Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Superb Writers’ Blogathon

I am sharing my passion for the written word as a part of the Superb Writers’ Blogathon. In partnership with Grammarly grammar checker, this series is providing helpful hints to aspiring superb writers. Being an educator, I decided to blog about writing in the classroom and how I have helped my students become superb writers. As you can imagine, writing in the special education classroom can look a lot different than writing in the traditional classroom. Every student has the right and the ability to be a superb writer, we just need to find a way for them to be able to demonstrate this. Students can demonstrate their writing abilities in a variety of ways. The most obvious is with pen and paper. When I first started teaching I had a class full of eager students who were able to use this method. We had designated writing times each week where we would work on a specific writing task. On their journey to becoming superb writers my students would check not only their own work, but that of classmates (by the way, these were 2nd & 3rd graders with learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, autism, and adhd). This allowed them to improve their own writing and that of others by working together and making suggestions. When reading a classmates work they would sit side-by-side and use a red pencil to make areas that needed corrections or changes. The students also each had a writing folder that contained their current work, a list of often mis-spelled words and a list of proofreading marks. I loved watching them work together and listening to how proud they were of the writers they were becoming.
In my current class, I have students who are unable to use the traditional mode of pencil and paper to become superb writers due to fine motor difficulties. For these students sometimes we use a computer, a scribe, or other low tech ways of writing. These may include word magnets, eye gaze charts, and alphabet flipcharts. Sometimes just a simple adaptation such as a pencil grip, slanted work surface or raised lines on paper using wiki sticks are just what is needed to help a student achieve their writing goals. For all of my students, I usually give them a writing prompt to help them begin their thought process and start writing. I usually use a picture that I know will be of interest or cause some discussion amongst the group. Sometime my students will write on personal experiences. I have found that students are able to write successfully on topics that they know. For example, if I have a student who loves Sponge Bob, I may use a picture of Sponge Bob or a toy Sponge Bob to stimulate discussion and the writing process. After viewing the picture, we will discuss the topic and maybe even write a few sentences together to demonstrate the writing process. I like to have my students create a writing web or some other type of organizer to get their thoughts together prior to writing. I would really love to hear about how other educators teach writing and anything special that you may do to get your students creative juices flowing.
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1 comment:

  1. Hi!

    I just found your blog and was interested in your Grammarly blogathon post. I was also asked to participate. Your take on teaching writing with special needs students is very helpful. Thank you!

    Now I'm your newest follower.

    Dee
    First Impressions

    ReplyDelete

I love to hear to hear from the crew!