Do you need a writing activity for students who can barely read? Over the years, I developed the Up and Running! series of writing activities in response to that very challenge. I’ve used it in small group instruction as well as one-on-one. I found that my struggling writers/readers were better able to learn when I by-passed the direct teach and went directly to the ‘work’ I wanted them to do. The issues of attention deficits, short term/working memory problems, and general distractibility were greatly reduced. The conventions of language were taught during the process of task completion. You may already know this approach as inductive (vs. deductive).
At Level E, students compose short paragraphs by responding to a series of question prompts with complete sentences. When the sentences are written one-after-the-other, a paragraph is formed. Stumbling blocks such as spelling and not knowing what to write are eliminated. A short answer is provided after each question. Words from the questions themselves can be combined with the short answers to compose complete sentence responses. When verb forms need to be changed, a reminder follows the short answer.
With the obstacles to writing removed, students can focus on reading the words in the prompts and immediately transposing them. Working memories are activated in this way which, hopefully, opens pathways into long-term memories.
Please note The Up and Running! series does not teach the “writing process”. It is designed as part of students’ first steps towards becoming writers.
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Copyright © 2015 Nicolas L Morgan the purchase of these materials intended for single classroom use only