Writing Resources

Writing Resources

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Please see Writing Intervention Guide for St. Vrain Special Education (last updated, 02/2016).  Writing Intervention Guide (Doc) or Writing Intervention Guide- St Vrain 2015-2016 – Google Docs  (PDF)

Helpful tips and strategies for struggling writers:

1. If you have a struggling writer, with or without an IEP goal around writing, conduct a curriculum based measure to learn about your student’s current writing performance. Aimsweb norms can be used with a 3 minute probe for writing across K-12 grade levels. You can also conduct extended  time CBMs for your baseline and progress monitoring data. Recommended times for grade bands (Fuchs & Fuchs, 2007) are:

Time Recommendations for Written Expression for CBM Grade Level Time

  • Mid-elementary 3 minutes
  • Late-elementary 5 minutes
  • Middle school 7 minutes
  • High school 7 minutes

2. Fuchs and Fuchs recommend the steps listed below for developing a comprehensive writing intervention program for struggling writers. The Writing Manual is attached here and page numbers directly related to reference materials are, “Steps for Conducting CBM” (Fuchs & Fuchs, 2007):

  • Step 1: How to Place Students in a Written Expression or Spelling CBM Task for Progress Monitoring (page 6)
  • Step 2: How to Identify the Level for Material for Monitoring Progress (page 7)
  • Step 3: How to Administer and Score Written Expression and Spelling CBM Probes (page 7) • Written Expression (page 8) • Spelling (page 15)
  • Step 4: How to Graph Scores (page 22)
  • Step 5: How to Set Ambitious Goals (page 24)
  • Step 6: How to Apply Decision Rules to Graphed Scores to Know When to Revise Programs and Increase Goals (page 30)
  • Step 7: How to Use the CBM Database Qualitatively to Describe Students’ Strengths and Weaknesses (page 35). writing_manual_2007 2

Ideas to Help Get Students Writing

  • Use pictures or story boarding to brainstorm.
  • Use graphic organizers in conjunction with technology.
  • Use a digital recorder for brainstorming or the initial version of the text. Then have the student use his/her auditory notes to put his/her ideas on paper and edit.
  • Have a student dictate and/or a scribe can help get started by typing the student’s oral work onto a computer with no punctuation, capitalization, or editing, for later revision by the student.
  • Use webbing software such as Inspiration or Kidspiration (or other graphic organizer software) to help students brainstorm and organize their ideas before writing. Inspiration is available at most schools. However, if you do not have access, a copy can be purchased at www.inspiration.com
  • Break down the writing process into smaller chunks: have students put together a story or report using Power Point or Comic Life. Comic Life enables students to build their own cartoons. It is available on all computers in grades 3rd through 12th. If you are unable to find it on your computer please talk to your IT person.
  • Use writing boards to aid students in constructing complete sentences. Writing boards can be easily built using the BoardMaker Plus software.
  • Obtain notes from a friend, the teacher, or a para educator
  • Accept “alternatives to handwriting” for presenting assignments, when necessary, or appropriate (this can include oral presentation, artwork, poster presentation, etc.)
  • Go visual: Offer alternatives to writing, such as SketchUp to show their ideas visually rather than through text.SketchUp can be downloaded for free.

St. Vrain Curriculum Resources:

Curricular Resources

Intervention Tools:

St. Vrain’s Literacy Intervention Blog

6 Traing Writing Rubric

Writing Fix: 6 Traits Instruction and Differentiation

Intervention Central- Probes, Instruction ideas and Resources

Probe Generator

Think SRSD- Self Regulated, Strategy Development

SRSD overview article

EEO’s Reading and Writing

Lined Paper with Yellow Highlighting

Writing Intervention Guide- St Vrain 2015-2016

Guided Writing Intervention steps for K-5 students using Lucy Calkins

Graphic Organizer Generator

Guided Writing Template- K-5

Shake Up Learning eBook– Google Help Guide for Drive, Docs, and more!

Hobbit Retell Template for Multi-Modal Writing

Categories of Writing Resource Links:

  1. Spelling
    1. Elkonin Boxes for visualizing spelling and dissecting letter sounds

2. Handwriting:

Handwriting strategies and tips for working with students with autism