The objective of this exploratory investigation was to examine the nature of writing instruction in kindergarten classrooms and to describe student writing outcomes at the end of the school year. Participants for this study included 21 teachers and 238 kindergarten children from nine schools. Classroom teachers were videotaped once each in the fall and winter during the 90 min instructional block for reading and language arts to examine time allocation and the types of writing instructional practices taking place in the kindergarten classrooms. Classroom observation of writing was divided into student-practice variables (activities in which students were observed practicing writing or writing independently) and teacher-instruction variables (activities in which the teacher was observed providing direct writing instruction). In addition, participants completed handwriting fluency, spelling, and writing tasks. Large variability was observed in the amount of writing instruction occurring in the classroom, the amount of time kindergarten teachers spent on writing and in the amount of time students spent writing. Marked variability was also observed in classroom practices both within and across schools and this fact was reflected in the large variability noted in kindergartners' writing performance.
- literacy instruction,
- writing instruction
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