On this page you will find:
* Reasons why students struggle in writing.
* How Napa Valley USD, California and the United States measure on standardized tests.
* Solutions to poor student writing.
* My infographic on how to align online writing tools with literacy genres
Why is Writing Such a Chore for so Many Students?
The answer is not an easy one. There could be one reason, or a combination of reasons why a student struggles to write more than a few sentences, if even that.
The most common reasons include:
* an inability to understand one's own handwriting.
* an inability to express ideas in written form.
* emotional difficulties than block clear thought processes.
* physical difficulties, such as joint and muscle pain or poor vision.
* low self-esteem.
* they never received the foundational skills needed to be proficient writers.
In other words, they were never taught how to write.
A Nationwide Epidemic: Is Technology Be To Blame?
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) measures the writing performance of American students periodically. Three thousand students across the United States participated in the 2017 Writing Assessment. The preliminary results were disheartening. Across the board, student writing performance dropped since the 2011 Writing Assessment.
The speculation that using tablets actually hurt scores is up for debate.
"Although the comparability study provided valuable insights, results from the study alone were not sufficient for NCES to determine whether the differences in performance could be attributed solely to the change in device or to differences in students’ writing skills and abilities. Additional investigation is necessary to determine what factors might have influenced the 2017 writing performance of grade 8 students."
---NAEP Writing--2017 Writing Technical Summary
The full report as to the cause of this decline in writing performance will be available in 2020. Until then, teachers are encouraged to continue to incorporate technology in the writing classroom.
How Well Do California Students Communicate in Writing?
According to the 2018 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (Writing)
* 29.46% performed below standard
* 43.82% performed near standard
* 26.71% performed above standard
Only 26.71% of our students statewide are career and college ready.
How Well Do NVUSD Students Communicate in Writing?
The following data was pulled from the 2018 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (Writing) for Napa Valley Unified School District. These percentages are an average of the results from grade 3 through grade 12.
* 23.42% performed below standard
* 45.33% performed near standard
* 31.24% performed above standard
The numbers are slightly above the state average, however data indicates that more emphasis should be put on explicit writing instruction.
How Do We Fix This Problem?
Charlene Van Leeuwen and Martha Gabriel found some key behaviors in teachers that lead to the successful integration of technology into the writing classroom:
* develop realistic expectations when implementing online writing tools and platforms.
* plan to adjust current instructional strategies in order to assist students in all aspects of
the writing process.
* schedule feedback for all students.
* teach students how to work collaboratively.
For their full research study, please click on their link below.
Van Leeuwen, C, & Gabriel, M. (2007). Beginning to write with word processing: Integrating
writing process and technology in a primary classroom.
The Standards Will Help
The Common Core State Standards for Writing are a teacher's best friend when designing a modern writing program. In conjunction with my recommended list of online writing platforms, creating a standards-based, technology-rich curriculum is easy.
Click here for the link to the Common Core State Standards for Writing.
Well-Developed Online Writing Platforms