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2006Research Conference | June 15–16

This conference highlighted the work of invited speakers, independent researchers who have received grant funds from the Institute of Education Sciences, and trainees supported through predoctoral training grants and postdoctoral fellowships. The presentations are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Education or the Institute of Education Sciences.
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue, N.W.
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Writing Intensive Reading Comprehension, Year 2: Developing Measures for Interpreting What the WIRC Data Tell Us About Reading-Writing Connections

Jim Collins, University at Buffalo
Janina Brutt-Griffler, University at Buffalo
Timothy Madigan, University at Buffalo
Jeff Fox, University at Buffalo

Abstract: This presentation reports measures being developed to interpret and understand findings from Year 2 of the Writing Intensive Reading Comprehension (WIRC) study of the effectiveness of using writing to enhance reading comprehension and writing achievement. Pre- and post-test data from the experimental study (not fully available as of the date of the session) will be analyzed this summer using hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) methods to evaluate the effectiveness of the WIRC intervention which uses thinksheets (step-by-step guides which students use interactively with teacher and peers to write about reading they are doing) to bring reading and writing together. The poster will present a Connectedness Model currently being developed and tested for interpreting the experimental results in terms of written artifacts and videotaped classroom observations. The model includes three levels of analysis of connections between reading and writing:

  1. Internal Connectedness - Connections between and within the student's clauses in the extended writing on thinksheets. We are looking for linear progression of ideas, the development of the line of reasoning in the writing. In a further examination of these ideas, we are continuing the analysis across sentences by identifying and analyzing chains of cohesive harmony for whole discourses.
  2. External Connectedness - Connections between the student's written text and the original literary passage or other reading text. We are looking for responsible appropriation of material from the original sources.
  3. Dialogic Connectedness - Connections between the student's written text and classroom discourse. We are looking for responsible appropriation of material from teacher and student talk, from discussion within small groups of students, from teacher-student conferences, and from related materials such as posters constructed during small-group discussions and digital videos.

In addition to the poster presentation of the Connectedness Model, a laptop computer will be available to demonstrate measures at the three levels of analysis. This demonstration will include automated text analysis and digital video as research tools. The presenters will explain the methods being developed to interpret and understand the experimental results.