Michael Hebert is an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln. His primary research interests include the development and testing of writing interventions for students with disabilities, examining the impacts of writing on reading outcomes, and writing assessment. He is the coauthor of two Carnegie Corporation reports: Writing to Read and Informing Writing. He is also the co-editor of Best Practices in Writing Instruction, third edition. He has also been the principal investigator on two federal Institute of Education Sciences grants examining writing outcomes for elementary students with disabilities. He serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Educational Psychology.
Because writing is a complex task, providing writing is among the most challenging skills to teach. Teaching students to write informational text can be even more challenging, due to students’ relative lack of experience with it. This session will introduce a writing intervention “Structures Writing” aimed at teaching students to write informational text using five basic text structures: 1) Description, 2) Compare-Contrast, 3) Sequence, 4) Cause-Effect, and 5) Problem-Solution. During the presentation, Dr. Hebert will discuss principles that can be applied to most types of writing. Some of these include: modeling, think-alouds, guided and supported practice, assessment, progress monitoring/self-monitoring, and fidelity of implementation.
Steve Graham is a Regent and the Warner Professor of Special Education at Arizona State University. He is also a Research Professor at the Institute for Learning Sciences and Teaching Institute, Australian Catholic University in Brisbane. His research focuses on how writing operates and develops, effective practices for teaching writing, how writing is currently taught in schools, and connections between writing, reading, and learning. He is the author of three influential Carnegie reports on writing: Writing Next, Writing to Read, and Informing Writing. He is also the author of the Handbook of Writing Research, Handbook of Learning Disabilities, and the APA Handbook of Educational Psychology. He is the recipient of many awards for his work including the Thorndike Award (American Psychological Association), Kauffman-Hallahan Award (Council for Exceptional Children), and the Sylvia Scribner Award (American Educational Research Association).
Writing is an essential skill that students must master if they are to be successful at school, work, and civic life. It is an extremely complex skill that does not develop automatically and naturally, but must be taught. This presentation provides a roadmap for effectively teaching writing. Drawing on evidence from writing intervention studies and the study of highly successful literacy teachers, it is clear that a strong writing program involves the following five components: (1) students must write, (2) we need to support students as they write, (3) we need to teach students critical writing skills and strategies, (4) we need to create a motivating writing environment, and (5) we need to better connect writing, reading, and learning. This session will provide concrete examples of procedures that support each of these components.