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

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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]

need for focus on young children s writing
Need for Focus on 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)
purposes of writing
Purposes of Writing
  • 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)

print and learning the alphabetic code
Print and Learning the 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)
scaffolded writing
Scaffolded Writing
  • 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)

providing meaningful text
Providing Meaningful Text
  • 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)
sound writing program
Sound Writing Program
  • 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)

writing instruction
Writing Instruction

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)
writing instruction continued
Writing Instruction 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)
self regulated strategy development
Self-Regulated 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)

srsd strategies
SRSD Strategies
  • 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
conclusion
Conclusion
  • 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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