Learning Challenges

He Talks, I Type

One teacher devises a unique way to help ADD students put down their ideas on paper.

“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

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