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The Evidence Base for Being a Writer

Level 4 – Demonstrates a Rationale


The Evidence-Base for Being a Writer

Recommended
Instructional Practices
Being a Writer Program FeaturesSources
Teach the Writing Process and Strategies● Teach students strategies for the various components of the writing process: plan, draft, revise, and edit.● Process writing approach (grades 3–6): cycles of prewriting, drafting, revising, proofreading, and publishing
● Writing strategies: prewriting techniques (e.g., generating ideas, making lists, quick writes,peer conferring, and using mentor texts to get ideas), revision and proofreading techniques (e.g., guided rereading of drafts, proofreading checklists, Word Banks, and peer and teacher conferring)
IES Practice Guide:
K–5 Writing (2012)

Common Core Meta-Analysis (2015)

Writing Next (2007)

Evidence-Based Practices
(2014)
Facilitate Speaking
and Listening, Peer Collaboration, and Social Skills
● Promote a supportive writing environment and an engaged community of writers.
● Provide for peer collaboration: opportunities to work together to plan, draft, revise, edit, and give and receive feedback (grades 2–6).
● Classroom discussion
● Collaborative writing tasks and peer conferring
● Cooperative structures (“Turn to Your Partner”; ”Think, Pair, Share”; ”Heads Together”; and “Group Brainstorming”)
● Author’s Chair
● Help one another improve their writing through pair conferring and expressing interest in one another’s writing
IES Practice Guide:
K–5 Writing (2012)

Common Core Meta-Analysis (2015)

A Meta-Analysis of Writing
(2012)

Writing Next (2007)

Evidence-Based Practices
(2014)
Support the
Development of
Language Skills and Conventions
● Help students develop and apply knowledge about the conventions of written English and writing skills, including spelling, capitalization, punctuation, sentence construction, and
grammar.
● Teach foundational writing skills (text-transcription and sentence construction)(grades 1–3).
● Grammar, usage, punctuation, capitalization, and some spelling
● Skills embedded in writing tasks (e.g.,
capitalization and punctuation, complete
sentences, and guided writing practice [K–1]) and Extension activities
● Skill Practice Teaching Guide and Student Skill Practice Book mini-lessons (grades 1–6)
● K–2 skill instruction during shared or modeled writing activities; 3–6 skill instruction during revision and proofreading phases
IES Practice Guide:
K–5 Writing (2012)

Common Core Meta-Analysis (2015)

Evidence-Based Practices
(2014)
Teach about Text Features and Genres● Teach students to write for a variety of purposes and
audiences (describe, narrate, inform, persuade, and analyze).
● Increase students’ knowledge about writing (gathering ideas and information, text types and structures, good models of writing, and vocabulary) (grades 3–6).
● Provide students with opportunities to read, analyze, and emulate models of good writing (grades 3–6).
● Grades K–6: personal narrative, expository (or informative), opinion writing, and poetry
● Grades 2–6: letter writing
● Grades 3–6: functional (or explanatory)
nonfiction
● Study of read-aloud texts and modeled writing as mentor texts
IES Practice Guide:
K–5 Writing (2012)

Common Core Meta-Analysis (2015)

A Meta-Analysis of Writing
(2012)

Writing Next (2007)

Evidence-Based Practices
(2014)
Engage Students in Writing to Learn● Support students to use writing to deepen content and literary knowledge.
● Support students to use textual and other sources of information as content for writing.
● Inquiry activities (e.g., Extension and
Technology Extension activities)
● Writing About Reading activities
● Nonfiction writing research
Common Core Meta Analysis (2015)

Writing Next (2007)

Evidence-Based Practices
(2014)
Provide Assessment,
Monitoring, and
Feedback
● Facilitate conferences: Discussions about the writer’s goals, the writing process, the writing task, or the written
product.
● Establish goals for students’ writing.
● Monitor performance and progress.
● Provide opportunities for self-evaluation (grades 3–6).
● Provide feedback: Verbal or written information (grades 2–6).
● Use formative writing assessment to enhance students’ writing.
● Teacher conferring
● Specific product goals and student selfassessment
● Formative assessments (class assessment notes, student goals and interests survey, student self-assessments, and beginning- and end-of-year writing samples)
● Summative assessments (social skills
assessment and individual end-of-unit writing assessment and rubrics)
IES Practice Guide:
K–5 Writing (2012)

Informing Writing (2011)

Common Core Meta- Analysis (2015)

A Meta-Analysis of Writing
(2012)

Writing Next (2007)

Evidence-Based Practices
(2014)
Provide Regular,
Daily Periods of
Writing
● Provide daily time for students to write (minimum of one hour per day devoted to writing, beginning in first grade; 30 mins. teaching, 30 mins. writing).
● Create routines that ensure students write frequently
(grades 1–8).
● Daily periods of writing (20–25 mins. K–2, 20–30 mins. 3–6)IES Practice Guide:
K–5 Writing (2012)

Common Core Meta-Analysis (2015)

A Meta-Analysis of Writing
(2012)
Support Technology Use● Use computer tools and software throughout the writing process to support the production of text (grades 1–6).● Technology mini-lessons (e.g., online safety, privacy, and searches; evaluating and citing sources; and creating documents and presentations) (grades 3–6)Common Core Meta-Analysis (2015)

Evidence-Based Practices
(2014)

Download The Evidence Base for Being a Writer


Connecting Being a Writer to Hattie’s High Yield Practices

Guided by the work of Fisher, Frey, and Hattie (2016), the table below identifies the most prominent influences that occur in the Being a Writer program and their corresponding effect sizes. To keep the table concise, effect sizes greater than .40 are listed with a brief explanation.

High Yield Practices Embedded in the Being a Writer Program
ES + InfluenceExplanation
.82 Classroom Discussion● Facilitation questions and discussion prompts 
● Open-ended questions invite a variety of responses and encourage students to listen and respect the ideas of others
● Wait time gives students the chance to think before responding and encourage participation 
.75 Feedback● Teacher-Student conferences and pair conferences provide regular opportunities for individualized feedback
● End of Unit assessments provide feedback
.72 Teacher-Student Relationships● Consistent, clear instruction builds trust
● Teachers build strong relationships with students and facilitate and strengthen relationships among students
● Students learn procedures in which they are responsible to one another; they regularly discuss and solve problems related to their work together
● Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning and to be aware of the effect of their behavior on others
.65 Prior Achievement● Lessons include ways to draw on students’ experiences, backgrounds, and prior knowledge and to build on those during instruction
.64 Self-Verbalization & Self-Questioning● Students are encouraged to think critically and share their ideas and opinions
● Students are encouraged to build on one another’s thinking, explore and respond to different viewpoints, and generate independent thinking
.59 Direct Instruction● New genres are explicitly introduced, modeled, and practiced
.55 Peer Tutoring● Pair conferences in grades 2 and above allow students to help each other improve as they share and discuss their writing 
.54 Student-Centered Teaching● The program is designed with educational equity in mind to ensure every student receives what they need in order to develop to their full academic and social potential 
● Embedded assessments inform the teacher of individual student strengths and weaknesses
.52 Classroom Management● Explicit instruction is provided for classroom procedures, routines, and social skills
.48 Questioning● Students learn to ask questions about their own writing as they engage in the revision process, as well as about others’ writing as pieces are shared from the author’s chair and in pair conferences. 
.44 Writing Programs● Writing process, craft, and genre are systematically developed across grades K–5. 
.42 Cooperative Learning● Students engage in regular discussions to reflect on writing, as well as on classroom values and community
● Ongoing peer partnerships and the use of cooperative structures allow students to regularly express their thinking and listen to others’ thinking
.39 Social Skills Programs● Students think about and act on five core values: responsibility, respect, caring, fairness, and helpfulness
● Students learn how their actions affect the community
● Students work in pairs, small groups, and as a class to listen and learn from one another
Reference
Fisher, D., Frey, N, & Hattie, J (2016). Visible learning for literacy, grades K–12: Implementing the practices that work best to accelerate student learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Case Study

Being a Writer Program Evaluation, Clark County School District
The Literacy and Research Departments in Clark County School District, Nevada, collaborated in 2012 to complete a program evaluation on the implementation of the Being a Writer program. The evaluation studied the program for its effects on student and teacher outcomes through surveys, teacher responses, and by analyzing the Nevada Writing Proficiency Examination (NWPE) scores of fifth grade students. Results indicated that schools with more than one year of Being a Writer implementation had significantly higher NWPE scores than schools that did not implement. Teachers also reported higher efficacy for writing instruction and an improvement in students’ writing voice, word choice, and overall quality of writing. Improved student communication, listening skills, and respect for their peers was also noted.