Showing posts with label writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writing. Show all posts

Special Needs Sunday

Last month, one of the second grade teachers in my building came to me and asked how she could use technology (be it a laptop or iPad) to help her with her new student. Her new student just happened to be transfer student with autism. (This year I'm not working with second grade but we collaborate all the time together.) She had seen some of the things I was having students do with iPads and wanted to explore ideas to support him during Daily 5 when he had to be independent.

I create directions for many of the tasks I want students to do with the iPads--more so when I want them to do independently. This is the first time I have created them for an individual student to use. This is a grand test and the first time where a classroom teacher has approached me about how to integrate technology to help students.

She had found Sentence Marker and wanted him to use it after he finished his phonics/word work. I created directions for her to add to his binder, so he could use the app independently while she was teaching. She said he LOVE spending time on anything tech; I suggested that his directions should include a timer that he can set himself. The timer is new.  It will be interesting to see how this works on Monday. But its been a very successful so far. I can't wait to see how this works. Has anyone tried something similar, what success did you have? Have a great week.

Small Group Writing

I don't teach writing. When I say this, I mean, I don't teach the writing process. Two years ago, my building began a journey to increase our state assessment writing scores and a teacher stumbled upon Every Child a Writer. Since then most of my fellow teachers have been trained in ECAW. We use it as a resource as we have a district mandated curriculum that we all use. Our of district says that Writer's Workshop is core instruction, so by the nature of how workshop works I don't teach writing. But I do teach students how to write in complete sentences and how to write about what they read. 

Many of my students have a difficult time taking their verbal thoughts and putting them in writing. So, I've been working on creating scaffolded paragraphs for them to use depending on what kind of text they have been reading. These have also helped my English Language Learners. 

What is National Literacy Coalition's “Every Child a Writer?”

Every Child a Writer (ECAW) is based on the Australian genre-based approach to writing. Through direct instruction and joint construction of text, students master descriptive, explanation, instruction, persuasive, and narrative writing.

Demonstrated Writing
                                                                                                                                     Source: via Jan on Pinteres
Demonstrated Writing offers students a daily glimpse into the thinking of the fluent writer in action. The teacher demonstrates the writing process by planning and crafting written products in the five major genres of writing (descriptive, explanation, instruction, persuasive, and narrative). Focusing on the writer’s process, the teacher models the “think-aloud” strategy, while composing for his or her students. This daily demonstration leads to small-group instruction focused on specific skills, or targets, for each group.

Differentiated Writing

Differentiated Writing, the joint construction of text,
is when the teacher and a small group of students work together to compose written products within a given genre. Instructional targets are differentiated in response to the needs of the group, and the teacher “scaffolds” their instruction, gradually releasing control and responsibility as students gain skills and confidence. Instructional targets focus on techniques for planning, organization, vocabulary usage, sentence and paragraph structure, and conventions/mechanics (including spelling).

Directed Writing

Directed Writing gives students daily opportunities for practice of the genre and instructional targets taught in the Differentiated Writing group. From plan development to drafting, revising, editing, conferencing, and publishing, students have regular opportunities to independently apply their new skills within topic areas of personal interest and experience. A central feature of the Directed Writing component is the provision of instructional time for a variety of writing conferences including small group and partner conferencing. In this way, students are prepared for genuine independence as developing writers.

Here is a sampling of the ones I have used with my small groups. I use them to focus the students comprehension but wanting them to write about they have been reading as well as talking about the book. I'm working on more that focus more on ECAW. Don't forget about the sale next Monday and Tuesday at the TpT store and extra 20% off everything in my store.

Writing Next Year

Why is teaching writing so hard? I don't remember it being so difficult but that was ages ago. Things have changed so much since I was 12. Back then, things like Common Core, State Standards or State Testing were not on anyone radar.

Did you know on average American students spend less than three hours per week on structured writing activities? Or that it's possible to increase the amount of time students spend writing to 4 hours a week. Until I went to the Every Child a Writer training--I had no clue.

Common Core aligned writing to include post high school needs and increasing students ability to complete expository writing. Most of the writing students do is narrative and the rest of the world wants employees who can write a description or argument. Being an Elementary Special Education teacher, I'm always looking at what students need to be successful after they leave me. Thinking down the road is hard but it helps in planning where students need to go.

I many cases my students don't have IEP goals for writing but they have problems writing more complex pieces once they move beyond a paragraph. Helping them move pass this is difficult. I hoping that by using ECAW in small group with I have them that they can go back to class with a strong knowledge in writing that their classroom teacher can help fine tune their writing--to move them forward.

I have put together the the begins of I Can posters for my students. As my students work through writing this year, I will be adding to them. I hoping that these target will focus students to work on one thing at a time. This way when they go to work on their own writing they a focus on one thing instead of several. Once one is mastered they can focus on anyone.

I'd love to hear how others teach writing. Do you go into class, pull out? Classroom teachers what works for you??  Enjoy a beautiful and restful weekend.

Be sure to stop by my TpT store during the Back to School Sale!!

Writing using ECAW

Last week, I had the pleasure to trained in "Every Child a Writer." Every Child a Writer is a resource by the National Literacy Coalition.  Over the last couple of years, my building has been training teachers to use this resource. I love the fact that it moves students--no matter how they write. I'm so excited to use this next month with my students. Guided writing groups are created using a scored writing sample at the beginning of the year. Students are moved between groups depending on they did on their daily independent writing. Students are writing daily--at least 15 minutes. Writing just like reading, if you don't practice you don't get better.
This will be very cool for my students. It will make teaching small group writing to students.  Everyone using the same language will help use build upon each years knowledge.  They have created ways to progress monitor students, to show parents and use with students. To help focus students, they create a TAPP: Topic, Audience, Purpose, and Plan. It goes on the top of all pieces of writing.  I will share more throughout the year, as students write. I created a poster for TAPP to share and a reading rubric for you. Have a beautiful Monday.

About Me

Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I empower busy elementary special education teachers to use best practice strategies to achieve a data and evidence driven classroom community by sharing easy to use, engaging, unique approaches to small group reading and math. Thanks for Hopping By.
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