ERIC Number: ED452555
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Moving from I to Us: The Power of Action Research To Improve Students' Writing Performance.
Miller, A. Christine; Cross, Lorraine
Project WATCH! (Writing Across the Curriculum Hawks!) was the 1999-2000 schoolwide action research project at the A.D. Henderson University School grades K-8. The study question, "How can teachers build schoolwide capacity to support improved student writing across the curriculum?", examined whole-school collaboration where all teachers understand and are able to support the writing curriculum. The study was conducted through several phases: (1) the overall design of the project action plan; (2) implementation of three action research study groups who collaboratively supported the writing curriculum through actions and activities; (3) professional development to support teachers in changing instructional practices; (4) support data-driven decisions through the collection and analysis of data; and (5) coordinate the findings of the study and implement new actions to support schoolwide high-level writing performance. Data were gathered using four major evaluation measures: Pre/Post Writing Support Questions, Pre/Post Writing Assessment, Implementation logs recording FCAT Writes! Poster and Proofreading Marks Guide Use; teacher observations and reflections, the Florida Comprehension Assessment Test administered to fourth and eighth grade students, and observations and reflections by the FAU liaison and on-site coordinator. Teacher's findings indicate a general improvement in writing performance of students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Exemplary teaching practices included increased vocabulary development, use of the FCAT Writes! rubrics for modeling and/or grading, definitions of the types of writing, focus on the 5 paragraph essay format, ongoing review of literary devices, linking examples of quality literature to student writing, use of a student/teacher feedback format, use of peer conferencing, and the use of a NCS Staff Development/"Florida Writes!" CD-ROM program. The analysis of teacher reflections and observations, collected throughout the year, supported the accomplishment of one of the major goals of this study--to develop a collaborative learning organization. In conclusion, student writing was improved by implementing the schoolwide focus on improving writing performance. Contains 16 references and 6 unnumbered tables of data. (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (82nd, Seattle, WA, April 10-14, 2001). This study was conducted at A. D. Henderson School through a Professional Development School Partnership between Florida Atlantic University/A.D. Henderson University School and the School Districts of Martin, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie Counties, Florida.