Learning Challenges

He Talks, I Type

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

Reviewed on April 19, 2017

“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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