High school students are lacking writing skills to be successful in post-secondary education, and in the work force. At work, writing is a gateway for employment and promotion, especially in salary positions. Those seeking employment in businesses as well as government and state jobs must be able to create clearly written documents such as emails, messages, memoranda, and technical reports. Writing also influences the participation in civic life and the community at large. In order to meet these post-secondary expectations for writing, new Common Core State Standards are being implemented in 45 states, including California. Common Core State Standards (CCSS) require high school students to write using evidence from primary and secondary source texts across academic areas, rather than from prior experience. Potentially, students with learning disabilities, especially those in their later years of high school, will be impacted because they will not have had the writing exposure. While the CCSS are already being implemented, no established curriculum has yet to be published for teachers to use. Therefore, the purpose of this project was to develop and pilot test a curriculum unit tailored specifically to meet the needs of students with learning disabilities and to promote their success in argumentative writing. With this curriculum, teachers can teach multiple lessons over a period of time to their students regarding effective argumentative writing. Students can develop and learn to use valid reasoning to support their claim as well as to provide relevant and sufficient evidence. The curriculum unit begins with an introduction and instructions on how to write a measurable IEP goal aligned with the relevant CCSS and guidelines for the implementation of explicit/direct instruction, UDL, scaffolding and other evidence-based organizational strategies to teach students with learning disabilities. Next, nine unit lessons plans offer strategies and materials to walk students through the step-by-step process of writing an argumentative essay. Manipulatives, such as a foldable or graphic organizer, and collaboration with peers are suggested to foster and strengthen writing skills. The curriculum unit was implemented twice with nineteen high school freshmen with learning disabilities using two separate writing prompts over a four-month period. Throughout the implementation of the lessons, growth was measured using a four-point rubric and the majority of students demonstrated progress toward meeting the CCSS standards for argumentative writing.High school students are lacking writing skills to be successful in post-secondary education, and in the work force.
|Title||:||Meeting Common Core Standards for Argumentative Writing|
|Author||:||Malissa Ann Stotts|