"A student who struggles to get his ideas on paper may need nothing more than a typist. When I have such a student, I have him list the story's characters, setting, problem, solution, and four main events. Using this 'story map,' he composes his story orally as I type it into the computer. Along the way, I ask questions and refer to his notes to keep us on track.
"When the main part of the story is complete, I give one instruction at a time -- write an exciting opening sentence, for example, or describe the setting in greater detail -- and have him fill in the rest. The result is always something to be proud of."
-Karen Sunderhaft, fourth-grade teacher, Shaker Heights, Ohio