What is writing? The expectation of writing in schools is that children engage in the writing process and produce pieces of their own writing in multiple genres. (Fountas & Pinnell, 2008)
Why is writing important? Writing is an important process that allows individuals to communicate with one another or share thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Reading and writing are reciprocal processes that build on each other and work together. By helping a child improve his/her writing skills, you are also helping a child to become a better reader. (Fountas & Pinnell, 2008)
How can I support writing for my diverse learners (ESOL, SPED, and economically disadvantaged)? 1. Pair Students Up(Stone & Christie, 1996). Pairing students up to work together supports children's ability to use oral language and interact with one another. Students may discuss their writing ideas before writing or they may read their writing to one another and provide suggestions to each other. Having a teacher or more knowledgeable peer to work with supports literacy and collaboration with peers stimulates literacy development. (Fadool, 2009).
* Ways to pair students: - Older students with younger students - Native English speakers with English Language Learners - Younger English speakers with an older English Language Learner - Older English Language Learner with a younger student
2. Teach Strategies * Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) (Graham, Harris, & Mason, 2005) - This strategy was specifically designed for struggling readers, especially minority students in urban settings, who come from low-income families - SRSD instruction progresses through 6 stages and gradually releases the student to write independently without scaffolding or teacher support. The 6 stages are: 1. Develop background knowledge 2. Describe It 3. Model It 4. Memorize It 5. Support It 6. Independent Use - Resources: * Description of SRSD * Description of Steps to teach SRSD and Strategies for Teaching * Cognitive Strategy Instruction from University of Nebraska-Lincoln
3. Allow Students to Write in the Language that they choose (Laman & Sluys, 2008)