STAIR: Major Project Report
Many students rely totally on spell and grammar check to proofread their documents.
Spelling and grammar checks have profound limitations. Students need to be skilled in word
recognition to locate and use appropriate words in a sentence.
Technology Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Tools.
Students use technology resources for solving problems and making informed decisions.
Students employ technology in the development of strategies for solving problems in the real
Michigan Curriculum Framework:
English/Language Arts – Standard 2
All students will demonstrate the ability to write clear and grammatically correct sentences,
paragraphs and compositions.
English/Language Arts – Standard 8
All students will explore and use the characteristics of different types of texts, aesthetic
elements, and mechanics—including sentence structure, figurative and descriptive language,
spelling, punctuation, and grammar—to construct and convey meaning.
Instructional Strategies Used:
Constructivism – Students will build on their existing knowledge of grammar and gain an
understanding of groups of words that are used interchangeably or inappropriately in a sentence.
They will analyze, interpret, and predict information based on this new knowledge.
Instructional Design – Students will be able to learn at a rate appropriate for them. They will
work on one set of words at a time allowing for learning, practice with response and immediate
feedback, relearning if necessary, and then higher levels of responses.
Deductive – Students will be given the word with definitions and examples of proper use in
sentences. They will then show their understanding by responding correctly to two sets of
exercises—the lower level response of picking the correct word to go in the sentence; the higher
level response of then using that word correctly in a sentence.
Scaffolding – Students will start with one set of words at a time. They will respond to exercises
asking them to choose the appropriate word to use in a given sentence. When they have
achieved at this level, they will move on to writing the word in a sentence of their choosing.
Input and Feedback to Student:
1. Students will complete exercises asking them to choose the appropriate word from several
choices for use in a given sentence. They will receive positive or negative comments based
on their choice and then be able to move on or try again based on a similar exercise. If they
do not complete this one correctly, they can go to a website where they can review the
choices again. (http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/conford.html)
2. Students will then complete an exercise asking them to write a sentence using the word
correctly in that sentence. They will write these sentences in a Word file that will be
submitted to the teacher for grading.
I liked that the students had an opportunity to see the words with definitions and examples
before beginning their exercises. This showed them the words and how they were used in
sentences before making any attempts to practice their use. I felt that there is a weakness in that
there was too little practice. If the student chooses the right answer in the beginning, they moved
on to writing sentences with very little practice at using the word. I would have liked the student
to have more practice sentences, before moving on.
I tried to limit this exercise to three sets of words. I felt that any more than three would have
caused overload and the students would have gained little. Again, more practice at each set of
words would have made this a more effective tool.
I liked the idea that more word combinations could be added to this STAIR in the future or a
series of STAIRS could be created for use in a sequential manner. This could provide continuity
in the student’s learning and provide for learning over a longer period of time.