Desperate for Written Expression Help!

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by bballjoe12, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. bballjoe12

    bballjoe12 Companion

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    Nov 16, 2015

    I have some 3rd graders (all LD) who desperately need to work on writing and written expression. If I give them a picture of a dog running in the grass, I get very basic sentences, such as...

    The dog is running in the grass.
    The dog is fast.

    If I give them a prompt such as, "Write 2 sentences about what you did this weekend," I will most likely get…

    I went shopping.
    I played with my cousin.

    How do I go about expanding these sentences? They have a hard time generating ideas and getting it down. I'm just banging my head on the wall everyday it seems with writing!

    Any ideas on how to improve their writing skills?
     
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  3. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Nov 17, 2015

    Ask questions such as: what did you do? When? Where? With whom? How did you feel? What do you think now?
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Give them a format to practice with. Who? Did what? Where? When? Why? Demonstrate. Make it into a game with sets of words from each category that you or they combine into sentences. Ask if they make sense. Then have whole group write continuing sentences using the sentence fragments in turn.
     
  5. manda80411

    manda80411 Rookie

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    Nov 17, 2015

  6. bballjoe12

    bballjoe12 Companion

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    Does anybody have a specific format they use? If they take the idea of, "I went to my cousins,"
    is there any type of organizer they can use or planning chart to help them?
     
  7. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Look into Project Read Written Expression. It teaches kids how to do a type of diagramming that helped many of my lowest students become better writers. The kids seem to like it as well.
     
  8. bballjoe12

    bballjoe12 Companion

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    The kids understood all the diagraming? How did they do when they got to the predicate expanders if you got that far?

    I looked through the scope and sequence. Why does it consider a complete thought having a noun and verb? The sentence " the ball is red," does not have a verb but it's s complete sentence. Just wondering! Not arguing because I know nothing about teaching grammar, LOL.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
  9. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Is is a verb.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 17, 2015

    Modeling
    Share the pen/interactive writing
    Graphic organizers
    Mentor texts
     
  11. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    If you can get your school to pay for it and send you to a training, KU has some great sentence and paragraph writing strategies - perfect for SPED and intervention classes.
     
  12. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    Nov 20, 2015

    Just a general idea that I use...
    Give them a sentence starter.
    For example:
    This weekend I ______________________. My family decided to do this because_____________________. Our experience was______________________.

    Graphic organizers hardly ever work for my kids because they have no idea what to put in the darn organizer. It ends up becoming more of a hassle to tell you the truth.
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Yes it is! :)
     
    a2z likes this.
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 20, 2015

     
  15. bballjoe12

    bballjoe12 Companion

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    Nov 21, 2015

    czacza..does that mean I should learn? lol

    Also, thank you everyone for all the responses! Very helpful!
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    LOL. Just thinking if you are teaching writing that you might want to brush up on at least the grammar 'basics'. :)
     
  17. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I used it with second, third, and fourth graders. I only taught them about half of the program but it was enough to get them into the habit of changing up their sentences. Getting kids to write complete sentences is enough of a challenge these days, but my kids were using dependent clauses to begin some of their sentences. They loved the program because it is nonthreatening and kinethestic.
     
  18. bballjoe12

    bballjoe12 Companion

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    A lot of the writing programs seem to have the kids use prepositional phrases it seems to extend their sentences.

    What kind of writing do you guys do besides writing to pictures and just prompts? It gets boring after a while!
     
  19. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    They can write about they are reading. It could be a book review (whether they would recommend it to a friend and why) or something requiring higher-order thinking skills, depending on their cognitive abilities. Once your students are writing solid sentences, I'd work on paragraph writing skills. If they are still struggling with sentences, then I'd either find an intervention program to use or continue with prompts and pictures. Be sure you are providing a lot of modeling! I think that is something we often forget to do when teaching writing - at least I know I do!
     
  20. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Nov 21, 2015

    Work backwards with a sentence you choose as a quality sentence. Show them how the more informative sentences answers the who, what, when, where, why, or how questions. Then show a picture and as them the questions modeling how their ideas will be turned into a sentence.

    A lot of kids with written expression disabilities struggle with generation of ideas without prompting. They need a lot of work generating the ideas prior to putting the pencil to the paper for the creation of the sentence. This isn't a problem of writing it is a problem of thinking. Also, many kids are very literal. Without anything else in the picture other than the dog running in the grass, you won't get more without a lot of teaching and modeling and demonstrating from a well crafted sentence.

    It is said that kids learn to become better writers by reading more. If you think about the level these students can read at, you will probably see that what they write is a bit below the level at which they read. They won't be adding a lot more description if they do not speak that way or read at that level.
     
  21. RhiannonMackenzie

    RhiannonMackenzie New Member

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    Dec 15, 2015


    Have you heard of a program called Talkies? It was created by an SLP in order to help with verbal expression. It might help with writing too. It builds skills gradually through a series of levels. It helps students to actually picture an experience using details, and the details build up as the program progresses. I definitely think you could use this to aid with writing as well. Check into it--I think the program might be a little expensive but you might be able to get your school to purchase one kit. Just an idea :)
     
  22. bballjoe12

    bballjoe12 Companion

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    Dec 17, 2015

    I actually have gone to training for Visualizing and Verbalizing. How would I incorporate that into writing?
     

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