Sunday, August 18, 2013

Thoughts on my last summer training for 2013

It's hard to believe that summer is over and I will soon be seeing the smiling faces of my students. In my typical fashion, I cannot leave summer behind without sharing some thoughts on the last of my training sessions. However, I must preface this post with a warning that I had the misfortune of sitting beside a teacher (Negative Nancy) who did nothing but complain the whole time. I also don't have a ton of experience with working on writing goals. 

Kathy Oehler was the presenter at the session I attended. She has an energy about her that can really catch your attention. I enjoyed listening to her stories and watching her demonstrate some of the strategies that are part of the book. It gave me a way to connect to the information in a better manner than just reading alone even though many of the strategies may seem like common sense. The majority of the session focused on how the struggle with writing for many students suffering from Autism Spectrum disorders needs to be addressed from several angles: organization, sensory, motor, and language. You need to look at these four areas for ALL of the writing stages as students may struggle through the whole writing process or just certain pieces.

The book is a really great resource even if you don't want to attend a training. It contains all of the strategies (and more) that are mentioned in the presentation using a format centered around teacher concerns. The strategies are pretty simple and you may have a "why didn't I think of that" moment. I know it really opened my eyes up to things I can try this school year. The second thing that is really good about this book is the fact that the authors address Common Core concerns. Writing is an enormous component of the new standards and we need to be sensitive to that.

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