Volume 40, Issue 1 (2011)
Determining an Instructional Level for Early Writing Skills
David C. Parker, Kristen L. McMaster, & Matthew K. Burns
Abstract. The instructional level is helpful when identifying an intervention for math or reading, but researchers have yet to investigate whether the instructional-level concept can be applied to early writing. The purpose of this study was to replicate and extend previous research by examining technical features of potential instructional-level criteria for writing. Weekly writing performance was assessed with 85 first-graders over 12 weeks using Picture-Word and Sentence Copying prompts. Data from the students with the highest slopes were used to derive instructional level criteria. Several scoring procedures across Picture-Word and Sentence Copying prompts produced reliable alternate-form correlations and statistically significant relationships with a standardized writing assessment. Determining an instructional level in writing appears feasible; however, further research is needed to examine the instructional utility of this approach.
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