Writing instruction in first grade: an observational study

Writing instruction in first grade: an observational study As schools work to meet the ambitious Common Core State Standards in writing in the US, instructional approaches are likely to be examined (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010). However, there is little research on the current state of instruction. This study was designed to provide a comprehensive analysis of first-grade writing instruction across 13 schools in one state in the US. Daylong observations were conducted four times during the year in 50 first-grade classrooms. Using a time-sampled, observational protocol, observers coded multiple dimensions of instruction, including grouping, instructional focus, teacher instructional activity, and student writing activity. Results revealed that writing was taught for less than 30 min a day on average, and instruction in skills or process writing was common. Most instruction was organized in whole-class settings with teachers either presenting information or asking students questions. Variability in the amount and focus of writing instruction and in student writing activity was examined at the classroom and school levels. A small number of classrooms and schools were identified with distinctive patterns in their approach to instruction and writing activity. Several moderate relationships were found between the writing instructional focus and the nature of student writing. These findings suggest that first-grade writing instruction is inconsistent across classrooms and schools and point to instructional implications for teachers and schools in the US. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Reading and Writing Springer Journals

Writing instruction in first grade: an observational study

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Subject
Linguistics; Language and Literature; Psycholinguistics; Education, general; Neurology
ISSN
0922-4777
eISSN
1573-0905
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11145-015-9596-6
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

As schools work to meet the ambitious Common Core State Standards in writing in the US, instructional approaches are likely to be examined (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010). However, there is little research on the current state of instruction. This study was designed to provide a comprehensive analysis of first-grade writing instruction across 13 schools in one state in the US. Daylong observations were conducted four times during the year in 50 first-grade classrooms. Using a time-sampled, observational protocol, observers coded multiple dimensions of instruction, including grouping, instructional focus, teacher instructional activity, and student writing activity. Results revealed that writing was taught for less than 30 min a day on average, and instruction in skills or process writing was common. Most instruction was organized in whole-class settings with teachers either presenting information or asking students questions. Variability in the amount and focus of writing instruction and in student writing activity was examined at the classroom and school levels. A small number of classrooms and schools were identified with distinctive patterns in their approach to instruction and writing activity. Several moderate relationships were found between the writing instructional focus and the nature of student writing. These findings suggest that first-grade writing instruction is inconsistent across classrooms and schools and point to instructional implications for teachers and schools in the US.

Journal

Reading and WritingSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 13, 2015

References

  • The impact of instructional practices in grades 1 and 2 on reading and spelling achievement in high poverty schools
    Foorman, B; Schatschneider, C; Eakin, MN; Fletcher, JM; Moats, LC; Francis, DJ

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