ERIC Number: ED479118
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-May
Improving Writing Skills in the Elementary Classroom.
Anderson, Debra; Mallo, Alison; Nee, Kari; Wear, Margaret
The proposed study was designed to improve the writing skills of students in the targeted first and fifth grade classrooms in one elementary school located in a Midwestern suburb. The study was designed as an action research project and was conducted by four researchers during the months of September through December 2002 with 118 participants (40 first graders, 60 fifth graders and 18 faculty). Among factors influencing students' writing skills are attitude and motivation (Kear, Coffman, McKenna & Ambriosio, 2000); environmental factors (Essex, 1996; Taylor & Adelman, 1999; Townsend & Fu, 1997; Wildavsky, 1999); instruction (Nickel, 2001; Wolf & White, 2000) and learning disabilities (MacArthur, Schwartz, Graham, Molly & Harris, 1996; Thomas, 1996; Wong, Butler, Ficzere & Kuperis, 1997). According to Schaefer (2001) journal writing is the first step in preparing students for successful writing experiences. Manning (2000) stated that the use of portfolios provide students an opportunity to take ownership and pride in their work. For this reason journal writing and portfolios were selected as intervention strategies for the proposed study. To document the progress of students' writing skills, the following methods of assessment were used: a survey, observations and a document analysis. A survey was administered to teachers in order to provide insight on possible problems related to students' writing performance. Observations involved a behavior checklist designed to assist researchers with analyzing students' writing skills. A document analysis involved a review of students' journals designed to assist researchers with documenting students' progress on class writing assignments. Post-intervention data indicated an increase in the quality and quantity of the students' writing. Attitudes towards writing also changed through the course of the intervention, both in positive and negative ways. Appendixes contain a teacher survey; observation checklists; a journal writing rubric; and a document analysis log. (Contains 4 figures, 20 tables, and 39 references.) (Author/PM)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Master of Arts Research Project, Saint Xavier University and SkyLight Professional Development Field-Based Master's Program.