Monday, October 27, 2014

The Inclusion Files: Letters from 4th Grade

Writing. Writer's block. Overcoming the block and writing some more. It's a vicious cycle that plagues all of us at one time or another. Even as an SLP blogger, I can still get hit by the same wave of writer's block that drove me to tears of frustration on several occasions during college.  

One of the interesting things I have learned recently from inclusion is the 4th grade writing cycle. They focus on one type of writing each six weeks. The first six weeks focused on personal narratives. Each student wrote about an experience that was important to them (be it something that scared them or something that was one of the best moments in their life.) My favorite moment happened when the classroom teacher asked them to practice describing objects/places without coming right out with the actual name at first.
This would make a great little reminder for writing notebooks.
This six weeks, the students are learning how to write opinion papers. It is very interesting to see the look on students' faces when they are told that they get to write about their opinion on a topic of their choosing (out of 3 options). It is almost like Christmas for some of them and some of them need a little encouragement to realize that its okay to have your own opinion (particularly not having to like what your friend likes). My latest little freebie is for those students who are not quite as sure of the difference between a fact and an opinion. Students must read the cards and sort them into piles. They also get to make up their own cards for their peers to sort to really give them some hands on practice. 

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