WRITING TO UNDERSTAND, EXPLAIN, AND REFLECT: THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A WRITERS' WORKSHOP MODEL IN A FOURTH-GRADE MATHEMATICS CLASSROOM
1 online resource (202 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
The purposes of this study are to (1) understand how elementary school students use writing to reflect their learning and problem solving in mathematics; and (2) to explore how teachers adapt their instructional approaches based upon reflection on students' writing. This qualitative exploratory study spanned six weeks and included 18 implementations of an adapted Writers' Workshop in a fourth grade class during the beginning phases of introducing writing in a mathematics classroom. On a bi-weekly basis, the researcher worked with the classroom teacher to review the data and make changes to the workshop model. The data included students' writing, field notes from classroom observation, teacher-student conferencing transcriptions, the researcher's journal, and interviews with the students and the teachers. Data were analyzed using constant comparison method with grounded theory. This study suggests that teachers can understand the students' learning process and their mastery of mathematical concepts and vocabulary through students' writing. Students' written reflections and explanations of the problem-solving process can also inform instructional practices. Students' writing in this study prompted conferencing questions, assisted in grouping decisions, and influenced decisions of whether to move to a higher level of instruction. The Common Core State Standards include a movement in the direction of formative assessments that encourage feedback and development, and this study presents an instructional model that supports this direction.
Curriculum & Instruction
Wang, ChuangPolly, DrewAlgozzine, Robert
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2013.
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