The Effects of Strategy Instruction with a CDO Procedure in General Education Settings

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Sherman, Cindy K.
De La Paz, Susan
The purpose of this study was to evaluate a revision strategy for middle school students in a three general education classrooms. Three teachers and 23 sixth-graders in an elementary school in an urban school district in the Northeast participated in this study. Classroom teachers were trained in the revision strategy and provided instruction to their respective students. Although all students received instruction, data was collected on four pairs of students from each class (2 high-achieving, 2 average achieving, 2 low achieving, and 2 students with learning disabilities). This study examined the effects of a Compare-Diagnose-Operate (CDO) procedure (using the acronym FIX) embedded within a self-regulation strategy (SRSD) to allow students the opportunity to internalize the elements of revising. The strategy emphasized the need for students to (a) examine their draft, focusing specifically on the essential elements or parts of an essay, (b) identify problems in their essay between what they wanted to write versus what was actually written, and (c) act on, or execute necessary changes to the draft in response to specific problems they had identified. Improvement in students' writing and revising skills was based on number of meaningful changes, quality of changes between first and second drafts, and holistic quality of the students' revised essays. The effects of teaching the revising strategy were assessed using a multiple-probe design with multiple probes at baseline. The results of this study showed that all students regardless of achievement level benefited from instruction. Students showed significant gains in the number of meaningful changes made from baseline to postinstruction. In addition, holistic quality ratings doubled for students across all achievement levels. The findings emphasize the importance of providing strategy instruction in the classroom and the need for future research in this area.