Do you know someone that struggles with writing? This is a struggle for many of us and our loved ones. I work with students that have excellent insight, values and ideas for writing, but lack the mechanical and visual spatial skills to write and spell legibly.
Why? What can we do about it? We are lucky to live in this day and age of technology. Technology and the internet give us many opportunities to express our ideas. Encourage yourself and your young writers to express their ideas. There are so many ways to do it!
- Brainstorm, take notes or summarize by making a mind map
- Free write - write daily, turning off your critic and just getting ideas on paper
- Use smart phones to record ideas, notes and stories to share
- Try different strategies to learn spelling words.
- Use co-writer or other text prediction software when typing
- Teachers - Try Kidblog
- Build confidence by acknowledging the wonderful ideas that you or your child have!
I have to share this success story. I had a particular student that struggled with writing and hated it. His letters were big and crowded. He actually said to me, "I can't, I can't write." This statement broke my heart. He had a point. His words were misspelled to the point that he couldn't read it back to me unless he read it immediately after he wrote it.
He and I wrote for ten minutes everyday. He wrote about whatever he wanted to write about and then we shared. I commented on the really good parts of his writing, because he already knew his weaknesses. He grew in his writing and his attitude toward writing. I started working with him last year as a 4th grader he was barely writing a 3-4 sentence paragraph. This year he is writing 5 paragraph essays using a 4-square organizational tool and a word processor with a tool called co-writer (a text prediction software program). He's crafting some wonderful pieces of writing.
How is his pencil to paper writing? Well, he still flunks every spelling test and his writing is crowded and hard to read. He's still working on it, but it doesn't stop him from writing.
Check out this short and sweet video explaining dysgraphia!