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Teaching Kids How To Write: Professor Offers Three Tips

Teaching Kids How To Write: Professor Offers Three Tips

Teaching students how to write may be a tough part of the job, but there are techniques out there that can help. 

Steve Graham, professor of education at Arizona State University has "made a career out of monitoring research studies on teaching writing, to figure out which methods actually work," said an article on USNews.com. Graham has joined two colleagues, Karen Harris of ASU and Tanya Satangelo of Arcadia University to look at "approximately 250 of the most prominent studies on how to teach writing to students from kindergarten through 12th grade."

Graham offers readers three "effective practices" teachers can use in their classroom. One of Graham's tips is to "write on a computer."

"In 83 percent of 30 studies on the use of word processing software, students’ writing quality improved when they wrote their papers on a computer instead of writing by hand," said Graham on USNews.com. "The impact was largest for middle school students, but younger students benefited, too."

The theory, the article said, is that students who write on the computer "feel more free to edit their sentences because it’s so easy to delete, add and move text on a computer. The more editing, the better the final essay."

Some educators feel passionately about the importance of writing by hand, convinced that the act of writing neurologically imprints stronger memories. And there’s some early evidence that note taking might be more effective by hand. But if your goal is writing quality and not memorization, it seems the evidence points to word processing, especially beginning in middle school," he said. "Another benefit for educators who believe that students should write not just for teachers: computerized text files are easier to share with classmates, providing more opportunity for a real audience and feedback."

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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