Low-Stakes Writing using Digital Tools: Fostering Confidence and Fluency in Adolescent Writing Instruction
Friday, March 22 10:45 AM-11:00 AM Location: Wilshire B
Abstract: Best practice in writing instruction calls for a focus on content over form (Hillcocks, 2005) and providing frequent opportunities for high-interest, low-stakes writing (e.g., Graham & Hebert, 2010; Graham & Perin, 2007). Yet, a study of teacher perceptions and practices regarding integrating literacy instruction revealed that many teachers continue to focus their writing instruction on lengthy, form-centered papers rather than on shorter, low-stakes writing opportunities (Doubet & Southall, 2017). When presented with interest-driven, low-stakes writing options using digital tools in professional development, teachers responded with increased enthusiasm for and confidence in teaching writing (Doubet & Southall, 2017). This paper presents a variety of approaches for using digital tools to help grades 6-12 teachers gain both confidence and competence in teaching writing through authentic, low-stakes writing tasks. These strategies also provide equity and access to students with varying backgrounds, strengths, interests, and learning needs.