Where was I? Blogs. Oh yeah, and Anne Lamont, and anything about reading and writing and, UGH(!) the Common Core. Much in the blogosphere that is being talked about on that topic. Teachers generally feel a sense of feeling hemmed in, and having to get up to speed on new vernacular, and teach aspects of literacy that are way above their student's heads and truly don't spark boys.
"Analyze The Westing Game and take notes on how the character's reveal their inner dialogue using the writer's inferred figurative language and write an essay from your notes on the theme of courage and speaking up for oneself."
So I continue to do the two-step dance:
I mean, I work with kids who experience a breakthrough when they can stick with a thought long enough to form it onto the paper in two sentences (even though their IQ is higher than mine). What are we to do with them, in an average classroom?
And these are kind of DUH, and I would add a lot of sub skills to the list. And cautionary notes about how Assistive Technology is not a panacea.
I shortened each to the essential points (Common Core jargon there!)
- How can parents tell if a school’s writing program is effective? In addition to providing accommodations and modifications for students with LD, it should include explicit teaching of critical writing skills, processes and knowledge as well as less formal techniques like teacher-student conferences and peer-to-peer editing.
- One research-validated approach to teaching writing to students with LD is Self-Regulated Strategy Development for Writing (SRSD). Teachers using SRSD guide students through a process that includes:
- Developing and activating students’ background knowledge
- Discussion of students’ current abilities and self-regulation ability
- Explicit teaching and memorization of strategies
- Closely working with the teacher for support at early stages of writing
- Finally, independent performance with teacher support only as necessary
- A common stumbling block in writing for students with LD is organization: keeping track of materials (e.g., note cards, research books) and in structuring/organizing an argument to support a thesis.
- It often takes a child with LD twice as long (or more) as other students to simply copy a piece of writing. Tasks like copying from the board may be less appropriate for students with writing LD. Also, when planning accommodations like extended time for testing, keep a student’s handwriting speed in mind.
- Assistive technology is increasingly opening doors to fluent writing for students with LD. Access to simple word processing software may be helpful to students who struggle with handwriting. Software with word prediction and screen reading capabilities is a powerful tool for many students.
- Many students with LD lack self-confidence in writing. Parents and teachers can help rebuild young writers’ confidence by teaching and developing writing strategies and self-monitoring the use of these strategies.
- As with other types of LD, early intervention for dysgraphia and dyslexia—LDs that especially impact writing—is important. Students who have speech and language difficulties are another group at-risk for writing problems.