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Young Children and Writing: What Can We Learn From the Research About Teaching Children Experiencing Difficulties Learning to Write? . Julie K. Kidd, M. Susan Burns, and Tamara Genarro George Mason University [email protected] Need for Focus on Young Children’s Writing.

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Young Children and Writing: What Can We Learn From the Research About Teaching Children Experiencing Difficulties Learning to Write?

Julie K. Kidd, M. Susan Burns, and Tamara Genarro

George Mason University

[email protected]


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Need for Focus on Research About Teaching Children Experiencing Difficulties Learning to Write? Young Children’s Writing

  • Writing can be a challenging task for some (Graham & Harris, 1998; Saddler & Asaro, 2007)

  • Writing is cognitively and linguistically complex (Boscolo, 2008)

    • Integrate phonological-orthographic, syntactic, semantic, discourse, pragmatic, and prior world knowledge

    • Control metacognitive reasoning within the context of the input of stimuli and output of resulting writing products (Nelson & Van Meter, 2007)

  • Early emphasis on writing will assist in promoting young children’s writing development and will reduce the possibilities of later writing difficulties (Graham, Harris, & Mason, 2005)


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Purposes of Writing Research About Teaching Children Experiencing Difficulties Learning to Write?

  • Learning the alphabetic code

  • Writing to provide meaningful text

    • Narratives, expository text, and persuasive writing

  • Writing for remembering (note taking)

    • Highlighting, handwritten notes, underlining text, use of graphic organizers, and summarizing

      (Burns, Kidd, & Genarro, 2010)


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Print and Learning the Research About Teaching Children Experiencing Difficulties Learning to Write? Alphabetic Code

  • Instruction is needed that helps children produce the writing code:

    • Develop directionality and features of space (Clay, 1988; Levin & Bus, 2003)

    • Write recognizable letters (Gentry, 2005)

    • Develop sound-letter relationships in words

      • Gain phonemic knowledge of how alphabetic sound is related to print (Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998)

    • Develop conventional spelling (Gentry, 2005)


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Scaffolded Writing Research About Teaching Children Experiencing Difficulties Learning to Write?

  • Children are provided tools for writing

    • Placeholders for words

    • Sound maps

      • Alphabet chart with letters arranged by how and where sounds are articulated when spoken

    • Contextualized writing that directs their behavior

      • Plan for learning center time that defines what child wants to accomplish during learning time

  • Teacher supports child and gradually releases responsibility to child

  • Children use phonemic features of writing as a result

    (Barnett et al., 2008; Bodrova & Leong, 1998, 2001; Gentry, 2005)


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Providing Meaningful Text Research About Teaching Children Experiencing Difficulties Learning to Write?

  • Effective writers

    • Consider their audience, the purpose for writing, the topic, and the form of writing

    • Generate and organize their ideas and capture their ideas in writing

    • Revise and edit while drafting

      (Flower & Hayes, 1980)

  • Ineffective writers

    • Write down information retrieved from memory and then use these ideas to generate additional ideas (Graham, Harris, & Larson, 2001)

    • Do not recognize need to revise or have ineffective or limited revising strategies that consist mostly of editing or writing a neater draft (Graham, 2007; Graham et al., 2001; Saddler & Asaro, 2007)


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Sound Writing Program Research About Teaching Children Experiencing Difficulties Learning to Write?

  • Provides an environment and tools conducive to writing

  • Provides opportunities to write on a daily basis

  • Promotes children’s choice and motivation to write

  • Encourages purposeful and authentic writing

  • Provides opportunities for interactions with and feedback from teachers and peers

    (Graham et al., 2001; Kidd & Bromley, 2008; Kissel, 2008)


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Writing Instruction Research About Teaching Children Experiencing Difficulties Learning to Write?

Teachers

  • Provide direct instruction on specific writing strategies

    • Model effective writing strategies (Harris, 2006; Lienemann et al., 2007; Saddler, 2006; Saddler et al., 2004)

    • Scaffold the use of strategies (Gentry, 2005; Graham & Harris, 2005; Harris et al., 2006; Lienemann et al., 2006; Saddler, 2006; Saddler & Asaro, 2007)

  • Teach self-regulation strategies

    • Goal setting, self-monitoring, self-instructions, and self-reinforcement (Harris et al., 2002)

  • Provide support that reduces cognitive demands

    • Explicit instruction, guided discovery, and individualized assistance (Harris et al., 2002)


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Writing Instruction Research About Teaching Children Experiencing Difficulties Learning to Write? Continued

Teachers

  • Shift responsibility gradually to children (Graham et al., 2005; Lienemann et al., 2006)

  • Provide opportunities to generalize (Graham et al., 2005)

  • Adapt instruction to meet individual needs (Lienemann et al., 2006)

  • Integrate writing across the curriculum (Kidd & Bromley, 2008)


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Self-Regulated Research About Teaching Children Experiencing Difficulties Learning to Write? Strategy Development

  • Develop and activate background knowledge

  • Discuss the strategy

  • Model the strategy

  • Memorize the strategy

  • Support the strategy

  • Independent performance

    (Harris et al., 2002, p. 112-113)


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SRSD Strategies Research About Teaching Children Experiencing Difficulties Learning to Write?

  • POW (Lienemann et al., 2006)

    • Pick my ideas, organize my notes, write and say more

  • WWW, What = 2, How = 2 (Graham & Harris, 2005)

    • A who, when, and where question, 2 what questions, and 2 how questions

  • TREE (Graham & Harris, 2005)

    • Tell what you believe, give three or more reasons, end it, examine it


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Conclusion Research About Teaching Children Experiencing Difficulties Learning to Write?

  • Children who experience difficulty with writing can experience success, independence, and enjoyment with writing when teachers

    • Provide explicit and systematic self-regulation and writing instruction

    • Provide scaffolding that gradually shifts the responsibility to the children

    • Adapt instruction to meet the abilities and interests of the children


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