Every Student, Every Day
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I am so thankful for all of you and the hard work you put in. I hope you have a restful week. The building will be closed all of break. Enjoy your time with your family!
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Helpful Ideas for Writing
Helping Students Get Past Their Resistance to Writing
“How is it that some students have so much to say when talking out loud, but when a pencil is put into their hand they suddenly hesitate, struggle, and have nothing to say?” asks Ali Parrish in this Edutopia article. She has a suggestion for this common classroom phenomenon: use their oral language to jumpstart their writing. Here are three strategies:
• The student talks, the teacher writes. The teacher asks the student to stand up, sits in his or her chair, and says, “You talk, I’ll write.” After standing nonplussed for a moment, students often dictate a coherent and authentic story or an idea.
• Audio record it. Hand the student a recording device – a tape recorder, digital audio recorder, computer, or smartphone – and say, “Step out in the hall and ‘write’ your essay using this.”
• Audio transcribe it. Have students talk their ideas into a smartphone, tablet, or computer, using a speech-to-text program such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking, VoiceTranslator, or PaperPortNotes. Afterward, the student can e-mail it to him- or herself and revise the draft.
“Our real hope and goal is for individuals to capture their high-quality thoughts and then convey them effectively to others,” says Parrish. “These strategies break down the barriers between a student’s mind and his or her audience… The sooner students (and teachers) see that writing has nothing to do with a pencil, a piece of paper or keyboard, and the sooner students see that writing is simply communicating, the sooner they will start making incredible progress. Barriers will come down. The handicapping hesitation of putting the pencil on the paper to ‘write’ will go away. Then students will feel free to ‘say it as it is’ in their writing.”
“3 Strategies to Improve Student Writing Instantly” by Ali Parrish in Edutopia, October 27, 2014, http://bit.ly/1vhNFtj