Writing is one physical way people are able to express themselves. We use writing on a daily basis, whether it is through text message, social media, email, etc. Writing whether formal or informal is a necessity to be successful in the 21st century. "But only through the ability to write as well as read can children become full members of a literate society, able to contribute their experiences and ideas to those remote from them in time and place. And only through writing can they learn to work out those ideas and reflect on those experiences in ways that carry their thinking forward" (Dombey, 2013). The desired outcome of this project, is that students will be able to produce a narrative writing sample that is aligned with California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), meeting national common core standards. Narrative writing is one key component to students meeting national common core standard (NGA and CCSSO, 2010, rev. 2019). Students will be taught strategies to improve student writing in all genres, with a focus on narrative writing. According to the national common core standards, “each year in their writing, students should demonstrate increasing sophistication in all aspects of language use, from vocabulary and syntax to the development and organization of ideas, and they should address increasingly demanding content and sources” (NGA and CCSSO, 2010, rev. 2019). After direct instruction, opportunities for collaboration, many chances to produce different genres of writing, and learning how to complete the writing process, students will meet third grade national common core writing standards.
Background and Need, Rationale, etc.
In 2009, State school chiefs and governors recognized the value of consistent, real-world learning goals and launched this effort to ensure all students, regardless of where they live, are graduating high school prepared for college, career, and life (NGA and CCSSO, 2010, rev. 2019). The need for national common core standards came from results from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). The PISA is an international assessment that measures 15-year-old students' reading, mathematics, and science literacy every three years (National Center for Education Statistics, 2019). The assessment results from this test shows how the United States of America have been consistently falling behind other countries in math, science, and reading for several years. In 2009 among the 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, the United States ranks 14th in reading, 17th in science, and 25th in mathematics, these results did not significantly change since the last time the report was conducted in 2006 (Walker, 2010). These assessment results put the United States behind countries such as Korea, Finland, New Zealand, and Canada. In 2009 The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) created the common core standards to make our students college and career ready. There are grade specific standards for every subject, including writing. In 2011, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) administered an online writing assessment to 24,100 eighth-graders and 28,100 twelfth-graders. The results from this written test showed that only 3% of both eighth and twelfth grade students performed at an advanced writing level. 54% of twelfth-graders performed at grade level, while only 44% of eighth-graders performed at grade level (National Center for Education Statistics, 2012).
In 2009, the United States ranked 34th compared to other OECD countries, the United States ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science, and 25th in mathematics (National Center for Education Statistics, 2019). In 2009, The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) created the common core standards to make our students college and career ready. The researcher will be developing a writing environment where students will be taught writing strategies to learn how to produce a narrative writing that is CAASPP aligned, meeting the national common core standards. The literature being reviewed has been selected to help better understand how writing is being taught at the elementary level of education and to better understand why there is a large gap in writing instruction.
Writing instruction is often minimal, does not provide students with time for collaboration or reflection, and lessons to provide modeling are often skipped for other “more important” subjects. As writing gets pushed off for the next teacher, those students are being robbed of their writing potential. “Waiting until students are in highschool or farther in education is too late for student success. Students need to begin being taught the art of writing at the elementary level” (Tracy, Graham, and Reid, 2009). Students need to be taught the purpose of writing and why it is key to their future success and become purposeful for them. “Writing is not just about putting spoken language down on the page or screen. It is also about composition – construction of texts that can communicate without their author’s presence. So it is a more complex and demanding process than reading and consequently harder to learn” (Dombey, 2013). This review is organized into key themes within the literature: Strategic and student focussed lessons, writing process, collaboration, writing to prompts, and writing with technology.
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