ERIC Number: ED452551
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-May
Keys to Improving Writing in the Primary Grades.
Bassett, Diane; DeVine, Denise; Perry, Nancy; Rueth, Catherine
This action research describes a program for improving writing skills. The targeted population consisted of first and third graders in two middle class communities in the southern suburbs of Chicago. The need for improvement in writing skills was documented through observation checklists, writing samples, and surveys. Data revealed a need for implementation of writing interventions. Analysis of probable cause data revealed that faculty observed difficulties in writing due to the lack of a formal writing program, the amount of classroom time spent on writing due to curriculum demands, and a lack of teacher training in this area. The professional literature suggests the following as reasons why students were poor writers: (1) they were not exposed to writing at an early age; (2) there is a lack of real meaning in their writing experiences; (3) reading and writing remain separate entities; and (4) the curricular focus is on reading and math. The over-emphasis placed on grammar, mechanics, and spelling are also causes for concern. Solution strategies suggested by knowledgeable others, combined with an analysis of the problem setting, resulted in the selection of the following intervention strategies: parent involvement through newsletters and articles, the use of writing centers, the use of e-mail, letter writing, free choice of topics, the use of literature to teach writing, Author's Chair, interactive journals/notebooks, allowing inventive spelling, cross-curricular writing, and encouraging at-home writing. Post-intervention data indicated an increase in the targeted students' writing abilities, a positive attitude toward the writing process, an increased confidence in the editing and revising of student work, and increased parental involvement in the area of writing. (Contains 37 references, and 8 tables and 14 figures of data. Appendixes contain a student writing checklist; a rubric; teacher, parent, and student survey instruments; and permission letters.) (RS)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Master of Arts Action Research Project, Saint Xavier University and IRI/SkyLight Professional Development.