Learning writing skills

Your curriculum has given me the tools to know how to break sentences down, how to put them back together in new ways, and how to teach students to do the same thing.

Learning writing skills

Steven Graham, Karen R. Harris, and Lynn Larsen This paper presents six principles designed to prevent writing difficulties as well as to build writing skills: Abstract Many students with LD experience difficulties mastering the process of writing.

We examine how schools can help these children become skilled writers.

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Six principles designed to prevent as well as alleviate writing difficulties are presented. The mn was sneB translation: If theu go to like dutch countri sombodie might ask them something theu cold have two kinds of langage The two compositions presented above were written by Arthur Dent 1, a 5th-grade child with a learning disability LD.

The first was written at the start of 2nd grade in response to a picture of a young girl showing her father a large fish she had caught. The second exposition was Arthur's written reply to his 5th-grade teacher's query, "Should children have to learn a second language?

One, his responses are inordinately short, containing few ideas and little elaboration, and two, it is difficult to decipher his writing, because of spelling, punctuation, and capitalization miscues.

Concern about Arthur's writing capabilities initially surfaced in 1st grade. His teacher observed that he was reluctant to write, often became frustrated while writing, and avoided working or sharing his writing with others.

Teachers in 2nd and 3rd grade indicated that Arthur would hurry through writing assignments, doing little or no planning in advance, and writing quickly, taking short pauses to think about the spelling of a word or what to say next. They further noted that it was difficult to get him to revise his written work, and when he did revise, his efforts typically focused on making the paper neater, correcting spelling miscues, and changing a word here and there.

As a consequence of his difficulties with writing, Arthur was tested for learning disabilities at the start of 4th grade. Although his intellectual capabilities were within the normal range, he scored 2 standard deviations below the mean on a norm-referenced writing test, qualifying him for special education services.

Unfortunately, Arthur's difficulties with writing are not unique. They are shared by many other children with LD. Just like Arthur, children with LD typically employ an approach to composing that minimizes the role of planning in writing.

This approach to writing was illustrated in a recent Peanuts cartoon 2 where Charlie Brown's dog, Snoopy, is typing, "The light mist turned to rain. Like Snoopy, children with LD often compose by drawing any information from memory that is somewhat appropriate, writing it down, and using each idea to stimulate the generation of the next one.

With this retrieve - and-write process little attention is directed at the needs of the audience, the constraints imposed by the topic, the development of rhetorical goals, or the organization of text. Another Peanuts cartoon involving Snoopy as well as his most ardent critic, Lucy, captures a second similarity between Arthur and other poor writers with LD.

After typing, "Dear Sweetheart," Snoopy gives his paper to Lucy for feedback. She quickly informs him that he should use a more endearing greeting. When asked to revise, they primarily employ a thesaurus approach to revising, correcting mechanical errors and making minor word substitutions.

Not surprisingly, this approach has little impact on improving the quality of their writing.

Learning writing skills

A third similarity between Arthur and other students with LD can be revealed by returning to our friend Snoopy once again. After finding a seat in the back of the classroom at Charlie Brown's school, Snoopy tries to remember the "I before E" rule in case he is asked to spell a word.

Learning writing skills

He has it all confused, however, thinking that it is the "I before C" rule, or maybe the "E before M except after G" rule, or possibly the "3 before 2 except after 10" rule.

Like Snoopy, many children with LD struggle with the mechanics of writing. In contrast to classmates who write well, their papers are replete with spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and handwriting errors.Learning A-Z's reading, writing, science, and vocabulary products for PreK-6 kids empower teachers to improve children's learning through an enlightened approach to literacy.

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