Writing and science connections : integrated instruction and assessment
MetadataShow full item record
Learning to write is a daunting task for many young children. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of a combined approach to writing instruction and assessment on the writing performance of students in two grade 3 classes. Five forms and traits of writing were purposefully connected during writing lessons while exhibiting links to the four strands of the grade 3 Ontario science curriculum. Students then had opportunities to engage in the writing process and to self-assess their compositions using either student-developed (experimental group/teacher-researcher's class) or teachercreated (control group/teacher-participant's class) rubrics. Paired samples t-tests revealed that both the experimental and control groups exhibited statistically significant growth from pretest to posttest on all five integrated writing units. Independent samples t-tests showed that the experimental group outperformed the control group on the persuasive + sentence fluency and procedure + word choice writing tasks. Pearson product-moment correlation r tests revealed significant correlations between the experimental group and the teacher-researcher on the recount + ideas and report + organization tasks, while students in the control group showed significant correlations with the teacher-researcher on the narrative + voice and procedure + word choice tasks. Significant correlations between the control group and the teacher-participant were evident on the persuasive + sentence fluency and procedure + word choice tasks. Qualitative analyses revealed five themes that highlighted how students' self-assessments and reflections can be used to guide teachers in their instructional decision making. These findings suggest that educators should adopt an integrated writing program in their classrooms, while working with students to create and utilize purposeful writing assessment tools.