A random sample of middle school teachers (grades 6-9) from across the United States was surveyed about their use of writing to support students' learning. The selection process was stratified so there were an equal number of English language arts, social studies, and science teachers. More than one-half of the teachers reported applying 15 or more writing to learn strategies at least once a month or more often. The most commonly used writing to learn strategies were writing short answers to questions, note taking for reading, note taking while listening, and completing worksheets. While teachers reported using a variety of writing to learn strategies, most of them indicated they received minimal or no formal preparation in college on how to use writing to learn strategies to support student learning, less than one-half of teachers directly taught students how to use the writing to learn strategies commonly assigned, and the most commonly used writing to learn strategies did not require students to think deeply about the material they were learning. We further found that teachers' reported use of writing to learn strategies was related to their preparedness and the composition of their classroom in terms of above and below average writers, English Language Learners, and students with disabilities.
English Learners with Special Needs