We all have our favorite things to teach and our least favorites. Personally, I really struggle with teaching writing. I have two students that are working on actually getting ideas onto paper through the Co-Writer/Write Out Loud software. The rest of my students are still working on basic strokes and shapes as pre-handwriting skills. We have tried Handwriting without Tears and still use the iPad apps that go along with that program. We have also explored Writing to Learn and some of my students are getting close to being able to utilize this program. In addition to working closely with our Occupational Therapist for the fine motor piece of handwriting, we are using TV Teacher for our handwriting instruction. We are starting to see some nice progress with this program and it has transitioned nicely into some great natural writing opportunities.
We used what we have been learning during writing to make birthday cards for Mrs. Jackson, the other Level III Special Education teacher in my building. This was such a natural and purposeful activity and we were able to differentiate easily to the different writing levels of the students. Plus, they were so excited to deliver them to Mrs. Jackson on Friday and watch her read them. I really try to make the most out of these natural writing opportunities because I feel like I am at a loss the rest of the time for writing. Here is a picture of the beautiful birthday cards they created.
What do you do for writing with your Special Education students? How do you differentiate? How much time do you spend on writing each day?