Introduction• According to the article Writing Next: Effective Strategies to Improve Writing of Adolescents i by Graham and Perin, the ability to read and write is a critical factor in determining success in education and life.• Without reading and writing skills, students are more likely to drop out of school, leading to less achievement in furthering their education and developing a career.• Graham and Perin have utilized research to determine 11 elements for effective instruction of reading and writing skills. These 11 elements provide important tools and strategies for educators and students and can supplement a reading and writing curriculum.• Based on my learning and coursework thus far in this class, several connections can be made between the research and suggested elements from this article and the tools and strategies that I have discovered.• Many of these tools and strategies can be used with students with a variety of reading, writing, language, and fine motor deficits.
Graham and Perin’s Suggested Elements• Graham and Perin suggest a multitude of research- based methods for writing and reading instruction.• Some methods that I will focus on include: collaborative writing, word processing, pre-writing, inquiry activities, and setting specific product goals.• I have learned of several tools and strategies that not only fall under Graham and Perin’s suggestion of elements, but are also free, readily available, and can be modified to allow for universal access.• These elements are not only research based, but also strongly connect to other brain-based research and concepts discussed in class.
Collaborative Writing What is it? ◦ Allows students to work together to plan, draft, edit, and revise their compositions. How can it help students? ◦ Students and teachers can easily use these online tools to create, share, and collaborate. ◦ These resources also offer a variety of ways to provide a universal design for learning including access to images, audio files, text modifications, and universal accessibility options. How does it connect to research? ◦ Working collaboratively has been shown to provide students who may not be strong readers or writers to see examples of good writing. ◦ Makes the writing process more interactive and rewarding, similar to a game, when the students can take turns adding information and sharing ideas. ◦ Each student has a role, and it has been shown that students learn more when material is meaningful and important to their life. What are some examples of tools? ◦ Tools that help facilitate collaboration between students include online synchronous document creation such as GoogleDocs, TitanPad, Nota, and Primary Pad. ◦ There are also online bulletin boards such as Go2Web20, and Zoho.
Word Processing• What is it? – An important element of writing and reading instruction that utilizes a computer or word processor as part of the writing process.• How can it help students? – Allows the user to easily type, delete, and move text. – Allows for students with dysgraphia to type clear and legible text. – Provides a spell checker and thesaurus for students who have difficulties with spelling and grammar.• How does it connect to research? – These key factors allow for better quality of writing. Better quality and easier writing makes the writing process more enjoyable for students.• What are some examples of tools? – Some online resources that aide in the writing process using computers include word-prediction software such as GoQ and MyStudyBar. – Resources such as PaperRater provide instant feedback and editing ideas.
Pre-writing• What is it? – Methods that help students develop ideas, brainstorm, put their thoughts on paper, sequence and format them, and turn them into a composition.• How can it help students? – Using tools such as a graphic organizer helps students sequence and arrange their ideas. – The use of a visual aid for putting together thoughts provides students multisensory means for gathering and processing information.• How does it connect to research? – Seeing thoughts and ideas on paper or the computer provides a multisensory experience for students. – Brainstorming promotes interest and curiosity in the topic.• What are some examples of tools? – Websites such as Bubbl.us, SpiderScribe, and Popplet give students easy and fun brainstorming and mind-mapping tools. – One of the most effective and easy to use methods is a graphic organizer. Other sites such as Cacoo and ReadWriteThink offer easy to use and easy to share graphic organizer tools.
Inquiry Methods• What is it? – provide students with a means of collecting, analyzing, comparing, and evaluating evidence and information.• How can it help students? − Sparks curiosity and a desire to gather information. − The student takes an active role in the process. − Fosters independent learning and discovery.• How does it connect to research? – When students partake in the inquiry process, it facilitates curiosity and interest. – Researching information also gives students who do well with a hands-on approach an opportunity for learning.• What are some examples of tools? – Notestar and SpringfieldReference are excellent tools for research, information gathering, note taking, and citing sources.
Specific Product Goals What is it? ◦ Assigning students specific, reachable goals for them to achieve, especially during the writing process. How can it help students? ◦ Gives students smaller, easier tasks to focus on. ◦ Can achieve small successes with each completed goal, making reaching the bigger goal easier. How does it connect to research? ◦ Setting smaller goals provides a more enjoyable and anxiety-free experience. ◦ Each completed goal gives students a boost of dopamine. ◦ Setting achievable goals and making incremental progress pushes the student to continue working What are some examples of tools? ◦ Checklists for students: PBLChecklist, Rememberthemilk, iStudiez ◦ Visual schedules: DLTKCards ◦ Timers: TimeTracker, Rescuetime
Conclusion Graham and Perin’s article suggests several research-based elements for supplementing a reading and writing curriculum. These elements are an important factor in determining a student’s success not only in writing, but also in education and life. There are many tools and resources available that not only utilize the suggested elements, but also benefit students of all abilities. Current brain research shows that students learn best when material is relevant, when the environment and material is anxiety-free, when incremental goals have been set, when students have independent learning and discovery, when learning is designed like a game, and when a universal design for learning is implemented. Educators can utilize Graham and Perin’s elements with students regardless of ability. ◦ Educators should keep in mind the wide range of available tools and resources, base their methodologies on current research, and provide students with the necessary accommodations, modifications, and tools to be successful writers.