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Activity for a staff meeting about writing.

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by EmmaFleming7, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. EmmaFleming7

    EmmaFleming7 New commenter

    Hi,
    I am currently undertaking my NPQML and am having to carry out a staff training session as part of my school improvement project.
    My SIP is about writing and so is my staff training session.

    I am in need of an activity that I can get the staff to do that will allow them to experience how difficult it can be for our children to write if they are unable.
    I have got the obvious ones of using the opposite hand or using your mouth or feet. I need something a bit different though and one that will really make my staff want to come on board with the project.

    Thanks Emma
     
  2. sofia_sen

    sofia_sen Occasional commenter

    Maybe use different characters for letters? Completely make them up, write something in the board (you will need to practice this so you are perfect) and ask them to copy it.
    It will probably take them a long time to do this and they might form the "letters" incorrectly. At that point you could show them how unfair it is to criticise them because they are trying but the writing just doesn't make sense. As it doesn't for students with dyslexia.

    Or make them write in a different language which also is hard because they won't know the meaning. Same for EAL or other students with limited vocabulary.

    Maybe show them videos of students who have poor fine motor skills? I had somebody in my classroom recently who felt 1 of my students was ready for writing. She came in and observed he was not yet able to open and close clothes pegs. Or to use scissors. That made her understand he was still far away from holding a pen and writing.
     
    minnie me likes this.
  3. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Yes I used to get staff to write something in Farsi and ask them to copy within a time frame ....
     
  4. languageisheartosay

    languageisheartosay Occasional commenter

    Or try getting one of a pair to TELL the other how to write a word letter by letter without using any of the letter names. It helps children to learn to form letters when we verbalise e.g. 'go across, up and back, keep going around and ... stop!' But that's when we are also demonstrating. Without a demonstration you have to rely on knowing which side to begin, the words for the direction of travel, that we have letters with tall bits and others with tails etc.
     
    missrturner likes this.
  5. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    How about writing upside down, or mirror writing?
     
  6. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    I'm sure they'll grasp it if you simply explain it verbally.

    We're not that stupid you know.

    And it will save your staff complaining about their valuable time that was wasted on something pretty much all of them will be able to appreciate anyway.

    I once spent an hour making making a dice from instructions in French to get across the point that if you don't speak a language, it can be hard to understand what people are saying. I had no idea that might be the case beforehand. That was 16 years ago. I'd already lived in a country with a different language and script to English.

    Sorry, but best to hear it now than afterwards. Your staff may still appreciate it. Not everyone's as cynical as me.
     
  7. missrturner

    missrturner Occasional commenter

    At University we were played a Russian version of the children's story Dear Zoo and asked to write it down as the audio was playing. Being native English speakers we all found this really hard. Our lecturer made the point that without the right support (word mats, picture prompts, intervention, repetition etc) it was a difficult task that most of us actually gave up on/became frustrated with. It was really powerful to understand how feeling that way can create negative feelings and really hinder writing for life and just how important the writing process/support is for those learning to write.
     
    Kartoshka likes this.

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