ERIC Number: ED420876
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-May
Improving Writing and Problem Solving Skills of Middle School Students.
Mills, Margaret; Stevens, Patricia
A program was implemented for increasing writing and problem solving skills to increase educational achievement. The targeted populations consisted of sixth and seventh grade students from two growing middle class suburban communities located in the Midwest. The problems of inadequate writing and problem solving skills were documented through data which included parent surveys, teacher observations, and assessments which indicate academic performance. Analysis of probable cause data revealed that teachers reported a lack of emphasis on various learning styles in instruction and assessment methods. Writing and problem solving skills appeared to be affected by insufficient motivation, relevance, and the teaching of basic content in isolation. A review of solution strategies suggested by others, combined with an analysis of the problem setting, resulted in the selection of an intervention consisting of four components: developing materials that foster student interest, learning activities that address various learning styles, curriculum units reflecting these decisions, and creating and implementing relevant assessments. The content focus was on problem solving and writing skills. Following the intervention, students' problem solving and writing skills increased as well as their self-confidence and motivation. These resulted from a combination of material, curricular, and assessment modifications. (Contains 2 figures, 7 tables of data, and 34 references; appendixes contain student surveys about writing and problem solving, teacher interviews about student writing and problem solving, a language arts pretest, the language arts rubric, a mathematics pretest, a language arts posttest, and a mathematics posttest.) (Author/CR)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Action Research, Classroom Techniques, Evaluation Methods, Grade 6, Grade 7, Instructional Improvement, Intermediate Grades, Junior High Schools, Learning Activities, Middle School Students, Middle Schools, Problem Solving, Self Esteem, Student Motivation, Writing Improvement, Writing Instruction, Writing Skills
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Master's Action Research Project, Saint Xavier University and IRI/Skylight. Some of the materials in the appendixes may not reproduce clearly.