Author(s)

Astrid Monforte

Date Approved

5-9-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership

Department

Educational Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Jorgensen, Donna

Subject(s)

Learning disabled children;Composition (Language arts)

Disciplines

Elementary Education and Teaching

Abstract

This mixed methods case study explored the effects of conferring, mentor text, and guided practice on independence in writing, increased time on task, and improved written output for fifth grade learning-disabled students serviced in a replacement language arts special education setting. Qualitative data was collected through pre and post interviews with teacher and student participants. Student writing samples were also assessed for sentence structure and support using the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) scoring rubric. Student avoidance behaviors were recorded during independent writing while each instructional practice was presented. This quantitative data was analyzed along with the ERB scores through cross-case analysis to address the research questions. The data was also analyzed by student to determine if one instructional practice yielded higher rubric scores and more time on task than the others. The emerging themes of confidence, interest level, and skill acquisition were uncovered through thematic coding. Positive growth was indicated for all three student participants when exposed to each of the three instructional practices though one practice did not stand out above the rest. Teacher participants felt mentor text produced the greatest gains for students. Findings indicate each instructional method can be equally effective when used in isolation or in combination with another instructional practice.

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