Write on : improving story writing skills in a grade three classroom

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Berkner, Gail
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2004
Utilizing action research methodology~ this study addresses the following research question: What were the effects of professional development experiences with a "balanced literacy" approach to teaching story writing over a three month period on Grade 3 students' writing development? The study reviews methods of writing instruction, in particular the writing process as described by Donald Murray; conditions for effective writing; direct versus indirect instruction; scaffolded learning as defined by Vygotsky; and the connection between reading and writing. A case study design was used to investigate the impact of this program on three individual students with different levels of writing development. Data were collected from audio taped writing conferences with individual students; videotaped class sessions showing various teaching strategies were used; samples of students' writing were collected; and a researcher's journal was used to record teaching strategies, students' responses, and the researcher's thoughts, feelings, and reflections. Four themes emerged as relevant to effective writing instruction in a primary classroom: provision ofteacher support (scaffolded learning); use of quality children's literature to help students understand story structure and the qualities of good writing; use of a graphic story organizer; and the importance of using metacognitive talk to instill in students an ability to demonstrate and understand their development as writers. The study concludes with a discussion regarding the role of professional development experiences.
ix, 120 leaves ; 29 cm. --
English language -- Study and teaching (Primary) , Children -- Writing -- Study and teaching (Primary) , Creative writing (Primary education)