TeachME Professional Development

Teaching Elementary Students to be Effective Writers

Institute of Education Sciences Levels of Evidence for Practice Guides

1. When a particular strategy is evaluated by experts, it will be given a moderate evidence-based rating if it has high internal validity but moderate external validity or high external validity but moderate internal validity.

A. True

B. False


Introduction

2. Students who develop strong writing skills at an early age acquire a valuable tool for learning, communication, and self-expression.

A. True

B. False


Grade Level

3. Writing activities are designed to accomplish each of the following goals EXCEPT:

A. Helping students communicate thoughts and ideas to others

B. Encouraging them to engage with the text to deepen their understanding of the content

C. Increasing the use of cognitive strategies to enhance writing skills

D. Drawing connections to prior learning experiences


Common Themes

4. Components of the writing process include planning, drafting, _________revising, editing, evaluating, and, for some writing pieces, publishing.

A. Arranging

B. Outlining

C. Modifying

D. Sharing


5. Teachers should use student and peer feedback to guide their instruction and to determine when students are ready to move on to more challenging instruction.

A. True

B. False


Defining and Assessing Good Writing

6. Measures of overall writing quality assess writing output, mechanics, vocabulary, sentence structure, organization, ideation, voice, and genre elements.

A. True

B. False


Recommendations and Corresponding Levels of Evidence

7. Which of the following writing recommendations received a "strong" level of evidence to support it?

A. Provide daily time for students to write

B. Teach students to use the writing process for a variety of purposes

C. Teach students to become fluent with handwriting, spelling, sentence, construction, typing and word processing

D. Create an engaged community of writers


Recommendation 1-Providing Daily Time for Students to Write

8. While providing adequate time for students to write is one essential element of an effective writing instruction program, recent surveys of elementary teachers indicate that students spend little time writing during the school day.

A. True

B. False


Summary of Evidence

9. Providing time for writing each day has been shown to be a sufficient strategy to improve writing quality.

A. True

B. False


How to Carry out the Recommendation

10. The panel recommends a minimum of one hour a day devoted to writing for students beginning in 1st grade which includes at least ______________ dedicated to teaching a variety of writing strategies, techniques, and skills appropriate to students' levels.

A. 15 minutes

B. 20 minutes

C. 25 minutes

D. 30 minutes


11. For students in kindergarten at least 20 minutes each day should be devoted to writing and developing writing skills.

A. True

B. False


Potential Roadblocks and Solutions

12. Writing and content-area instruction should be integrated wherever possible in order to maximize instructional time and give students more writing practice.

A. True

B. False


Teach Students to Use the Writing Process for a Variety of Purposes

13. Forms of writing with specific features that provide context and structure for a purpose are:

A. Groups

B. Genres

C. Brands

D. Styles


14. Several studies have examined an approach whereby students receive a variety of goals to help them improve the quality of their writing, known as self-regulated strategy development (SRSD).

A. True

B. False


Understanding the Writing Process

15. Writing is a flexible process rather than a linear one where writers learn to move easily back and forth between components of the process.

A. True

B. False


16. In which phase of the writing process do students select words and construct sentences that most accurately convey their ideas?

A. Planning

B. Revising

C. Editing

D. Drafting


Recommendation 2a-Teach Students the Writing Process

17. Which of the following is NOT one of the components of the POW writing strategy?

A. Pick ideas

B. Organize their notes

C. Orally try out sentences before writing them on paper

D. Write and say more


Table 3-Examples of Writing Strategies

18. The writing strategy that is appropriate for the 2-6 grade range is:

A. Self-assess and record answers to track progress

B. Generate sentences by using transition words to develop their structure

C. Organize possible writing ideas into a writing plan

D. Share feedback with a writing partner starting with what was liked


19. Rereading and determining if ideas are clear and if the writing has a definite beginning, middle, and end occurs in the self-monitoring phase.

A. True

B. False


Gradually Release Writing Responsibility From the Teacher to the Student

20. When releasing writing responsibility from teacher to student, teachers should:

A. Ensure that students have the background knowledge and skills they need to understand and use a writing strategy

B. Describe the strategy and model its use

C. Articulate the purpose of the strategy, clearly stating why students might choose it

D. All of the above


21. For students who acquire a strategy easily and more quickly than their peers, teachers should consider increasing the complexity of the strategy.

A. True

B. False


Figure 1-Gradual release of responsibility to students

22. Brainstorming of as many ideas as possible can be an effective way to stimulate the writing process, because it helps writers recall what they already know and to think of new thoughts.

A. True

B. False


Guide Students to Select and Use Appropriate Writing Strategies

23. Ordering ideas and outlining strategies are recommended to improve persuasive writing.

A. True

B. False


How to Carry out the Recommendation

24. In teaching particular genres best suited to each writing task, teachers should relate genres to:

A. The intended audience

B. Specific goals

C. Real-word scenarios

D. None of the above


Table 4-Purposes for Writing

25. Character sketches, nature writing, and brochures usually fall under the writing category of informing, where the intent is to examine previously learned information or to discuss something in vivid details.

A. True

B. False


Theme

26. Students should learn to adjust their _______ and word choice to better convey their meaning and to suit their audience.

A. Text

B. Theme

C. Style

D. Tone


Teach Students to Emulate the Features of Good Writing

27. Which of the following is NOT one of the suggestions for selecting exemplary texts that can be used to illustrate a number of features to help students?

A. They should support the instructional goals of the lesson

B. They are appropriate for the students' reading levels and abilities

C. They introduce concepts that apply knowledge of the writing task

D. They provide exemplary models of what students will write


Teach Students Techniques for Writing Effectively for Different Purposes

28. Teachers should describe the technique, articulate how it relates to specific writing purposes, and model its use when teaching students techniques for writing effectively for different purposes.

A. True

B. False


Potential Roadblocks and Solutions

29. Students tend to use strategies and techniques when they are first taught them, but over time the strategies may need to be retaught it if has been shown to improve their skills.

A. True

B. False


30. State assessments usually ask students to write in three or four genres, which supports spending time on a variety of tasks.

A. True

B. False


31. During report writing, students are encouraged to continue planning while writing, gathering new information, and adding to the outline as needed.

A. True

B. False


32. The DARE technique encourages students to check their paper to be sure they have:

A. Developed their thesis

B. Addressed characters and stories

C. Reacted to various points of view

D. Evaluated the sequence of events


Recommendation 3

33. When basic writing skills become relatively effortless for students, they can focus less on these skills and more on:

A. Adding interesting concepts to their writing

B. Gathering additional information and ideas

C. Telling the story from a difficult point of view

D. Developing and communicating their ideas


34. Handwriting, spelling, and sentence construction are all basic writing skills that students must draw upon to translate their thoughts and ideas into writing.

A. True

B. False


How to Carry out the Recommendation

35. With early writers, a comfortable pencil grip is necessary in order to avoid fatigue, which can discourage students from writing.

A. True

B. False


36. Since handwriting is a motor skill, it works best to practice in multiple sessions where students try writing a specific letter 10-12 times before moving on to another activity.

A. True

B. False


37. About ____ words account for 80% of the words elementary-grade students use in their writing so teachers should teach students to spell words they commonly use.

A. 850

B. 900

C. 950

D. 1000


Spelling Skills by Grade Level

38. Understanding the meaning of the parts of words happens with which spelling skill?

A. Phonological awareness

B. Morphological spelling

C. Grouping phonics

D. None of the above


39. Using the spelling of a known word to generate a plausible spelling of an unknown word is known as spelling by comparison.

A. True

B. False


40. Teachers should explicitly demonstrate how sentence construction and sentence mechanics, such as punctuation and capitalization, interact to form strong sentences.

A. True

B. False


Table 7-Activities for Sentence-Structure Development

41. Activities that are important for sentence-structure development include sentence framing, sentence expanding, and sentence:

A. Restructuring

B. Revising

C. Combining

D. Construction


42. During the revision process, students should be encouraged to revise their original sentences for clarity and meaning.

A. True

B. False


Teach Students to Type Fluently and to Use a Word Processor to Compose

43. Research indicates that the most appropriate time to introduce typing to students is in 2nd grade.

A. True

B. False


Potential Roadblocks and Solutions

44. Grammar instruction that relies on worksheet or copy tasks may enable students to correct errors in punctuation, but they often do not develop the ability to use these skills in their work.

A. True

B. False


Create an Engaged Community of Writers

45. In a supportive writing environment, teachers participate as writers, not simply instructors, to demonstrate the importance of writing.

A. True

B. False


Recommendation 4-Give Students Writing Choices

46. A prompt should inspire students to write while ensuring that students practice writing skills aligned with:

A. The school's language arts standards

B. The teachers instructional purpose

C. Fluency, meaning, and style requirements

D. Effective interventions and practices


Example 4-The Westward Movement Prompt

47. For 5th and 6th graders, an explanatory paper should be written in the first person whenever possible and should identify and explain its purpose and expectations.

A. True

B. False


Encourage Students to Collaborate as Writers

48. Teachers can encourage students to collaborate throughout the writing process by having them do each of the following EXCEPT:

A. Brainstorm ideas about a topic

B. Respond to drafts in a writing group

C. Help peers edit or revise their work

D. Offer examples of writing styles to one another


Provide Students with Opportunities to Give and Receive Feedback Throughout the Writing Process

49. When students provide written feedback and assessment to peers, their comments and observations may enhance their understanding of their own writing.

A. True

B. False


Potential Roadblocks and Solutions

50. As writing pieces are completed for teacher review and feedback, teachers should focus on the entire piece rather than specific elements, as this will help students improve their overall writing ability.

A. True

B. False


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