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8 Strategies for Improving Student Writing

Share Useful Strategies with Students.

❶If the suggested change is correct, the teacher offers praise and moves on to the next suggestion.

How to differentiate writing activities:

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These units are quite small palm size and easy to transport in a backpack. A nearly standard size keyboard can be attached which greatly facilitates typing and, hence, note- taking. This is especially useful for recording homework assignments and "to do" lists. For note-taking during a lecture, many students still require the assistance of a note-taker, even if the complete notes are only used as a backup.

Many students who struggle with writing also have difficulties with spelling. Some students then simplify their word usage.

Other students just include the incorrectly spelled word. When such students use a staging approach, they can first focus on pre-organization and then writing or typing a draft. A next step would be to go back and work on fixing misspelled words. Sometimes the spell checker on a computer does not help the student because the misspelled word is not close enough to correct.

In such situations, the student should be taught to develop strong phonetic analysis skills so that she can learn to spell words phonetically, the way they sound. Then the student will be able to utilize technology such as one of the Franklin Electronic Resources. In our office, the Language Master has been found to be very appropriate because of its large font size and speech clarity. A common complaint of students who struggle to write is that their hand gets tired when writing.

This can be due to a variety of factors. Some of the most common factors are inappropriate grip, a very tight pencil grip, or inefficient writing posture. There are many efficient grippers that can be used with the pencil or pen to enhance the efficiency of the students grasp on the pencil. One example, the large Pencil Grip , is ergonomically developed to work with the natural physiology of the hand to gently place fingers in the proper position for gripping. Students can be helped to decrease hand fatigue by performing warm-up activities before writing in the middle of the task.

Such activities help the student manipulate and relax muscles in the writing hand. For older students who need to take a large number of notes during a class, dividing their paper in half and writing on only one half the time helps reduce the drag of the writing instrument across the paper. This too will reduce writing fatigue. One of the best compensations for a student who struggles with writing is to have a teacher that understands.

For some students it is not possible to be neat while also focusing on content. Some students cannot focus on both neatness and use of writing mechanics at the same time. Understanding Dysgraphia Richards, , we learn how elementary school student Eli compensated for the frustration caused by his struggles with trying to be neat while also thinking:.

Eli figured it was easier to write just a few sentences. His teachers complained, but Eli kept writing very short stories. They always told him how messy his papers were. This is why a staging approach is critical. Requiring concentration on only one or two aspects at a time will help reduce the overload for a student. Educators Publishing Service www. Keeping a Head in School: Memory Foundations for Reading.

The Source for Dyslexia and Dysgraphia. Understanding Dysgraphia , 2nd Edition. A program for improving creative thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, critical thinking 7thth grade. Helping Students Who Struggle to Write: Exclusive to LD OnLine. Sponsored Links About these ads Consumer Tips. Understanding Dysgraphia , p. Classroom compensations Some example classroom compensations include the following: Staging Dividing the task into smaller units and performing each subtask independently.

Decreasing quantity Allowing the student to perform fewer math problems, write fewer sentences, or write a shorter story. Increasing time Providing the student with more time to finish his work. Copying Reducing or eliminating copying demands, such as copying from the chalkboard, or even copying from another paper. Providing structure for math Using large graph paper or looseleaf paper turned sideways helps the student align numbers properly in multi-step math problems.

Adjusting writing format Allowing each student to choose the format that is most comfortable. Spelling Allowing for misspelling on in-class assignments. Keyboarding The most efficient compensation for any student who struggles with basic letter form and spacing is to develop efficient word-processing skills.

Spelling Many students who struggle with writing also have difficulties with spelling. Hand fatigue A common complaint of students who struggle to write is that their hand gets tired when writing. Few people are able to turn out high-quality writing in first drafts. For most people, good writing requires rereading, rethinking, and sometimes fairly extensive revising.

Many students leave writing assignments to the last minute, expecting to be able to sit down and rapidly turn out a good paper. Thus, they may not give themselves enough time to re-examine premises, adjust the organizational scheme, refine their arguments, etc. Requiring drafts forces students to build in appropriate time frames for their work. A detailed scoring guide or performance rubric helps students to recognize the component parts of a writing task and understand how their competence will be assessed in each of these areas.

A good rubric helps students to see what comprises high quality writing and to identify the skills they will need to perform well. You might want to provide your rubric to students along with the assignment so they know what the criteria are in advance and can plan appropriately. Besides the differences between skilled and unskilled writers, there are cultural differences that often manifest themselves in the written work of non-native speakers of English.

For example, Arabic speakers may develop their arguments by restating their position rather than stating rationales. Japanese speakers are inclined to argue both for and against an issue, and to be more tentative in their conclusions. Some non-native speakers generally provide lengthier treatments of historical context, minimizing their own arguments.

Understanding the behavioral differences between skilled and unskilled writers can help us work more effectively with students, even to "warn" them in advance of potential pitfalls to be avoided. Conceive the writing problem in its complexity, including issues of audience, purpose, and context. Are less easily satisfied with first drafts. Think of revision as finding the line of argument. Revise extensively at the level of structure and content.

Think of revision as changing words or crossing out and throwing away. Revise only at the level of single word or sentence. Are able to pay selective attention to various aspects of the writing task, depending on the stage of the writing process. Often tried to do everything perfectly on the first draft. Get stuck on single word choices or on punctuation, even at early stages.

Sharing this information with students in advance of writing assignments can aid them in the writing process. How can I help students become better writers in the discipline when I am not a writing teacher?

Share Useful Strategies with Students. In addition, there are several sources of information on the web that we can share with our students on basic writing tips and strategies: For a checklist to help students edit their own writing for grammatical errors, see University of Wisconsin at Madison.

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Children need lots of practice with writing to develop their skills in the elementary years. Parents can help at home with these activities and ideas.

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Ways to help students strengthen their writing skills.

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How can I help students become better writers in the discipline when I am not a writing teacher? Share Useful Strategies with Students. Many of the writing strategies we take for granted (e.g., how to write an introduction, how to research relevant sources) are not at all obvious to our students. And yet, these issues arise so frequently. The Writing Challenge App allows students to enjoy writing in the guide of a fun, interactive game. The app provides a prompt to get student writing started then, every minute, the app supplies another prompt to add new ideas, words, characters, sentences, places or actions to the plot.

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Helping Students Who Struggle to Write: Classroom Compensations. By: Regina G. Richards. Many fun and efficient software programs are available to help students learn appropriate keyboarding. Offering access to a variety of programs helps decrease boredom and allows for choice, as the student may select different software each night. 4) For students with difficulties with writing conventions (spelling, grammar, etc), I recommend having them start a personal spelling and grammar dictionary to help them with frequently used or misused words or grammatical rules. I would like it if they can keep such a log on their iTouch or phones.