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Speech in the Schools

Helping Kids who HATE to Write

Published January 8, 2014 9:31 AM by Alexandra Streeter

In accordance with my resolutions to 1) work on curricular material and goals, and 2) use materials available in the school, I've been working on written language with many of my students. Many of my students have really good narrative language goals (I love inheriting so many goals from other wonderful SLP's!)  Narrative language is a key to school success, and many of "our " students struggle both orally AND in writing.

Sometimes I get classroom assignments from teachers in advance, sometimes I find fun activities on "Teachers Pay Teachers" or sometimes I create my own little thematic/calendar appropriate writing lesson. 

In order to help my students be successful, I use graphic organizers to help them plan in advance. There are many good ones online, I like to use the ones at, and At times, I have been able to access a free day on which provides lessons based on books in the website.  I also like letting kids make their own graphic organizers using Kidspiration  ( on the computer and on the IPAD.

Sometimes all it takes for a reluctant writer is something special! My students LOVE to use mechanical pencils and SMENCILS  (purchased cheaply at an after holiday sale at Barnes and Noble.) I also like to create graphic organizers and writing prompt on different sized paper! It's funny how motivated they can be  to get a HUGE piece of  ledger paper with plenty of space to doodle and write.

I have my students read what they have written, and go back to "fix" grammar/syntax that doesn't sound correct. If they can't figure it out, then I give them a choice, "Is it I HAVE or I HAS?"

I like to tell my students what I want to do, give them some time or have them verbalize how to begin, and if they can't, provide scaffolding for their success. Success is the goal, and I try very hard to ensure that everyone meets the goal for the session.

Finally, there's nothing like carrots at the end of the session! Sometimes I might tell kids they can choose a quick IPAD game (there's been LOTS of  Bad Piggies" in my room lately, kids have to cooperate, problem solve, and it doesn't take over the session.)

It's always important to collaborate with classroom teachers and consult with the  OT's to ensure that my sessions piggy back on the rest of their targets.


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"Cool" mechanical pencils definitely do motivate reluctant writers! Favorite's are twist n write and griptec pencil (found for only $1 at

They also like writing on magnetic slates or write n wipe boards.

grace otr January 17, 2014 2:05 PM

Great post! I am an SLP in an elementary/middle school. Can you post examples of some narrative language goals that you like? Also, how do you take data for these goals? Thanks!!!

Marni , SLP January 17, 2014 12:29 PM

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About this Blog

    Speech in the Schools
    Occupation: School-based speech-language pathologists
    Setting: Traditional and specialized K-12 classrooms
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