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Writing Strategies and Skills

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					Lesson 3: Writing Strategies
 Students    with ASD and Writing
 Prewriting   Strategies
 Drafting   Strategies
 Editing/Revising   Strategies
 The writing process can be a very difficult
 area for students with ASD due to problems
 with:
  • Language and communication
  • Social interaction
  • Fine motor skills
  • Attention and focus
 Thislesson will provide strategies to increase
 participation in the writing process for
 students with ASD that address these
 problem areas
 Often times, not enough instructional time
 is put into teaching prewriting strategies
 and allowing students time to engage in
 prewriting activities.
 Forstudents with ASD, providing
 opportunities to learn and use prewriting
 strategies is essential to prevent them
 from “shutting down” during writing
 activities.
 Forstudents with ASD who are interested
 in drawing, you can have them draw a
 picture about something as a prewriting
 activity.
 The students then can place numbers on
 their picture to indicate when they will write
 about each event/idea on the picture. The
 numbers can represent words they will
 produce, sentences, or paragraphs
 depending on their present level of writing
 performance.
   There is a writing strategy called      Then the students write their
    Power Writing the uses outlining         ideas that they shared on
    in a way that may be useful for          paper (sentence power)
    students with ASD. The outline
    starts out like this:                   As students get more
     1                                       advanced, you can add 3’s to
         2
         2                                   elaborate on the 2’s and also
         2                                   add a 1 at the end to represent
   The 1 stands for the topic/main          the conclusion/ending
    idea of the writing, and the 2’s        The students can use
    stand for supporting details             “paragraph power” by having
   The students simple place a              each 1 and 2 represent a
    word or short phrase next to             paragraph in their paper
    each number to represent their
    thought (word power)                    For more information on Power
   After the outline is finished the        Writing visit:
    students share their ideas orally        http://www.thewritingsite.org/re
    with a peer partner or the               sources/approaches/power/link
    teacher (language power)                 s.asp
 Tobuild motivation at the prewriting stage,
 you can do any of the following to give
 students ideas for writing:
  • Read a short picture book that can then be used
   to generate topic ideas

  • Show a picture as a writing prompt (the students
   can then write a story about what is going on in
   the picture)

  • Have students generate a list of things they are
   interested in that they can use as writing topics
 Forsome students with ASD the actual
 physical task of writing is so difficult due to
 their fine motor problems.
 For these students, allowing them to use a
 word processor to draft their writing can be
 quite helpful in reducing the stress of
 writing.
 Itmay be helpful for some students with
  ASD to have scribes
 A teacher or peer simply writes what the
  student says
 The student can then read back what was
  written
 The prompting/fading procedure can be helpful
  for students with ASD during the drafting process
 When students get “stuck” and cannot get their
  thoughts on paper the teacher can prompt by
  doing things such as:
    • Pointing to the prewriting the student generated to show the
      students that they already know what to write about
      because they planned it ahead of time
    • Starting the writing for the students and having them
      complete the sentence or write the next sentence(s) (ex.
      The teacher writes, “My favorite animal is ….” and the
      student completes the sentence). The teacher may need to
      do this throughout the draft and gradually fade out how
      much writing is being provided by the teacher
    • Providing gentle encouragement (ex. “I can’t wait to read
      what you write about turtles”)
 As students are writing, provide positive
 reinforcement throughout. This can be done
 by:
  • Providing social praise (ex. Smiles, thumbs-up, high-
      fives)
  •   Putting stars and happy faces on the students paper
      when they write a certain amount (ex. A student may
      get a star after each word they write, after every 3-5
      words they write, or after each sentence they write)
  •   Allow students to read what they wrote so far to a
      teacher/peer
  •   Read what the student wrote aloud to the class
  •   Give token reinforcement (ex. Stickers, coins, tickets)
• Providing timed-writing can help students see a
  “light at the end of the tunnel” and build writing
  fluency
• Tell the students they are going to write for specified
  time (one minute, two minutes, ten minutes ,etc.)
  and set a timer.
• You can graph how many words the student writes
  in the designated amount of time and set a goal.
  Students can graph themselves if they are
  interested.
• Provide positive reinforcement when the students
  engage in writing for the designated amount of time.
 Students with ASD may have difficulty
  understanding the purpose for editing.
 You can build motivation for editing by having
  them write for authentic audiences such as:
  • Producing a writing for the classroom website
  • Writing a book for younger children to read
  • Posting the writing in the classroom/school
  • Submit writing to local newspapers
  • Assign a particular genre (ex. poetry)
                                   (Kluth & Chandler-Olcott, 2008)
 You can use teacher think alouds to model
 editing techniques by doing things such
 as:
  • Reread a text outline to see if any words were left
   out

  • Insert a caret to indicate a word that was left out

  • Reread a text looking for one kind of error (ex.
   spelling, ending punctuation, capitalization) and
   model how you correct the error
 When  requiring students with ASD to edit
 their writing, it is important to explicitly teach
 the expectations
 Peer conferencing can be used, however,
 providing specific guidelines for how students
 will participate in the conferencing and what
 they are expected to look for is important.
 Editingchecklists can be helpful during peer
 conferencing or independent editing. These
 checklists can be differentiated depending on
 present levels of writing performance.
 Writea present level of performance for
 writing for student with ASD.
 Write   a writing goal for the student.
 Provide  a specific description of the
 strategies you will use to teach prewriting
 skills, drafting skills, and editing skills.
 Kluth,P. (2003). “You’re going to love this
 kid!” Teaching students with autism in the
 inclusive classroom.” Baltimore, MD:
 Brookes.

       P., & Chandler-Olcott, K. (2008). A
 Kluth,
 land we can share: Teaching literacy to
 students with autism. Baltimore, MD:
 Brookes.

				
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