstorm all that they know about topic and list these under the Know column. This student-generated information should be organized into categories either by the teacher or by the students with teacher guidance that will facilitate text comprehension.
K-W-L-H + • Step 2: Teacher lists under the Wonder column those things students would like to discover about topic (which helps motivate them to read the text).
K-W-L-H + • Step 3: After reading, teacher records under the Learned column what the students learned through the text, with particular attention paid to information that confirmed their prior knowledge, information that was inconsistent with what was anticipated, or new information. If appropriate, new categories are added. • Step 4: Students write their summary paragraph based on the information listed in the Learned column.
K-W-L-H + • Step 5: Students identify how they would locate missing information in the How to Find out More column (e.g., use a Web browser to search for documents related to topic), which can help motivate additional learning; alternately, or additionally, students can identify how they verified learned information in the How Do I Know This column (e.g., list page numbers in text that provide the information and other confirmatory sources).
K-W-L-H + • Categories of Information: • _______________________ • _______________________ • _______________________ • _______________________ • Summary of What We Learned & Still Need to Learn: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________