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Project SOLO™. Center for Literacy & Disability Studies. An NCTI Technology In The Works project. Overview.

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Project SOLO™

Center for Literacy & Disability Studies

An NCTI Technology In The Works project



Project SOLO™ is designed to investigate the additive benefits of SOLO™ software and ready-made assignments for SOLO™ software to self-regulated strategy instruction (SRSI) for middle-grades students with and without identified disabilities who struggle with writing.

  • Quasi-experimental, pretest/posttest
  • Random assignment of 9 teachers to one of three treatment conditions:
    • Self-Regulated Strategy Instruction Only
    • Self-Regulated Strategy Instruction plus SOLO™
    • Self-Regulated Strategy Instruction plus SOLO™ with Ready-Made assignments produced by the research team to the teacher’s specifications.
  • Six weeks of intervention (18 lessons)
  • Ongoing classroom observations and collection of observational data including fidelity checklists.
research measures
Research Measures
  • Pretest/Posttest Measures:
    • Test of Written Language – 3 (TOWL-3, Hammill & Larsen, 1996)
    • Writing Attitudes Survey (Kear, Coffman, McKenna, & Ambrosio, 2000)
    • Focus Group Interviews
  • Ongoing Collection of writing samples for a variety of dependent writing variables identified (De La Paz and Graham, 1997).
  • Participant Observation of instruction
  • Fidelity Checklist
research hypotheses
Research Hypotheses
  • All subjects, independent of group membership will show a significant increase in their written language abilities as a result of self-regulated strategy instruction with and without SOLO™;
  • There will be a significant difference between groups for all written language abilities as a result of self-regulated strategy instruction with and without SOLO™; and
  • There will be a significant difference between groups for writing attitudes as a result of self-regulated strategy instruction with and without SOLO™.
  • Nine teachers, 3 each in grades 3, 4, and 5.
    • Seven of the teachers hold a masters degree and 4 have National Board Certification.
    • They have been teaching for an average of 12 years (range 3-30 years).
  • 111 students from 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade general education settings.
    • Include all children on the classroom roster including those with identified disabilities, those without disabilities who struggle to write, and all other children.
the school
The School

A North Carolina School Honor of Excellence

Total Student Enrollment: 395

Average Class Size: 14-21

Students Qualifying for Free or Reduced Lunch: 49%

Nonwhite Students: 32% (27% African American)

Students with Disabilities Passing End of Grade Tests: 64%

Number of Students per Computer: 3.24

Achieved Adequate Yearly Progress on All Measures According to NCLB

the intervention
The Intervention
  • The self-regulated strategy instruction to be used as the intervention is a framework for teaching students to be fluent and automatic in the application of strategies while writing (Harris, Graham, & Mason, 2003).
  • All teachers were provided with an example of the 18 lessons for the writing strategy they were implementing at their grade level.
self regulated strategy development instruction
Self-Regulated Strategy Development Instruction

The six stages of the writing strategy instruction are:

  • Build Background
  • Discuss It
  • Model It
  • Memorize It
  • Support It
  • Independent Performance
strategy selection
Strategy Selection
  • 3rd grade:
    • summary writing strategy
  • 4th grade:
    • narrative writing strategy
    • SSCARE (Narrative strategy developed by teachers for project): Situation, Setting, Characters, Action, Reaction, Ending
  • 5th grade:
    • expository writing strategy
    • TH3 TNT (Expositorystrategy developed by teachers for project): Topic, Hook, 3 Details + Topic, NEED to enumerate, Topic
current activities
Current Activities
  • Complete scoring and analysis of data.
  • Following teachers, particularly those in the no-SOLO™ group, as they implement SOLO™ this spring.
  • Work with individual students with the most significant learning disabilities providing individual self-regulated strategy instruction using SOLO™.