Earlier this year, I attended a session put on by my board that focussed on many of the strategies Kelly Gallagher wrote about in his book “Teaching Adolescent Writers”. I loved many of the ideas shared but was frustrated by the lack of examples that used technology. I also have read the book and found that most of the examples that Gallagher uses are done by hand.
One of the Principle’s the the author presents is that “sometimes we have to take a step backward before we can move forward” and that “before we can get reluctant students to write well… we first have to warm, them up to the notion of writing.” (pg.92-93) Through the use of “writing games”, students participate in tons of “safe practice” and to get their “feet wet” in the writing world.
As I teacher of many struggling and reluctant writers, I know that a written expression disorder is not easily remedied through simple strategies or techniques. Many of the ways Gallagher suggested, although amazing, did not address fine motor issues or a developed sense of helplessness. I wondered how can we accommodate these writing games to work better for our students. Technology seemed like a great way to achieve this.
Tonight I am presenting to a group of congregated and itinerant teachers who focus on students with behaviour exceptionalities. I plan on sharing these strategies and will be asking them to send me their feedback and exemplars of student work so I may see the results.
I compiled the list below with a summary of the activity and the tool that you can accommodate it with. I have shared it here for you! It is a draft and I intend on adding more.