Despite the poor outcomes for U.S. students on national writing tests, overall research on how to teach writing is sparse, and this scarcity is more pronounced in the early years of beginning to write. In this study 81,200 we present preliminary findings from Year 1 of a 3-year Institute of Education Sciences-funded Goal 2 project aimed at improving the writing performance of kindergarten children. We designed peer assisted writing strategies (PAWS) and tested its feasibility and promise. Participants for this study were 86 kindergartners ranging in age from 62 to 76 months, recruited from five classes in two different schools. It was feasible for research staff to deliver PAWS, which combined the need to focus early writing instruction on critical transcription skills with an effective learning pedagogy (i.e., peer-assisted learning). Lessons that targeted writing letters focused on formation and fluency, and lessons that targeted spelling focused on teaching letter sound correspondence for spelling decodable words and recognition and spelling practice for sight words. Results indicated that there were statistically significant differences between the PAWS participants and the control children on the alphabet fluency and essay post-test measures. Thus preliminary results indicate that PAWS instruction helped children, on average, improve early writing skills. Directions for future research are discussed.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 3, 2016
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