There are writing activities teachers can implement in the classroom to help special education students become more confident in their writing ability. To be effective, writing activities should be used in all areas of learning that require writing.
Pre-writing hand exercises help students flex their writing muscles and improve dexterity. Before all writing assignments, teachers should instruct students to flex their fingers, press palms on desks, and squeeze fists or stress balls.
For more in-depth activities, teachers should use plastic tweezers for special education students to grasp and release small objects and play finger games to improve fine motor skills.
Students who struggle with the mechanical aspect of writing will benefit from assisted technology in the classroom. Mechanical activities include writing alphabet letters, numbers and vocabulary words multiple times, upgrading to writing sentences for older children.
Pencil grips come in various shapes and sizes to help students hold their pencils properly, and paper with raised lines forces students to keep their handwriting straight. Similarly, a tilted surface helps children keep their bodies in line with their writing.
Teachers can buy bookmarks with transparent strips called EZC Readers to aid students in tracking words in textbooks. Trackers can also be made from cardboard or construction paper by cutting out a rectangle in the middle of the paper about an inch high. Trackers are most often used for writing activities that require students to copy information from a book.
If handwriting is still laborious and time consuming, electronic writing tools may be a better solution for longer writing activities. The Alpha-smart is used in many special education classrooms, and is lightweight and portable. Teachers and paraprofessionals can also transcribe for a child when electronic writing tools are not available.
Visual aids help children who have trouble organizing their thoughts and putting them on paper. For younger children, teachers can cut out pictures and ask special education students to identify them out loud. Students will then write the word on paper, followed by a sentence that uses the word. Continue reading