Supporting Evidence Based Writing in the Upper Elementary Montessori Classroom: The Interplay of the Dynamic Guide and Original Materials
Bladow, Jackie L.
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This qualitative phenomenological study focuses on the development of evidence-based writing skills in the upper elementary Montessori (9–12-year-old) classroom. This study traced the lived experience in the classroom as students interacted with an original writing material and the teacher responded dynamically based on student needs by providing coaching, additional lessons based on student needs, and opportunities to revise work independently, with a partner, or with the teacher. The study measured the students’ metacognitive awareness of their confidence using the R.A.C.E. (Restate, Answer, Cite, Explain) strategy as a tool to successfully complete an evidence-based writing response. It also explored student retention of this writing skill four weeks after their work with an original material. Twenty-one students in a suburban upper elementary Montessori classroom housed at a 4K-6 elementary school in the Midwest participated in this study during their Montessori worktime over eight weeks from the beginning of February 2022 through mid-March 2022. Instruments included whole class discussion questions, pre-survey, ongoing teacher observations, a mid-study interview, post-survey, and a four-week post study writing sample. Results of the study supported the research design. Students showed awareness of their metacognitive process and reported that they felt more confident using the R.A.C.E. writing strategy. 10 out of 12 students (83%) showed positive trend lines in their data as they progressed through eight levels of material, even as the support built into the material decreased with each level.
Montessori writing material
original writing material
increasing writing confidence
M.S.E., Montessori Teacher Education
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