Effective Reading and Writing Instruction

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Despite the importance of writing, many students are performing below grade level and lack the necessary skills needed to be successful (Zumbrunn & Krause, 2012; Santangelo & Olinghouse, 2009). There are many factors that shape students’ writing development but there are others that contribute to students’ writing problems. According to Graham (2008) and Zumbrunn & Krause (2012), students and teachers both struggle to grasp the concept due to the complex nature of writing and writing instruction. Therefore, many factors hinder student achievement and teachers’ approach to instruction. Teachers must understand why writing is important and its development before trying to teach it. However, many teachers lack this knowledge (Graham, Gillespie, & McKeown, 2012). Most believe that the desire to write comes from basic writing strategy instruction and student motivation. Though motivation plays an important role in learning, the lack of these basic writing strategies results in low motivation (Lan, Hung & Hsu, 2011).

Many believe that students should be motivated to write in order for them to be successful, however, Graham (2006) has found that writing development is shaped by all of these factors: strategies, skills, knowledge, and motivation. He defined motivation as “a heightened sense of efficacy about one’s writing capabilities”. Zumbrunn and Krause (2012) found that students need to have the opportunity to write in a nonthreatening classroom that is established by the teacher. Unfortunately, many teachers do not realize how their instructional methods contribute to their students’ lack of motivation. Students’ apprehension towards writing stems mostly from their fear of feedback and evaluation of their writing (Mascle, 2013). In...

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