Extended text and the writing proficiency of students in urban elementary schools

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  1. The effect of extended text writing on the writing proficiency of elementary students in urban schools was investigated. 39 4th- and 5th-grade classrooms were observed and categorized according to the ratio of extended text to exercises written by students and according to the level of student engagement. Analyses revealed that students in classrooms characterized by extended text outperformed students in classrooms characterized by exercises both in the quality of the content of their writing and in correct use of writing conventions, after adjustment for pretest differences at both the student and classroom levels. The effect of extended text instruction was consistent for both students of ethnic minority (African American, Mexican American, and Native American) status and students of White European ancestry. No differences were found on a multiple-choice test of language skills. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)