The effect of timed writing in reading journals on the writing fluency of second grade students

This study examined the effect of timed, structured writing after reading on the writing fluency of primary-aged elementary students. A classroom of second grade students was randomly divided into two groups. A pre-test and post-test was administered to both groups before the research began. Both groups wrote for eight minutes three times weekly over a span of forty days after reading for twenty minutes from a book, or books, of their choice. One group wrote about what they had just read, whereas the other group had free-choice. One day of modeling was provided by the teacher for each writing concept. The data results from this research showed that the students who participated in the reading journal writing group made more progress overall in their writing fluency at the end of the trial. The gains in fluency shown by this research for struggling writers in the reading journal group lead to the conclusion that the structured, systematic writing practice provided by the reading journal format may serve to provide a language model and valuable practice writing thereby increasing writing fluency for struggling writers. Whereas, the losses in fluency by the academically able students leads to the inference that the static, non-creative, repetitive reading journal format is actually stifling for students who are academically able and do not struggle with writing. Keywords: fluency, writing, reading journal, quick write, primary elementary