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Haley Brigman
Freedom in Writing
Thu Jun 18, 2015 23:03
206.48.23.244 (XFF: 172.20.2.96)

I was a bit apprehensive when I began this module because I am much more comfortable with reading instruction than writing instruction. However, I was very interested in the approach that this weeks readings and lectures seemed to take on writing instruction. Some of those ideas are letting the students write without standards and not explicitly teaching grammar and punctuation rules. I think if I had been taught this way, I would enjoy writing a bit more. The freedom of creativity and imagination is empowering.

I feel there is still much to learn about writing instruction for students with ASD but I think this will come with experience. I think the most important thing to remember when teaching writing is to let the students write without stipulations and to also make them feel prideful about their writing no matter how developed or undeveloped it may be.

  • Module #4 Writing Instruction - koppenhaverd, Sat Jun 13 15:09
    Discuss writing instruction for children with ASD in this threaded discussion. How would you describe their relative strengths and needs in general (i.e., as you get to know an individual student... more
    • Story Elements - wigginsmr, Sat Jun 20 23:50
      I watched the video about Cole and I noticed that Cole tells you that "he put it together with characters." This shows that he is learning about story elements through writing his own stories and he... more
    • Writing Instruction Module - Hayden Porter, Sat Jun 20 23:42
      Writing can be so tricky for students, because it is such a comprehensive task. Not only must the student form thoughts or opinions in an understandable way, but be able to somehow... more
      • Re: Writing Instruction Module - K. Madison Broome, Tue Jun 23 09:37
        This is such an insightful post! I agree with everything you've said. I think the best way to show them that it is fun is to sometimes let them write just to write. Don't edit, correct, or... more
    • What is pen and paper? - K. Madison Broome, Sat Jun 20 23:32
      One thing I liked in the Erickson and Koppenhaver article is how they mentioned what exactly pen and paper can refer to. Specifically they said, "Pencils refer to whatever writing tool and process a... more
      • Reply to Madison Broome - Hayden Porter, Sat Jun 20 23:50
        That is such a good point to make, and one that I think sometimes we need a reminder of. I think it is important to provide students with whatever mediums/tools/technology they need in order to be... more
    • How do we advocate for our students? - hildebranak, Sat Jun 20 22:32
      In this course I have learned about many assistive devices I had no idea existed. I am sure there are parents of ASD students that are no aware of all the technology that will benefit their ASD... more
      • Reply - K. Madison Broome, Sat Jun 20 23:34
        I agree that by informing and making parents aware of the possibilities gives them the power they need. We must advocate for our students and work to get them what they really need!
      • I think this goes back to the accessibility of these devices and how it is often expensive to obtain them for the students. I feel like as a teacher, we should try to get the appropriate technology... more
    • Research and Writing Instruction - Chelsea King, Sat Jun 20 19:39
      Writing seems to be one of the most difficult aspects for children with ASD. In working with children with ASD Iíve witnessed firsthand that they have so much going on inside their heads, but itís so ... more
      • RE: Research and Writing Instruction - Ali Carr, Sat Jun 20 22:16
        I agree with you in that I think that writing seems to be one of the most difficult things for kids who have ASD. When I have worked with student with ASD I have had a sillier experience as you in... more
      • Reply-Chelsea - Rebecca McVey, Sat Jun 20 20:43
        I really found myself thinking about the statement that you made in one of your first sentences; "they have so much going on in their heads." From this unit, and even those in the past, we have... more
        • Graphic Organizers - coxdm, Sat Jun 20 23:05
          I love that you mentioned the use of graphic organizers and visual models to help ASD students. I find that this is helpful to get all their thoughts and ideas onto paper in an organized way that... more
    • Writing Instruction - Ali Carr, Sat Jun 20 19:06
      From the videos that I watched this week and from my experience in working with students with ASD, they are able to know what they want to write but have a hard time expressing themselves and... more
      • Re: Writing Instruction - coxdm, Sat Jun 20 20:50
        I agree that each student is going to differ on what they prefer to use when writing. I think that using technology can allow students to use many different online programs to map out their ideas.... more
      • Re: Writing Instruction - parsonkl, Sat Jun 20 19:31
        I think it is personal preference as to whether the students use technology or other ways to write. I personally agree with you and feel most students enjoy using the technology to learn and write... more
    • Technology & Money - parsonkl, Sat Jun 20 18:38
      One thing I really noticed was technology was a big part of helping students to learn. A question that I had in my group discussion I would like to know more about, is what about students with ASD... more
      • Re: Technology & Money - coxdm, Sat Jun 20 22:35
        Thank you for bringing up this point! I feel like so often, we take for granted the luxuries that technology brings to the classroom. I think that it is important to teach students with the best... more
      • Re: Technology and Money - wigginsmr, Sat Jun 20 22:23
        I agree, the schools should be able to help with accommodations and materials that kids need, but just like with books and teacher assistants the money is just not coming in unless it comes from... more
      • Reply: Technology and Money - Erica Phelps, Sat Jun 20 22:11
        I am not 100% sure, but I think that there must be some sort of funding for this type of thing at some schools. I can't say that this is the case at all schools, but I have worked in three different... more
      • Re: Technology & Money - Ali Carr, Sat Jun 20 22:07
        I think that you make an interesting point with this. I have thought about this with kids who are not able to afford technology when they might need it. From my experiences I have seen that some... more
      • Response - Technology & Money - Chelsea King, Sat Jun 20 19:28
        Wow! Such an excellent point made here. So often it doesn't occur to us how much of an issue money can be when it comes to a student's learning and the resources needed for them to achieve. When I... more
    • Bedrosian Article - brawleyeo, Sat Jun 20 17:05
      As I read this article I often wondered how do you keep the peer student and their typically developing literacy skills from overshadowing the skills of the student with autism? The student with... more
      • Re: Bedrosian Article - wigginsmr, Sat Jun 20 23:12
        I think that partner work in general can help both students involved. If the teacher needs to assess the student with ASD's writing ability then they will work with that student individually, but I... more
      • Re: Bedrosian Article - coxdm, Sat Jun 20 22:44
        Iíve always loved the idea of partner work. I think it is beneficial for both students because they are able to contribute their strengths while having someone available to help where they need it. I ... more
      • RE: Bedrosian Article - parsonkl, Sat Jun 20 19:00
        I think the general idea from this was to help the student that was struggling more to learn from the stronger student. I feel the peer was suppose to act as a helping hand, and encourage the... more
    • Tracing Question - brawleyeo, Sat Jun 20 16:50
      When reading the Koppenhaver article, student #1, Oliver, was copying words written by his teacher. We learned in the instruction lectures that copying is an activity that should be discouraged and... more
      • Re: Tracing Question - coxdm, Sat Jun 20 23:12
        I also agree that there are many different opinions as to the benefits of tracing and copying. I agree with Karley that there could have been more reasons that the teacher was having the student... more
      • Re: Tracing Question - Karley Ingold, Sat Jun 20 16:58
        This also confused me because of the conflicting opinions. I would think that some copying would be necessary for students to just be able to work on learning how to hold the pencil correctly and... more
        • Re: Re: Tracing Question - brawleyeo, Sat Jun 20 17:08
          That's what I was thinking as well. In the case of Oliver, while he is copying and learning how to hold the pencil and write letters, he's working on those fine motor movements with words that are... more
    • AT and writing - luckadooso, Sat Jun 20 16:20
      One of the most interesting things I learned this week was the use of AT in the classroom in regards to writing. I have worked with several college age students who use assistive devices to help them ... more
      • RE: AT and writing - Ali Carr, Sat Jun 20 22:21
        I think that in order for these students to be able to understand the spell check, we need to teach them. Just like we as educators would teach them any other thing I think we need to teach them... more
      • Re: AT and writing - Karley Ingold, Sat Jun 20 16:31
        I think this is an excellent question. I have also noticed that some students that are given devices that are supposed to aid them in the classroom settings sometimes have no idea how to use them and ... more
        • AT devices - brawleyeo, Sat Jun 20 17:16
          I've noticed at the Communication Disorders Clinic that when clients are considered for receiving an assistive device that there is a 30 day trial period for the device before ordering their own... more
    • Module 4 Reply - Navila Castro, Sat Jun 20 16:11
      During this week in Module 4 I have learned that students with ASD have the strength of expressing their ideas through writing like everyone else, their "weakness" would be they cannot follow... more
      • Different forms of Writing - coxdm, Sat Jun 20 23:34
        I completely agree with you Navila. I think it is important that teachers know what a student needs to work on more and adjust your teaching to focus on helping the students improve. I love all the... more
      • Reply- Navila Castro. - Rebecca McVey, Sat Jun 20 20:27
        A lot of the thoughts conveyed in your post were similar to the thoughts I carried throughout the unit. One of the main things that I took, that was similar to what you expressed, was the idea of... more
      • Re: Module 4 Reply - Karley Ingold, Sat Jun 20 17:27
        While I agree that these programs are amazing for students, maybe removing the need to learn any type of writing or grammar skills when using them could hinder students in the future when these... more
      • Numerous Programs - whitemb2, Sat Jun 20 16:28
        When reading these articles and chapters, I was not aware of all these programs that students could use to help assist them with their writing. I mean I know some existed, but I never knew what they... more
    • Is it too much? - Britt Hatcher, Sat Jun 20 12:36
      This week was packed full of information and there was so much to take in, and there were so many things that I found interesting. The one thing that I kept finding myself going back to was the... more
      • RE: is it too much - tatem1, Sat Jun 20 22:05
        I actually think it is the opposite. I believe technology helps students from getting overwhelmed. For example, in one of the videos the Co:Writer helped the student write by removing the difficulty... more
        • RE: is it too much - Britt Hatcher, Sat Jun 20 23:55
          I am glad to see other opinions Marcela. I can see why you think that it can help students from getting overwhelmed. But, like I have previously stated, to do that the technology would have to be... more
      • Reply to Britt - parsonkl, Sat Jun 20 18:25
        Britt, this is something I noticed as well. A question I had in my group discussion was what about the students in poverty areas that can't even afford all of this technology? If we rely on... more
        • Re: Reply to Britt - Britt Hatcher, Sat Jun 20 23:58
          That is one thing that I have thought of as well. If a student has a laptop but has not internet access at home to complete online assignments is the laptop really that useful? I think that there are ... more
      • My Thought Exactly! - whitemb2, Sat Jun 20 15:49
        I wondered how this would affect children who didn't have this type of technology in their home life, that teachers will have to show students how to use such programs and technology. Some students... more
        • Re: My Thought Exactly! - Britt Hatcher, Sat Jun 20 16:00
          I agree with you! I think that we need to continue to teach our students to use the traditional way of writing with paper and pencil, but when it comes to an ASD student, we are going to have to... more
      • Re: Is it too much? - Karley Ingold, Sat Jun 20 15:28
        After reading through many of the studies and watching the videos I began having this same question. I think most of us have grown up in the generation that is seeing things change from being taught... more
        • Re: Is it too much? - Britt Hatcher, Sat Jun 20 15:57
          I fear sometimes that technology is going to overtake things such as traditional writing. But, I am still a strong believer in the traditional writing. I think that we need to work with the students... more
      • It matters how you teach it - luckadooso, Sat Jun 20 15:01
        I think this is a great question and one that my group pondered over as well. I think it is very important how you teach with the technology. If you graze over how to utilize it rather than going... more
        • Re: It matters how you teach it - Britt Hatcher, Sat Jun 20 15:11
          Do you think that we rely to much on technology to assist the ASD students because it is "easy"?
          • Technology - luckadooso, Sat Jun 20 16:00
            I don't think so. I think that technology has opened doors for students that previously remained closed. When used appropriately in the classroom, technology can help students to communicate their... more
            • Re: Technology - Britt Hatcher, Sat Jun 20 17:48
              Right, I think that it has to be choosen based on the child and the needs that they have. Teachers just need to be careful not to rely entirely on technology.
      • RE: Is it too much? - Nicholas Flippen, Sat Jun 20 13:28
        That's a great question, Britt! I think like with all things, you have to assess what works best for your students. If the technology appeals to your student and they are able to use it to write more ... more
        • RE: Is it too much? - Britt Hatcher, Sat Jun 20 15:08
          I definitely agree that it depends on the student and what works best for them. But do you think that when we use technology with these students, that we are hindering them from the possibility of... more
    • Writing Instruction Discussion - Mary Carsley - carsleymm, Sat Jun 20 12:02
      This week was so full of amazing and powerful information! I have seen so many teachers instructing in a way that is counterproductive...I count myself among those who thought they had a handle on... more
      • Response - Writing Instruction - Chelsea King, Sat Jun 20 20:02
        Yes!! I completely agree with you and for SO long I have thought tracing was completely meaningless and I never saw the point of it in a classroom. It's really not teaching the student anything! I... more
      • Reply-Mary Carsley - Rebecca McVey, Sat Jun 20 18:12
        I agree with your statement on tracing. I am glad that this course was able to not only influence your instruction for the better, but also the instruction of those on your team (with the exception... more
      • RE: Writing Instruction Discussion - Nicholas Flippen, Sat Jun 20 13:33
        Hello, Mary! I absolutely agree that students should be allowed the freedom to creatively write without worrying about being punished for poor grammar and spelling. Dr. Gill, one of the reading... more
      • re: mary carsley writing instruction discussion - stacy huffman, Sat Jun 20 12:18
        Mary I feel like this week's lecture is a pivotal turning point in the way that I teach! I will no longer have my students trace- ANYTHING! Additionally, I will no longer use any type of writing... more
    • Re: Module #4 Writing Instruction - hinesjd, Sat Jun 20 11:39
      I really enjoyed this week's module. One of things I think is important to consider as far as each student's individual strengths and weaknesses is which writing mediums they respond best to. If a... more
      • 3rd Grade - whitemb2, Sat Jun 20 16:03
        The only experience I had in a school setting with pen pals was 3rd grade. I was in a private school and they set us up on Compassion program where we wrote to children across the globe and talked... more
      • Correction - hinesjd, Sat Jun 20 12:28
        Sorry forgot to add the subject line: "Writing for fun or instruction?"
      • re: module #4 writing instruction hinesjd - stacy huffman, Sat Jun 20 11:58
        I completely agree with finding the writing medium that students respond best to! I have a student who has great difficult creating anything independently on paper, but can type in any youtube video... more
        • Reply to Stacy Huffman - carsleymm, Sat Jun 20 12:03
          You're so right...I didn't even discuss this in my post! Technology is something I need to learn A LOT more about. Some of the assistive technology in the videos was amazing! I've got to know what it ... more
    • Enjoyment Leads to Learning? - Karley Ingold, Sat Jun 20 10:41
      I really enjoyed reading about the pen pal programs that the children engaged in through email and then instant messaging because I think it used the perfect amount of fun and enjoyment to motivate... more
      • Pen Pals - luckadooso, Sat Jun 20 15:10
        I think that, ultimately, it boils down to how you set up the pen pal assignment. If you set ground rules that the writing cannot be lazy, or that it must be the best writing that you can do, then... more
      • Response to Karley Ingold - carsleymm, Sat Jun 20 12:06
        Interesting post, Karley. I think the pen pal idea is great too...I've actually done it with my high school students and they love it. I never really worried about my students being able to write... more
      • Re: Enjoyment Leads to Learning? - hinesjd, Sat Jun 20 11:50
        Hey Karley! I read this article too and I didn't know what to think about it at first. I have always been traditional in thinking about how students learn, but that is because I didn't grow up in... more
      • Interesting Point - whitemb2, Sat Jun 20 11:29
        I wasn't thinking about how texting and messaging format may interfere with the real writing we want to receive and see as teachers. I know they made it clear that most students were not to focus on... more
      • Messaging - Sonya Summey, Sat Jun 20 11:18
        I liked that a lot too. The students would definitely have fun having a pen pal and getting messages back and forth. The point of it was to teach correct ways to E-mail and format those, so this will ... more
    • Writing Instruction - Lauren Liivngston, Sat Jun 20 10:40
      I have enjoyed learning about different writing strategies and methods that would be useful when teaching students with ASD writing. In my experience I have found that students with ASD find writing... more
      • Re: Writing Instruction - wigginsmr, Sat Jun 20 23:30
        I have found that students with ASD enjoy drawing to tell a story. Art could be used as a segue into writing. Also, the point that you make about incorporating technology into our writing instruction ... more
      • E-pal Lessons - whitemb2, Sat Jun 20 15:45
        I found the e-pal lessons to be very interesting and engaging. The students were able to use topics and interests to talk about and make it personal which is the best type of writing. I love to see... more
      • Re: Writing Instruction - Karley Ingold, Sat Jun 20 15:32
        I also really liked the idea of the pen pals because it taught a valuable life skill that many students will need to know when they leave the classroom. I just recently took a job working an an... more
      • Writing instruction response - luckadooso, Sat Jun 20 15:28
        I agree with all of your points and your examples were very helpful. I think that E-pals are definitely very useful. Learning to navigate technological communication is a must for 21st century... more
      • RE: Writing Instruction - Nicholas Flippen, Sat Jun 20 13:45
        I agree with you, Lauren! I think the use of technology for our students with ASD has been a break through as far as writing instruction goes. We have found a way to reach these students in a way... more
    • Eric - Sara Pappas, Fri Jun 19 23:20
      The video of Eric really confused me at first. It was hard for me to keep up with what was doing because of the commotion in the background, however, it was really helpful to watch the lecture paired ... more
      • RE: Eric - hildebranak, Sat Jun 20 21:46
        I enjoyed learning from Eric's video also. I know I need time to make revisions to things and these students should be given that same opportunity. Sometimes when I take time away from my homework I... more
      • Re: Eric - brawleyeo, Sat Jun 20 17:26
        I thought it was really interesting how Eric used the label maker as his "pencil". I hadn't really considered the idea of "pencils" encompassing a myriad of writing utensils and until watching the... more
      • Response to Eric - Navila Castro, Sat Jun 20 09:39
        I agree with you Sara, after watching the lecture on Eric you can really understand where he is coming from in the video. I found interesting that his aide was with him from the from kindergarten... more
      • Eric's progress - Cassidy Milosh, Sat Jun 20 08:48
        I was also fascinated by Eric's work! The dialogue going on between Eric and his aide showed that he understood communication through and about writing. She was great at helping him to form phrases... more
    • Writing Programs - brownrf, Fri Jun 19 22:42
      This week, I was really interested in all of the writing programs that are available. After watching all of the vides of the students using programs like CoWriter and WriteOutLoud, I am definitely... more
      • RE: Writing Programs - Nicholas Flippen, Sat Jun 20 13:41
        This week was full of useful software programs that can assist students in spelling instruction and writing. I think the use of these programs is fantastic! If we have the technology and the ability... more
      • RE: writing programs - Lauren Livingston, Sat Jun 20 10:46
        I too love learning about practical programs and apps that are used to help students with ASD learn about literacy and writing. There are many Apps that you can download on the Ipad that meet the... more
      • reply to writing programs - Navila Castro, Sat Jun 20 10:03
        Yes, I even found out that there is an app for Co:Writer available for i-pads that is less than 20.00 that can help the student keep practicing writing even when they are outside of school.
    • Freedom in E-Pals - Allison Powers, Fri Jun 19 22:35
      One thing our group talked about was how much structure needed to be provided for the E-Pal program. I think that one of the benefits to the students is they can discuss what matters to them. I would ... more
      • Re: Freedom in E-Pals - coxdm, Sat Jun 20 23:23
        I love the idea of using the E-Pal program to encourage student writing. I think that it is important to allow the students the freedom to write whatever they are interested in so that they stay... more
      • Questions to Start - whitemb2, Sat Jun 20 16:52
        I do believe that starting these programs, students should be given a list of topics and questions to work with in order to guide them in the right direction with responses. Just like Socratic... more
      • Rerouting - luckadooso, Sat Jun 20 15:53
        I think that this is an extremely appropriate idea. I don't think that you want to take all of the power away from the child, but you do want to make sure that they have enough structure to where the ... more
      • Reply to Allison Powers - carsleymm, Sat Jun 20 12:12
        Interesting points, Allison. I struggle in my role as a teacher in guiding my students towards staying on topic. I want them to write about what interests them, but, at what point, does it become... more
      • Re: Freedom in E-Pals - Megan rembert, Sat Jun 20 11:51
        i think a great way to start moving away from blues clues is to find the aspects of blues clues that he likes, and begin to introduce him to new similar things. Is it the animation or is it the... more
      • RE: freedom in e-pals - Lauren Livingston, Sat Jun 20 10:58
        We also discussed the idea of E-pals in our group... I love the idea of E-pals for my students and I am excited to implement this in my classroom with a joint classroom. I understand your thoughts... more
      • reply to e-pals - Navila Castro, Sat Jun 20 09:59
        I agree with you Allison, teachers should not set strict specific rules for their students to follow when composing, as we saw in the lecture, this hinders complete expression because there are... more
    • Kristen Video - Rebecca McVey, Fri Jun 19 22:13
      In the video, Kristen, a sixteen year old student with ASD. She is using Microsoft Power Point to write about pictures of frogs presented in different environments. In her writing, she uses a lot of... more
      • Reply to Rebecca McVey - carsleymm, Sat Jun 20 12:10
        Rebecca, I had the same thoughts about Kristen's interests. Is she really into frogs or was that the teacher's choice? And I also agree about the teacher "modeling" for Kristen how to write a... more
      • Re: Kristen Video - hinesjd, Sat Jun 20 11:57
        Great thoughts. I really like what you had to say about this video, and I like how Allison made the connection to an earlier video. I think that is a great way to provide corrective feedback to... more
      • Teacher help - Sonya Summey, Sat Jun 20 11:23
        I also liked this video and the idea that the student writes first and then the teacher. I would like to assume that the student chose the topic, but my main concern is that the student mostly just... more
      • Reply to Kristen Video - Allison Powers, Fri Jun 19 22:25
        The way she corrected after modeling reminds me of what Dr. Koppenhaver did in an earlier module. They had the students sign in, then said, "This is how you wrote (name). This is how I write (name)." ... more
    • AT and Writing Instruction - Nicholas Flippen, Fri Jun 19 20:06
      One thing I really pulled from the materials this week is what an important role assistive technology can play for a student with ASD learning to write. In so many of the articles and videos it seem... more
      • Conventional writing - luckadooso, Sat Jun 20 16:06
        I absolutely agree with you. Conventional writing is not for everyone and should not be forced onto students. I think our main goal is an interest in writing and maintaining a form of communication.... more
      • Reply to Nicholas Flippen - carsleymm, Sat Jun 20 12:08
        I was really interested in the assistive technology, too. It seems like there are so many ways we can now help our students with ASD that it is shameful to not embrace them. You're right in that we... more
      • Typing vs. Writing - Navila Castro, Sat Jun 20 10:21
        I believe that using technology to write can become the new way to teach students with ASD how to write. I learned this week that the worksheets that trace letters and words are not helpful and do... more
      • Re: AT and Writing Instruction - brownrf, Fri Jun 19 23:30
        I really liked the CO:Writer software too! I thought it was a really cool way for Ashley (and any student using it) to write a whole story and use complete sentences. It was so great how it guessed... more
      • Nick Reply - Rebecca McVey, Fri Jun 19 22:23
        Nick, I really found myself thinking about the same concepts throughout the week. I completely agree that being able to meet the needs of students with Assistive Technology (AT). Is a great and... more
      • Reply to Nicholas - Haley Brigman, Fri Jun 19 22:00
        Nicholas, I didn't realize that AT played such a heavy role in instruction for students with ASD. I have some experience in the schools and with students with ASD, and I've never seen AT being used.... more
        • AT - Allison Powers, Fri Jun 19 23:10
          I agree with Becca, some skills that involve pen and paper for everyday life and independence are important. I think we are all hesitant when it comes to incorporating technology into our students'... more
    • Writing with pictures - wigginsmr, Fri Jun 19 12:52
      I watched the videos about Cole this week. Cole is a high school student with ASD and he wrote a comic book in which he is the super hero and the main character. I found Cole's drawings and writings... more
      • RE: Writing with Pictures - parsonkl, Sat Jun 20 18:52
        Yes, I agree art is a great way to get students involved in learning. I have seen an activity done where students went on a nature walk, and drew about what they saw outside. When they came back... more
      • Wow! - Sonya Summey, Sat Jun 20 17:52
        Wow! That is an awesome experience that you had with Bobby. I love how you ended up making a book about it too. I know that it meant a lot to him and like we have learned in this class, he probably... more
      • Comic Books - whitemb2, Sat Jun 20 16:23
        I find comic books to be difficult for students because they have to learn the format and how to follow the dialogue between characters and understand which picture comes when. I think it is awesome... more
      • Writing with art - luckadooso, Sat Jun 20 16:09
        I think this is a really great idea and I remember doing this as a kid as well. I would draw a story and tell it to my mom and she would write on the pages what I said. I remember when I learned to... more
      • RE: Writing with pictures - Nicholas Flippen, Sat Jun 20 13:36
        That is absolutely amazing! I agree that art is a great avenue to get students learning about stories and writing. Pictures most of the time lead to words. I think it's great that you gave Bobby the... more
      • Bobby's book - Cassidy Milosh, Sat Jun 20 08:51
        That is amazing! I'm so happy that the child you babysit has found his love for writing and drawing. By engaging with him about a story he loves, you showed him you would be interested in any... more
    • I really enjoyed reading Developing Technology- Supported, Evidence-Based Writing Instruction for Adolescents with Significant Writing Disabilities by Wollak and Koppenhaver (2011). They introduced a ... more
      • Response - EPals - Chelsea King, Sat Jun 20 19:50
        Maggie, this was not an article that I was assigned to read this week, however I believe that I may go back and read it after seeing how much my peers seem to have enjoyed reading it this week. I... more
      • Educational E-Pal - Rachel Caldwell, Fri Jun 19 15:41
        I found myself so excited about this program and the modifications thought of and the progress made. I was thinking about your questions as I reread some of the sections about the E-pal program. I do ... more
        • E-Pals - Allison Powers, Fri Jun 19 22:12
          One of the videos was about a boy named Joey and his experience with the E-pals. First, I think it is really important to state that he seemed to enjoy writing to his E-pal. I also read an article... more
    • Power of peers - Megan Rembert, Fri Jun 19 10:05
      i read an article that had a study showing how working with a peer over time can increase your story writing abilities and was it ever effective. I always thought of peer writing as you do the... more
      • Re: Power of Peers - parsonkl, Sat Jun 20 19:08
        It is amazing how beneficial having a peer collaboration from students can be. I think group work is a excellent idea. I believe in this case, the students thrived off each others strengths and... more
      • Re: power of peers - Sonya Summey, Sat Jun 20 17:56
        I absolutely agree. Thinking back to middle and high school I know that students would take advantage of working in groups. Some kids did a lot of work and other didn't. It is the same in the real... more
      • re: power of peers - stacy huffman, Sat Jun 20 12:07
        Megan I really like the idea of peer writing. I can see how this could not on increase a student's story writing ability, but for students with ASD it is a great way to work on social skills in a... more
      • Re: Power of peers - hinesjd, Sat Jun 20 12:01
        I think one of the best benefits of this type of instruction is the increased confidence that the struggling writer can gain. Being able to work with a peer gives you a great role model to watch and... more
      • RE: power of peers - Lauren Livingston, Sat Jun 20 11:09
        I too read this article and was amazed at how well this strategy worked to facilitate the social aspect and written aspect of both the verbal student and the student that used an AAC device. What a... more
      • Power of Peers Reply - Allison Powers, Fri Jun 19 23:01
        I love it when teachers find ways for peers who use AACs to be included. I have been in classes where the student is mainstreamed and the teacher just modifies their work, but they don't have the... more
      • Peer Writing - Amanda Wallace, Fri Jun 19 21:49
        I really like the idea of peer writing. Putting two students together with different strengths and weaknesses could really help them to learn from each other.
        • Reply to Amanda - Haley Brigman, Fri Jun 19 22:08
          Amanda, I agree! I read this study and I found it interesting how the students bounced ideas off of each other and worked together to create a collaborative piece. They did learn from each other, the ... more
      • Re: Power of Peers - wigginsmr, Fri Jun 19 12:22
        Working with peers for writing is a great tactic for helping students grow in their writing abilities. They can give each other pointers and share ideas in an open atmosphere. I think that this... more
      • Reply to Power of Peers - Maggie Horne, Fri Jun 19 10:40
        Megan, I think that many of us viewed working with peers in that manner. As we were going through school, group work did consist of dividing up the work and not really having in-depth discussion... more
    • Pen and pencil or computer? - Sarah Baier, Thu Jun 18 23:48
      I read the Pennington article and learned a lot about teaching writing for students with an ASD. While reading I got the idea that most of these students prefer to use the computer over traditional... more
      • RE: pen and pencil or computer - tatem1, Sat Jun 20 22:29
        Although technology is great, I believe manual writing will always be a vital part of society. Technology is expensive and can fail or malfunction; therefore, we still need the skill of writing with... more
      • Reply to Sarah - parsonkl, Sat Jun 20 19:25
        Sarah, I also noticed that the students prefer using technology versus actually writing. In the module from this week, I don't even remember seeing a student actually writing. I think this is... more
      • Re: pen and pencil or computer? - Sonya Summey, Sat Jun 20 17:59
        Many students have a preference, and like you mentioned, now a days children typically choose computer. Whether or not computers could be funded for all students with ASD, what about all the other... more
      • Pen and Paper Response - carsleymm, Sat Jun 20 12:15
        I believe that pen and paper is just not a feasible way for some students to write/communicate. Students struggle with pen and paper for a variety of reason, both cognitive and physical; not just... more
        • Re: Pen and Paper Response - Sarah Baier, Sat Jun 20 13:05
          I completely agree with you, I think some students cannot physically master holding a pencil which can make them do poorly in school and lower their self worth. I had a hard time using a pencil when... more
      • Re: Pen and pencil or computer? - hinesjd, Sat Jun 20 12:08
        Great thought provoking question. In my opinion, no. I will not use the "tradtionalist" argument, but I will say that pencil and paper should always have a place in school as long as we still use... more
        • Re: Pen and pencil or computer? - Sarah Baier, Sat Jun 20 22:20
          Our students would definitely be behind in the world without any form of technology in the classroom. I have been thinking lately about smart boards. I wonder if those would be easier than a regular... more
      • Paper vs. computer - Lauren Livingston, Sat Jun 20 11:22
        Sarah- I too have struggled with this concept as technology is more prevalent in our society and often times our students are not receptive to paper and pencil. Ultimately I think it is important for ... more
      • I don't think so - Britt Hatcher, Fri Jun 19 22:54
        I don't think that we need to ditch the pencil and paper techniques and I don't think that we should fully rely on them either. We live in such an evolving society that we need to keep up with all of ... more
        • Re: I don't think so - Sarah Baier, Fri Jun 19 23:29
          Britt, would you suggest allowing students to use the computer on some assignments and having them use pencil on others? What would you do if a student wants to use a computer but doesn't have one at ... more
          • I suggest - Britt Hatcher, Sat Jun 20 09:35
            I think that is a good start. As we have read there are some ASD students who have done better by using technology, but I think that encouraging them to use paper and pencil and working with them on... more
      • Re: Pen and pencil or computer? - brownrf, Fri Jun 19 22:45
        I think you're right about students now days being more interested in computers but I think it is really important to have our students write with pen and paper. I think it would be good to split up... more
        • Re: Pen and pencil or computer? - Sarah Baier, Fri Jun 19 23:31
          Thats a really good idea, I like that they have a choice to start or end on the computer. I would assume most students would prefer to end their assignment on the computer, I haven't had any... more
      • The Struggle With Pen and Paper - Allison Powers, Fri Jun 19 22:20
        I am currently working with a seven year old boy who has autism. Today, we started writing books and he was super excited to write about Minecraft. After he wrote the first page he said he didn't... more
        • Re: The Struggle with Pen and Paper - wigginsmr, Sat Jun 20 23:47
          I think that practice with fine motor skills and writing are important, but they do not have to be taught at the same time. Students can work on their hand writing and letter formation skills at... more
        • Not being able to communicate - Cassidy Milosh, Sat Jun 20 08:56
          I agree with Allison. It's not so much that they 'prefer' computers or other methods of writing sometimes but that they really need that alternative 'pen and paper'. It's about giving the student... more
        • Re: The Struggle With Pen and Paper - Sarah Baier, Fri Jun 19 23:39
          That software sounds like it would really help students write with confidence. I wonder how much those programs cost to have in your classroom?
      • Writing Instruction - Amanda Wallace, Fri Jun 19 22:06
        I believe that pen and pencil should be used as well as computers for writing. I think that students will be more motivated when using computers, since they all seem to love it, but I don't think pen ... more
        • Re: Writing Instruction - brawleyeo, Sat Jun 20 16:43
          I agree. I think using pencil and paper is an important aspect of learning to write. However, if it's a hindrance to their writing process and discourages them from wanting to write, I think it's... more
        • Reply to Amanda - Haley Brigman, Fri Jun 19 22:14
          Amanda, I agree! Some might consider me "old school." While I do think technology is great and allows some pretty cool things take place in the classroom, I do believe there are some things that... more
      • Reply to Sarah - andersenal, Fri Jun 19 14:48
        I think that alot of these students do prefer using the computer. A boy with ASD in one of my internships liked using his AplhaSmart much better than writing with a pencil. I think that schools are... more
        • Re: Reply to Sarah - Sarah Baier, Fri Jun 19 23:21
          I think t should be mandatory to have working computers or even tablets in a classroom. Sadly in the area I live in, the schools are in definite need of funding. I wonder if a teacher could do some... more
          • Fundraising - andersenal, Sat Jun 20 11:11
            I definitely think that fundraising could be a possibility. Teachers pay for things out of pocket all the time so I don't see why fundraising couldn't be an option. Maybe it could be held at the... more
      • pencil use - catheyt, Fri Jun 19 08:34
        Using pen or pencil takes motor skill. It seems like for many of these students they don't have the motor control to use pencils. But I don't think that they should be ignored completely. Think of... more
        • Re: pencil use - Sarah Baier, Fri Jun 19 20:33
          It's funny that you mentioned motor skills because that was something I lacked when I was a kid growing up. I feel like if I would have had a computer and was able to type up my homework I would have ... more
        • Pencil Use in Everyday Life - Rachel Caldwell, Fri Jun 19 14:55
          I agree with your point about the needed motor skills it takes for writing that we often take for granted. If a child wants to write (especially longer stories and paragraphs) on a computer, I would... more
          • Re: Pencil Use in Everyday Life - Sarah Baier, Fri Jun 19 20:37
            I'm glad that you would let them use a computer, I was thinking the same thing. But I also agree that it is important to learn penmanship skills. I believe it is important to teach students how to... more
    • Writing Prompts - tatem1, Thu Jun 18 23:38
      This module was tremendously helpful in molding my perspective in writing instruction. From reading previous posts, I believe this has been an eye-opening module for most of us. What stood out to me... more
      • RE: Writing Prompts - parsonkl, Sat Jun 20 19:14
        Personally, I feel in some cases that writing prompts can be beneficial to the students. If a student is struggling with what to write, a writing prompt can give them an idea to get started. I still... more
      • Re: Writing Prompts - Sonya Summey, Sat Jun 20 18:05
        In high school I was always given writing prompts. They were silly prompts like, "What if a silver back gorilla came into the room write now what would you do?" They were funny, but as you can tell I ... more
      • Writing prompts - luckadooso, Sat Jun 20 16:13
        I think that writing prompts are tricky. There are times, I think, where prompts can be helpful when helping students to learn a specific way of writing. I think that unstructured writing time can... more
      • Re: Writing Prompts - hinesjd, Sat Jun 20 12:14
        Agreed. I think that learning to write should be a fun and creative experience that only free writing can provide. I think that we have to teach prompt responding for students to be able to pass... more
        • RE: Writing Prompts - tatem1, Sat Jun 20 13:49
          Yes, I completely agree. Prompts should be kept to a minimum during instruction and introduced later on in order to get students to think independently first.
      • RE: writing prompts - Lauren Livingston, Sat Jun 20 11:32
        I couldn't agree with your post more how writing prompts limit the creativity of students with ASD. Writing prompts are a way that teachers can guide students in their writing. For students with ASD... more
        • RE: Writing Prompts - tatem1, Sat Jun 20 13:56
          I had never thought of using picture cues in place of verbal or written prompts. I can see how this can help kids with ASD. I wonder if picture cues are considered prompts. It is kind of a prompt but ... more
      • reply to Writing Prompts - Navila Castro, Sat Jun 20 10:44
        I completely agree with allowing students to write without prompts to promote independent thinking. I learned this week that allowing students free range and motivation helps much more than... more
        • RE: Writing Prompts - tatem1, Sat Jun 20 14:06
          I was given prompts throughout school too. I'm pretty sure they are still common place in public education and I doubt that the school system is trying to move away from using them. I would assume... more
      • Re: Writing Prompts - brownrf, Fri Jun 19 23:34
        I 100% agree with you...writing prompts don't allow for flexibility and creativity. I had an English class one semester and my teacher made us write every single class period for 10 minutes but we... more
        • RE: Writing Prompts - tatem1, Sat Jun 20 14:17
          I agree that "students enjoy writing more when they can write about things they want to." I believe this is key. If kids enjoy writing they are more likely to succeed at it. I'm so glad you had a... more
      • Free Writing - Amanda Wallace, Fri Jun 19 21:52
        I agree after being given prompts for so many years it is hard to suddenly be expected to write about anything and everything. I think free writing would be most beneficial when started early, so the ... more
        • RE: Writing Prompts - tatem1, Sat Jun 20 14:22
          YES, we can't expect students to think outside of the box when we have limited their ideas and creativity with prompts from the get go. They must first learn to think independently.
      • Re: Writing Prompts - andersenal, Fri Jun 19 14:38
        I agree with you in that I had trouble with writing when not given a specific prompt because my teachers always gave prompts throughout my schooling. I don't see the point in using prompts when we... more
      • prompts - catheyt, Fri Jun 19 08:38
        I thought this was interesting too. There are so many ways we can get our kids to write meaningful text without them becoming prompt dependent. BUT in a regular classroom kids have to write to... more
        • Prompts and Free Writing - Rachel Caldwell, Fri Jun 19 16:43
          I agree with you completely. I had never thought about how dependent I was on prompts and guided writing until I went through this lesson and these comments. I, like you, see the good in both. I... more
      • Reply to Marcela - Haley Brigman, Fri Jun 19 00:03
        Totally agree with you, I wrote a little about this as well. For your question about prompts, I think it's a good idea to have supports available for students who may be experiencing a writer's block ... more
        • Ways to get started - Cassidy Milosh, Sat Jun 20 09:00
          In one of the articles we read, I believe it was Dr. Koppenhaver's chapter, there's a comprehensive list of other ways to get past writer's block. Instead of having a prompt that guides writers to... more
    • Freedom in Writing - Haley Brigman, Thu Jun 18 23:03
      • Re: Freedom in Writing - Karley Ingold, Sat Jun 20 16:47
        I agree that teaching without tight standards on writing is a wonderful way to engage students and motivate them to want to write but I feel as if at some point that grammar and spelling rules must... more
      • Freedom - luckadooso, Sat Jun 20 16:16
        I agree, Haley, that I was also apprehensive. I think this view on writing instruction is unique and will help me in my future classroom. I think letting our students know that their writing has... more
      • Reply to Freedom in Writing - Maggie Horne, Fri Jun 19 10:51
        Haley, I too was apprehensive about writing instruction at the start of this week. So many students, our age group included, were taught that we must be absolutely perfect and that we can never ever... more
      • How to un-teach - Cassidy Milosh, Thu Jun 18 23:23
        And just think, we'll be getting students in our classes who have already been taught how to stay in the box and never never make mistakes. They have good reason to despise writing! With the... more
        • Reply to Cassidy - Haley Brigman, Thu Jun 18 23:43
          Exactly! I was never given the opportunity to free-write until college and I struggled with it so much. Hopefully, the cycle will end though!
    • Writing Don'ts - stacy huffman, Thu Jun 18 22:17
      Wow! My head is still spinning after this weeks information! I had never really thought about why the things I was doing weren't working! Having students copy, trace, writing prompts- the list goes... more
      • RE: writing - Lauren Livingston, Sat Jun 20 11:38
        Stacy- I love your post and couldn't agree more! This week has been very eye opening in how to engage our students in writing without putting boundaries on their thoughts and writing skills. I have... more
      • Re: Writing Don'ts - brownrf, Fri Jun 19 23:37
        Just reading your post was so awesome! I felt the same way about some of the kids that I have worked with and I feel like I have deprived them of so much but now we know and it feels so awesome so... more
      • Writing Instruction - Amanda Wallace, Fri Jun 19 22:03
        I'm glad you feel so empowered to change the way you teach after the readings this week. I think the computer can be a great motivator for writing. Who doesn't want to be on the computer? I think... more
      • Encouragement from learning - Rachel Caldwell, Fri Jun 19 17:10
        Thank you so much Stacy for not only talking about what you have been doing, and how you are going to change things in the coming years. As a preservice teacher, I have not had my own classroom, so I ... more
      • Writing dont's - Hunter Hastings, Fri Jun 19 14:30
        That is awesome Stacy! I'm glad you are going to be able to take this information and directly and immediately apply it in your classroom. It's funny that we are so used to tracing and copying... more
      • Writing Don'ts - Cynthia Trickel, Thu Jun 18 22:29
        Isn't it so... I too have learned so much these few weeks. It has been many years since my undergraduate class on reading. The saying is not true that you can't teach an old dog new tricks! :)... more
    • Digital texts - Erica Phelps, Thu Jun 18 21:28
      This week, I learned a lot about teaching students with ASD to write. I have always felt that writing was equally as important as reading, but I was surprised tor read that the majority of the... more
      • Re: Digital texts - hinesjd, Sat Jun 20 12:20
        Agreed. With the influx of digital texts, we have to introduce them earlier in life to make sure student don't fall behind. There are several programs available for students to read, write, and... more
      • Digital Texts - Amanda Wallace, Fri Jun 19 21:57
        I was also surprised when I read there is not much research on writing for students with ASD. I think this is an area we need to start researching more since it is so important. I also agree that... more
      • Re: Digital Texts - andersenal, Fri Jun 19 15:02
        One thing that comes to mind is Raz-Kids, which is online and has so many leveled books. The program will read the books aloud and highlight each word as it reads it. And then the students can read... more
        • Reply: Andersonal - Erica Phelps, Fri Jun 19 20:07
          I like the idea of using Raz-Kids in the classroom. I think that this sounds like a great way to introduce digital texts early and get students comfortable with using digital texts in addition to... more
      • Re: digital texts - Cynthia Trickel, Thu Jun 18 22:15
        I was also surprised when I read about the research on writing. The part about writing effecting students ability to participate in today's society was also very eye-opening for me. I really had not... more
        • Reply: Cynthia - Erica Phelps, Fri Jun 19 20:16
          Cynthia, I also thought that the explanation about writing affecting students' ability to participate in today's society was eye-opening. I think that people do not usually realize how often they use ... more
      • Re:Digitial texts - Hunter Hastings, Thu Jun 18 22:11
        Honestly, kids are being exposed to digital texts practically the second they are born it seems. Kids everywhere have iPads they are playing on, and more often than not they are being exposed to... more
        • Reply: Hunter - Erica Phelps, Fri Jun 19 20:27
          Hunter, I agree. Kids now have more technology at their disposal than we ever had. My friend's sister recently bought her two year old an iPad for his birthday. I think that teaching kids about... more
      • Implementing digital text - Jordan Seagraves, Thu Jun 18 21:45
        A lot of schools have Kindles or iPads for students to use. Having e-text on these devices can help students begin to read digital texts. It is also great for students who are reading below grade... more
        • Reply: Jorda. - Erica Phelps, Fri Jun 19 20:32
          Jordan, I love the idea of using iPads or Kindles so that students who are reading below grade level can read lower level books without being embarrassed. I have noticed the use of iPads in many... more
    • Questions Galore! - Jean Milton, Thu Jun 18 21:19
      I had many questions after watching the videos and reading the articles. After watching Rakeem I had a lot of questions. What was he doing? I saw what appeared to be a rough draft/spider web chart to ... more
      • Re: Questions Galore! - Karley Ingold, Sat Jun 20 16:52
        After watching both of the videos with Rakeem and Joey I think that the assistive technology that Joey used was much more beneficial than the technology that Rakeem was using. The reading of dialog... more
      • Re: Questions Galore! - brownrf, Fri Jun 19 23:42
        I had the exact same reaction to the video of Rakeem. I was so curious about what he was doing with the drawing and also typing. It was very different from the other videos and programs that the... more
      • Reply to Jean - Hunter Hastings, Fri Jun 19 08:16
        I think that most of the time a student wouldn't be given any assistive tech to help communicate. If they can communicate verbally I don't exactly see the point. Also if a school cannot find a... more
        • PECS - Jean Milton, Sun Jun 21 17:48
          I have seen some SLPs use assistive technology if a child's verbal skills/communication skills aren't improving fast enough. I have seen them implement something such as the GoTalkNow board or PECS... more
      • Reply to Jean - Technology - Haley Brigman, Thu Jun 18 23:50
        Jean, I also questioned the use of technology. One of the readings highly encouraged the use of technology for students with ASD. While I am not opposed to technology, I am skeptical about students... more
      • NCATP - Cynthia Trickel, Thu Jun 18 22:24
        Jean, I have the answers to your questions because I think with assistive technology there is a lot of trial and error. Of course having a specialist or a trained AT person come in to do an... more
    • Tracing and Copying is ineffective! - rognstadgr, Thu Jun 18 19:46
      No tracing or copying? This lecture was very mind boggling to me! Immediately I thought to my last field experience, where I was a mentor for children in after school. My mentee was special difficult ... more
      • Re: Tracing and Copying is ineffective! - hinesjd, Sat Jun 20 12:25
        Agreed (I could rant all day but I'll keep it short)! Some teachers often think that students will have a break through if they just keep working. What teachers see as laziness is actually a cry for... more
      • Re: Tracing and Copying is ineffective! - Britt Hatcher, Sat Jun 20 10:25
        That is sad that he had to go through that. It sounds like that situation could have been handled with him differently than it was (that is with the teacher and student). I don't think that tracing... more
      • RE: tracing and copying is ineffective - tatem1, Thu Jun 18 22:53
        I was completely taken aback with this information too because copying and tracing are such common practices in our school systems, especially in the lower grades. I want to teach k-2nd grade once I... more
      • re: tracing and copying is ineffective - stacy huffman, Thu Jun 18 22:21
        I posted on this very thing myself! I can't tell you the number of times I have had my students copy or trace in an effort to teach them to write. I had never really thought about the stupidity... more
        • Change can happen! - Cassidy Milosh, Thu Jun 18 23:09
          That's awesome, Stacy (: I think these practices are just reminiscent of a different time in teaching. Having students copy lines and trace letters feels right; even in pretend school when I was... more
      • Seen It Quite A Bit - Jean Milton, Thu Jun 18 21:23
        I have seen this quite a bit, sadly. In my first internship I was in an after school setting and I saw this a lot. Even though I saw this more with Kindergarten through 2nd grade students, it was... more
      • Reply - K. Madison Broome, Thu Jun 18 21:16
        I will definitely remember this as well! I have always thought that tracing is beneficial because of muscle memory. Students trace the formation of a letter when they are learning how to write.... more
    • Five Steps - Amanda Wallace, Thu Jun 18 18:18
      I found the five-step process for developing novel programs, which are: Review practices deemed effective for all struggling writers, identify what procedures hove been applied to teach writing to... more
      • RE: Five Steps - Nicholas Flippen, Fri Jun 19 20:11
        Hey Amanda! You asked a very good question. Why aren't we doing more? I think as the years go by and more and more research is done in a certain field, it lays the foundation for even more work to be ... more
      • Reply to Five Steps - Maggie Horne, Fri Jun 19 11:36
        I agree with you, Madison and Cassidy. There is so little research on practices and strategies with writing for students with ASD and it really shocked me to hear that acknowledged. We need to change ... more
      • First Step - Cassidy Milosh, Thu Jun 18 23:15
        The first step in the five-step process struck me as important to really think about. The first move isn't to go to the evidence-based practices for students with ASD. You start with just genuinely... more
      • Repy - K. Madison Broome, Thu Jun 18 21:23
        I have wondered the same thing! It seems that there is a lack of research with a lot of things when it comes to students with ASD. I imagine as people learn more and more about ASD the research... more
    • Organizing writing ideas - McKenzi Davis, Thu Jun 18 15:13
      One thing that I saw that was implemented a lot in the videos and articles that we read was the use of organizing writing ideas in some sort of visual. For example, I know that Rakeem used a visual... more
      • Re: Organizing writing ideas - tatem1, Sat Jun 20 22:37
        I agree. Many students with ASD have a hard time making connections. Therefore, organizing activities such as bubble maps could help them better visualize things and make connections.
      • RE: organizing writing ideas - Lauren Livingston, Sat Jun 20 11:49
        I have found great success in using bubble maps to help my students with ASD organize their thoughts for writing. As we all know students with ASD are visual learners therefore having a place to put... more
      • Re: Organizing writing ideas - brownrf, Fri Jun 19 23:46
        I think this is a great point. I think allowing students to organize their ideas by drawing or doing bubble charts also goes along with the point this week of not giving our student specific writing... more
      • Re: Organizing writing ideas - Sarah Baier, Fri Jun 19 20:43
        I agree that outlines are very important. There are so many different options for students which makes if easier to get them interested. If a student really hates the web idea than they can do a... more
      • Re: Organizing writing ideas - Megan Rembert, Fri Jun 19 09:58
        I have to do that too. I need to see a plan before I can work on the final piece. Using these online tools are great for all children. I've always recognized that as an organization tool, but after... more
        • Re: Organizing writing ideas - Sarah Baier, Fri Jun 19 23:19
          I agree that outlining can make the paper less scary. I had a teacher that would stretch out a long paper by taking it one day at a time. I found this to be very beneficial and made the assignment... more
      • Reply - K. Madison Broome, Thu Jun 18 21:27
        This is great! I also think that providing some type of pre-made graphic organizer for the student is really helpful. This models for them how they can organize their information. As they progress,... more
      • Reply: Organizing Writing ideas - Erica Phelps, Thu Jun 18 21:18
        I agree! I loved that this was emphasized this week. I think that the use of visuals definitely helps students to organize their thoughts and overall leads to better writing. This method seems like... more
      • reply Mckenzi Davis - rognstadgr, Thu Jun 18 20:01
        I definitely agree. This is a very useful technique when writing. I use an upside down triangle. The first time this was shown to me was in college and it made my writing much less of a challenge. I... more
    • generating ideas - catheyt, Thu Jun 18 11:01
      One of the things that really stuck with me this week was the part of the lecture focused on generating ideas. Throughout the readings, videos and lectures there was a recurring element on the... more
      • Re: Generating Ideas - hildebranak, Sat Jun 20 21:29
        I agree with this. So many times I have struggled with an idea of what to write about. If the students had a bank of pictures in which to look for ideas that could reduce frustration. I think... more
      • Generating Ideas Response - carsleymm, Sat Jun 20 12:19
        I like the ideas in your post! Your Kindergarteners are going to enjoy learning with you next year! This week's module had so many wonderful strategies that I can't wait to use with my high school... more
      • reply to generating ideas - Hunter Hastings, Thu Jun 18 22:15
        This part of the module stuck out to me as well. I have seen students with disabilities including Autism struggle with generating ideas, and I believe all these techniques listed are super... more
      • Reply - K. Madison Broome, Thu Jun 18 21:50
        I really loved these strategies too! I think it is a very common problem to have when students say they don't know what to write about. As teachers, we don't want to just give them a topic every... more
      • Choices - Jean Milton, Thu Jun 18 21:29
        I observed a teacher not too long ago who always provided writing prompts when she needed her students to write. She would always give a minimum of 3 choices and if the students didn't like the three ... more
        • time in planning - catheyt, Sat Jun 20 10:24
          I remember a training I wen tot years ago on writer's workshop and the writing process. The trainer talked a lot about time went in each area of the writing process. It was her belief that the... more
      • Re: generating ideas - hillaryyarbrough, Thu Jun 18 14:28
        I really like this idea of generating ideas. So many times my students have trouble coming up with things to write about, and will waste most of their time trying to figure it out. By giving the... more
      • great extension - koppenhaverd, Thu Jun 18 12:58
        Love that you took an idea and made it your own. Send me some photos when you implement the photo timeline. I'd love to share with other teachers.
      • RE: Generating ideas - Jordan Seagraves, Thu Jun 18 12:24
        I love this strategy! When you allow students to have a choice it is still good to provide ideas for them to start off with. You can provide ideas in multiple ways from throwing ideas out as a class, ... more
    • Communication - Angie Helton, Thu Jun 18 07:28
      Sometimes we get caught up in how students must form grammatically correct sentences and how the words must be spelled exactly right. After watching several of the videos and reading the articles, I... more
      • reply to communicatiion - Navila Castro, Sat Jun 20 15:52
        I have to agree with you Angie, communication for these students is what is most important to focus on and educators should not get distracted by correct grammar. Before I took this course I knew... more
      • Communication is Powerful - Allison Powers, Fri Jun 19 22:43
        This was exactly how I felt when I watched Cole's videos and looked at his book. Even though there were spelling and grammar errors spread throughout the book, I definitely felt like there was an... more
      • re: communication - Hunter Hastings, Fri Jun 19 14:24
        You are so right. Teachers sometimes think that a student has to have every part of grammar perfectly memorized, and sentence structure completely correct before they can write. In this past semester ... more
        • re: communication - Sarah Baier, Sat Jun 20 13:08
          I completely agree. Seeing all those red marks can completely effect a childs imagination and will to write. I don't believe everything should be graded for students especially when they are just... more
        • Re: being praised - Angie Helton, Sat Jun 20 10:22
          You are so right. Students should be able to write independently, and not have to worry about it being right or wrong. It is such a good way for students to learn to communicate their ideas.
      • Re: Communication - Megan Rembert, Fri Jun 19 09:55
        I watched those two videos and recognized the same thing. In Kristens, you could even tell her excitement when she was counting the words and recognized that for herself, that was a long sentence. It ... more
        • Re: excitement - Angie Helton, Sat Jun 20 10:07
          I know! She knew she was doing well and it was so good to see how much it meant to her. It's something that most of us take for granted.
      • Eye Contact Is Crucial - Jean Milton, Thu Jun 18 21:44
        I remember talking to a professor who was also a parent of five children, two of which had ASD. He told me that when they were young and receiving speech therapy the SLP kept focusing on things like... more
        • Reply: Eye Contact - Erica Phelps, Sat Jun 20 22:17
          This is an interesting point Jean. I know that communication and social skills are difficult and challenging for individuals on the spectrum. I have heard that eye contact is one social skill that is ... more
        • Re: Don't do this.... - Angie Helton, Sat Jun 20 10:05
          Wow. It's hard to imagine that being the focus for the students. In my own experience I have found that telling kids, "Don't do this - Don't do that", is clearly not an effective practice. It's... more
      • reply to angie helton - rognstadgr, Thu Jun 18 19:27
        This is also something that I took away from this weeks lectures and videos. It seems today so much of our school system is about grades. Did the student do this correctly? When we should be focusing ... more
        • Re: - Angie Helton, Sat Jun 20 10:00
          It is really sad that teaching becomes only a job to so many. It is also sad that one of the reason teachers become like this is because they have to make sure the students show growth and do well in ... more
      • Re: Communication - lavertyse, Thu Jun 18 07:56
        Angie, I think you are right. I think that getting students to communicate is the most important part. The spelling and grammar can come later. I think that sometimes we get to caught up in trying to ... more
        • Re: Grammar/Spelling - Angie Helton, Sat Jun 20 09:55
          To me if the student is pushed to spell every word correct, and make sure the end of every sentence has a period or question mark, it discourages the student and he/she will lose interest in writing. ... more
        • you've got it! - koppenhaverd, Thu Jun 18 11:03
          It's not that grammar and spelling are unimportant. It's a question of timing and emphasis. Focus on communication daily, focus on one grammar/spelling/form issue at a time in mini-lessons until... more
    • Technology Resources - Megan Rembert, Thu Jun 18 06:22
      This week gave me a lot of insight into different technologies and writing devices you can use to help support your children. I think it is important to keep these in mind in everyday classrooms as... more
      • RE: Technology Resources - hildebranak, Sat Jun 20 21:24
        I had the same questions. I think the part of being an advocate for our ASD students is something we all need to learn. We need to be able to have knowledge, confidence, and research to present to... more
      • Re: Technology Resources - Sara Pappas, Sat Jun 20 00:20
        I'm glad you brought up technology resources because we do live in a technology-driven world. I think it's a good question if the school systems will provide the aids we need for our students and I'm ... more
      • Classroom Technology - Amanda Wallace, Fri Jun 19 22:46
        Usually depending on districts, most classrooms have a computer or two in them. These can be used as needed for students who benefit from assistive technology. We just need to do all we can to help... more
      • reply megan rembert - rognstadgr, Thu Jun 18 20:06
        I agree. There are a lot of free online resources out there for teachers, finding them is the tricky part! You were wondering if school system will provided the more expensive technologies. If it is... more
      • Re: Technology Resources - Hillary Yarbrough, Thu Jun 18 14:34
        I completely agree. I often wonder if these technological assistance devices will be available to us as teachers when we need them. When I read about things like this I often think about how amazing... more
      • Re: Technology Resources - andersenal, Thu Jun 18 11:43
        I think it depends on the school when it comes to buying resources for students. In one of my internships, a boy with ASD did not like to write with pencil and paper, and would write so lightly that... more
      • reply to Megan: how to get technology - macdonaldke, Thu Jun 18 10:31
        I have definitely had the concerns you are having about available resources and money for our students who need these devices. I remember learning that some IEPs and 504 plans (for students with... more
      • Re: Technology Resources - lavertyse, Thu Jun 18 07:59
        I think that in a perfect world we would have access to all the materials we need to help our students as much as possible. Unfortunately, I doubt that we, as general classroom teachers, will have... more
      • Resources - Angie Helton, Thu Jun 18 07:32
        I think that it depends on the sort of funds the school district has if the classrooms will have these resources. In my opinion, I think all schools should have what the student needs, but probably... more
    • writing instruction - Cynthia Trickel, Wed Jun 17 22:22
      There were many wonderful insights gained from this module. I really enjoyed the articles and videos and being able to see how different strategies were used. It was evident in the videos when there... more
      • Writing instruction response - luckadooso, Sat Jun 20 14:51
        I loved this idea in the module as well. I think that using the home to school journal is a great way for students to begin to generalize their learning across multiple settings. Having students... more
      • Reply to writing - Hunter Hastings, Fri Jun 19 08:24
        I definitely think that the use of journals is beneficial in more ways than one. My mom teaches a third grade classroom. One of the students struggles significantly. She often gets frustrated with... more
      • Re: writing instruction - Hillary Yarbrough , Thu Jun 18 14:43
        I also really like this. The take home journals would also be a really good way to get to know your students. Children with autism struggle with communication and this would be a good outlet for... more
      • Journal - Jordan Seagraves, Thu Jun 18 10:12
        My students during my student teaching did something every Friday called Friday Journals. The students would write about anything they wanted to and to who they wanted to. It could be to mom, dad, or ... more
        • Re: Journal - Megan Rembert, Fri Jun 19 10:01
          I agree with the other replies that take home journals are great for communication with adults and communication skills in writing itself. I've also learned through my schooling that it's a great... more
        • re: journal - stacy huffman, Thu Jun 18 22:25
          I love the idea of the shared journal! And I agree that it is a good way to connect parents, teachers and students. I saw a video once in which a teacher used a journal as a way to communicate with a ... more
        • Re: dialogue journal - macdonaldke, Thu Jun 18 10:35
          This is a great idea and a way of communication between parents, teachers, and students! I remember learning that this helps all students, especially ELLs in particular because they can practice... more
          • journaling - koppenhaverd, Thu Jun 18 11:00
            Privacy issues seldom arise in a journal if students trust you and would be highly unlikely in ASD. Many students with ASD are not that self-aware or understanding of your perspective. I always let... more
            • Re - macdonaldke, Thu Jun 18 17:29
              Oh that is one characteristic I did not know of, thank you for that information! I agree that teachers sometimes get an exclusive look into the lives of students that many others never see, and it's... more
      • Re: writing instruction - Angie Helton, Thu Jun 18 07:35
        The videos of Eric sticks out to me as well. It was so good to see him grow in his writing and communication abilities. Eric was very fortunate to have an assistant that was with him all the time and ... more
    • Common characteristics/needs - macdonaldke, Wed Jun 17 21:04
      One thing I noticed throughout the lectures, videos, and articles was that our students with ASD are students who have something to say, but they often just need help actually saying it. This sounds... more
      • RE: Common Characteristics/Needs - hildebranak, Sat Jun 20 19:21
        I agree with you. We just need to find what works for all our students. Most of them will learn the same way but some will need more attention or a different way of presenting information to them. I... more
      • Re: common characteristics/needs - Sonya Summey, Sat Jun 20 18:10
        I think that this is a part of an entire cultural shift knowing that children with ASD have something to say, but need help doing it. Before people with disabilities were in institutions and other... more
      • Response to Common Characteristics - carsleymm, Sat Jun 20 12:17
        Communication in all forms is frequently an area of need for students with ASD, in my experience. I LOVED all the AT offered in this week's Module.
      • Technology - Amanda Wallace, Fri Jun 19 22:36
        Assistive technology has really seemed to help the students with ASD in the videos. They seemed highly motivated and the articles linked to the videos confirmed that the technology really helped the... more
      • re: common characteristics/needs - stacy huffman, Thu Jun 18 22:48
        This is so true. I once had a professor tell me that "just because someone can't (or doesn't) talk, doesn't mean that they don't have something to say!" I think that this is why it is so important to ... more
      • reply to macdonaldke - rognstadgr, Thu Jun 18 19:21
        I agree. It is very important to remember that every child has a voice. They want and deserves to be not only heard, but listened to as well. Since many instructional practices don't take this into... more
      • Re: Common Characteristics/needs - Hillary Yarbrough, Thu Jun 18 14:46
        This is very true with children with autism. A lot of times they have a hard time communicating how they feel or what they are struggling with. As teachers we need to give them options to express... more
      • Expression - Angie Helton, Thu Jun 18 07:40
        From all the comments I've read thus far, I think we all made a connection with Eric's videos. They were so interesting and powerful. Like you, I believe that all ASD students have something to say,... more
      • something to say - Cynthia Trickel, Wed Jun 17 22:33
        That is a great point! Students do have something to say, and need the opportunity to express themselves. We need to make sure we provide them with the avenues to do so.
        • reply to Cynthia: opportunities - macdonaldke, Thu Jun 18 10:05
          I like how you mentioned that we also need to give them OPPORTUNITIES to express themselves. I feel like too often we just expect students with ASD to do the assignments we give the whole class with... more
    • Ashley Video - Molly Smith, Wed Jun 17 17:16
      I thought the video about Ashley and her work with Co:Writer was so interesting! Ashley had problems with spelling, so she used a program called Co:Writer which guessed which word she wanted to say... more
      • Re: Ashley Video - Britt Hatcher, Sat Jun 20 12:54
        I also watched this video, and I loved her reactions as she was making her sentences. As I was watching this video I did make some notes and one of them was, if Ashley would have been writing the... more
      • reply to molly smith - rognstadgr, Thu Jun 18 19:36
        I also really liked this video. I have never worked with Co:Writer before, I think that it is a great program to implement into a students life. I agree with you, it really cut out the frustration... more
      • you've got it! - koppenhaverd, Thu Jun 18 16:54
        Co:Writer eliminated particular struggle with one aspect of writing (spelling, which is within translation-mechanics) that was impairing all of her writing. The little research done with this... more
      • Co:Writer - Angie Helton, Thu Jun 18 07:47
        Isn't technology wonderful!! Co:Writer was such a great tool for Ashley to use for her writing. It sort of reminds me of the 'text predictor' that pops up when I'm sending a text from my phone. I... more
      • Ashley's topic - Megan Rembert, Thu Jun 18 06:24
        I loved the idea of co-writer! It seems like it really instilled a lot of confidence in Ashley. Something I brought up with my group this week however was her topic of Freddy Krueger. In schools I've ... more
        • what's reasonable - koppenhaverd, Thu Jun 18 16:42
          I'd defend Ashley on this one. She wasn't advocating violence or killing. She was writing about a movie engrained in popular culture from a personal perspective and with humor. Forbidding children to ... more
          • Re: what's reasonable - Megan Rembert, Fri Jun 19 10:09
            I definitely agree. I think that especially when topics are limited (or at least topics that will get the student to write about), you should allow the child to write about anything they are... more
      • Re: Ashley Video - lavertyse, Wed Jun 17 18:25
        I really enjoyed this video as well. I thought that it was cool that she was able to use the program to create a story. I agree that she seems to have the ability to compose a story. While the... more
        • Dependency? - brawleyeo, Sat Jun 20 16:58
          I loved that this program made writing a more enjoyable experience for Ashley but I was wondering if this program creates any kind of dependency or if it more often fosters growth in spelling and... more
      • Re: Ashley Video - bennettmc, Wed Jun 17 18:25
        Co:Writer seems like a really neat way of helping students learn. I was wondering if there are different levels of Co:Writer? For example, if Ashley's spelling begins to improve it would be neat if... more
        • reply to bennettmc:CoWriter - macdonaldke, Wed Jun 17 20:32
          I am not familiar with Co:Writer so I'm not sure if they could be programmed to "offer less help" if Ashley improves, but I'm not sure if that is what they are aiming for. It seems that Ashley was... more
          • Re: Macdonaldke - bennettmc, Thu Jun 18 11:19
            Thanks for the clarification. I haven't had time to watch the video yet, but maybe once I do, I will have a better understanding.
    • Once I again, I have learned a lot so far from this module. One of the strengths these children have is that they can learn and grow SO much. However, their learning does not happen in the... more
      • Re - Sonya Summey, Sat Jun 20 18:37
        I also learned a lot from this module. There was so much to be able to apply as well as a lot of stories and examples of how teachers teach children with ASD how to write. You have a lot of great... more
      • I also had the same question. My assumption is that the practices mentioned in the "What Does Not Work" video apply to all students, but especially to students with ASD. When I have my own classroom, ... more
      • Perfectionism - Angie Helton, Thu Jun 18 07:59
        I was stunned by the How Not To lecture. My daughters are 20 and 21 and when they were children, I would draw the letters of the alphabet in dotted lines for them to trace, over and over and over...I ... more
      • I was surprised to learn that copying was considered ineffective for students with ASD. I guess after thinking about it, it probably is ineffective for typically developing students as well. In the... more
        • Re: lavertyse - bennettmc, Wed Jun 17 18:21
          I agree, the lecture was very informative and I learned so much from it. In my opinion, there are not enough teachers who truly understand what works and what does not. I still feel like students are ... more
      • 3 answers to questions - koppenhaverd, Wed Jun 17 15:20
        1. Copying is ineffective after it is used to introduce a new letter. It loses utility after 3-6 copies. It is ineffective because it reduces a complex social, linguistic, cognitive, and... more
        • re: 3 answers to questions - stacy huffman, Thu Jun 18 22:54
          I love the example that was used in the lecture about copying Arabic! I plan to present this at one of our grade-level meetings as an activity to introduce the new strategies that I have learned in... more
        • Re: 3 answers to Qs - bennettmc, Wed Jun 17 15:56
          Thanks for the reply Dr. Koppenhaver. I was glad to learn that Eric's mom and Eric's teacher attended the classes you teach because our understanding of concepts like these are so often wrong. That's ... more
    • Handwriting Instruction - andersenal, Wed Jun 17 11:52
      It was really interesting to read and hear about how tracing and copying are not effective methods for teaching writing. It's something I had never put much thought into before but I can see how... more
      • Reply to "Handwriting Instruction" - Hayden Porter, Sat Jun 20 23:52
        I wondered the same thing! Such a good point. I was interested to learn about how tracing and copying aren't the most effective ways to teach writing. But I guess it makes sense if you think about it!
      • RE: Handwriting Instruction - hildebranak, Sat Jun 20 19:17
        The thing that stuck out most to me in the "How Not To.." lecture was with copying and tracing the students are only learning "a visual task instead of a cognitive" task. So the students writing... more
      • I think that we have to - Britt Hatcher, Sat Jun 20 12:42
        I think that in general there has to be some sort of tracing and copying. I know that I did that with both penmanship and cursive. I think that when it comes to an ASD student that a good idea to try ... more
      • Re: Handwriting Instruction - brownrf, Fri Jun 19 23:48
        I had the same question, what should we do during this 10-15 minute period? I know when I was growing up, instead of tracing, my mom would by me wide ruled paper and I would just really practice... more
      • reply andersenal - rognstadgr, Thu Jun 18 19:51
        I wrote about this same issue. I was pleasantly surprised that tracing and copying are ineffective. But what's next? From the lecture, I learned the importance of free writing. Giving the student... more
      • Re: Handwriting Instruction - Hillary Yarbrough, Thu Jun 18 14:48
        This is a very good point. After reading and hearing about how tracing/copying is not beneficial to students, I realized how often that happens at school. So many times I have seen students doing... more
      • in context - catheyt, Thu Jun 18 13:57
        i think instruction is most powerful when put/ practiced in context. I teach K and we do practice copying the letter a to learn proper formation: in the air, on the ground, in shaving cream on tables ... more
      • Letterland? - macdonaldke, Wed Jun 17 20:41
        Have any of you ever heard of Letterland? It's a program with a "character" assigned to each letter that begins with it's phonetic sound (Annie Apple, Bouncing Ben) that teaches spelling and reading. ... more
        • re: letterland - stacy huffman, Thu Jun 18 23:00
          My school uses Letterland. I have seen it work great with some students, while other students just perseverate on the characters. One thing that seems a bit confusing for me (and I am neuro-typical... more
        • where does the learning happen? - catheyt, Thu Jun 18 14:02
          My question with a program like this would be, are they learning the letter because they color it and trace it? They are probably learning the letter because they are connecting the name with the... more
          • re: more of a phonics exercise - macdonaldke, Thu Jun 18 17:32
            I think you are right in that Letterland was developed mostly to build phonemic awareness and sound-letter recognition rather than using the letters to write. Thanks for the insight!
        • Re: Letterland - Angie Helton, Thu Jun 18 08:04
          I'm in Caldwell County and our district uses letterland. The students do seem to remember the characters and the shape of the letters with this program. I think it is more of an introduction to... more
      • Re: Handwriting Instruction - bennettmc, Wed Jun 17 14:40
        We were probably working on our posts at the same time because I also discussed this concept about how copying is ineffective. I agree with you, it is something I have not really thought about before ... more
      • Re: Handwriting Instruction - McKenzi Davis, Wed Jun 17 14:38
        This is also something that I wondered about! I actually was going through an old box of school things and found my very own handwriting book from elementary school where I practiced training dotted... more
        • Handwriting Answers - andersenal, Wed Jun 17 15:49
          I checked out the handwriting program that Dr. Koppenhaven posted in General Resources to see what it was like. It did actually have some copying and tracing as a way of introducing letters. But it... more
      • how to teach handwriting - koppenhaverd, Wed Jun 17 14:37
        There is one research-based curriculum that I am aware of, CASL by Steve Graham and It is free. I'll link a PDF of the curriculum to the writing resources page in the general resources folder.
    • Publishing finished work - Jordan Seagraves, Wed Jun 17 10:48
      In the Cole video we hear him talking about his comic book being put out in stores. I think it is very important for students to be able to show off their work. It gives them a purpose for what they... more
      • I agree to a point - Britt Hatcher, Sat Jun 20 13:24
        I agree with you that the student should show off their work and be proud of what they have done. The only thing that teachers should be aware of is students making fun of others work, especially... more
      • Reply to Publishing Finished Work - Maggie Horne, Fri Jun 19 11:02
        Jordan, I definitely agree with you! I believe that publishing students work is extremely important. Cole was so proud of his comic book, it would be a shame to not showcase that to his peers and... more
      • Mixed Feelings - Jean Milton, Thu Jun 18 22:04
        I have heard many different arguments for and against displaying work around the classroom. I am still leery of the idea given that I am a Special Education major, but I do think it can be... more
        • Reply to Jean - Haley Brigman, Fri Jun 19 09:22
          Jean, I understand where you are coming from although I am an advocate of publishing/displaying student work. However, I think it should be the students' choice. I plan to have an open board in my... more
          • RE: Reply to Haley - tatem1, Sat Jun 20 22:47
            Haley, I absolutely love your open board idea. Thanks for sharing. I believe this would be especially useful for lower elementary grades. I remember in middle and high school I barely cared to show... more
      • reply jordan seagraves - rognstadgr, Thu Jun 18 19:55
        I definitely agree. Displaying students work for themselves and other to see is a great way to keep them motivated and confident. Especially getting a piece published! I remember when I was in 6th... more
      • open house art show - macdonaldke, Thu Jun 18 10:10
        Last semester I went to an open house for the program "Eye to Eye" at Hardin Park school that uses art as a discussion starter for students with learning disabilities. This reminds me of your point... more
      • Re: Publishing finished work - lavertyse, Wed Jun 17 15:25
        I think publishing final copies of work is great to keep up the motivation of students to keep writing. I love when I have been in classrooms where the students were encouraged to produce final... more
      • Re: Publishing finished work - bennettmc, Wed Jun 17 15:18
        Great thoughts Jordan! Along with this idea, schools could implement a day where they children in special education classroom get to show off their accomplishments to other students. I think this... more
      • publishing opportunities - koppenhaverd, Wed Jun 17 14:57
        And think about all the cool ways to publish these days: wikis, blogs, apps like Comic Life or ToonTastic, websites like Storybird Tales, Tar Heel Reader (if you edit first since this is a library... more
      • Re: Publishing finished work - andersenal, Wed Jun 17 11:41
        I agree with this. I think publishing is a really important part of the writing process, especially for students with ASD. Not only does it hold them accountable, but I think it also builds their... more
    • Writing Instruction - hillaryyarbrough, Wed Jun 17 07:44
      This week while reading the article, "Developing Technology Supported, Evidence Based Writing Instruction for Adolescents With Writing Disabilities", there were so many things I agreed with. One of... more
      • RE: Writing Instruction - hildebranak, Sat Jun 20 18:38
        I hadn't thought about e-pal as a way of helping students with their writing. That is a wonderful idea. I remember having a "pen pal" from another school in the same district and I enjoyed it very... more
      • Reply to Writing Instruction - Maggie Horne, Fri Jun 19 11:13
        Hillary, I too really enjoyed reading this article! This was a great program and their were so many benefits. I had questions about the logistics of it, as well, and I am glad Dr. Koppenhaver could... more
      • great e-pal questions answered - koppenhaverd, Wed Jun 17 15:10
        The SLP I collaborated with on this project told parents what we were doing. We only sought permission when we turned it into a research project later. You could talk with your principal and describe ... more
      • Motivation & Social Context - Jordan Seagraves, Wed Jun 17 11:07
        I would like to point out motivation and social context in what you have written. Students will only be able to show they learn something by doing. If they are not motivated or in the right social... more
        • E-Pal Motivation - Rachel Caldwell, Fri Jun 19 15:49
          That was one thing that I really enjoyed about E-pal. It seemed like the students really enjoyed getting to write back and fourth with a college student who wanted to talk and ask them questions. As... more
        • music - Cynthia Trickel, Wed Jun 17 22:56
          Great point! We need to observe the environment for our students and know how it affects them and their performance. Sometimes they may need that soft background music and other times they may need... more
    • How NOT To - Kelsie Fender, Tue Jun 16 22:32
      While viewing the ďHow Not toĒ lecture, I was amazed by the fact that I had completed many of the activities that were mentioned when I was in school! I vividly remember tracing letters, completing... more
      • Re: How NOT To - Sara Pappas, Sat Jun 20 08:43
        I agree! I even used these techniques with students I've worked with who have Autism. So now I'm just stunned! I understand why it wouldn't work though! However, its comforting knowing it's all about ... more
      • Stuck In Their Ways - Jean Milton, Thu Jun 18 21:51
        I remember one of my professors last semester saying that a lot of times new teachers end up teaching how they were taught instead of how they learned. He/She said that what happens is we end up... more
        • Re: Stuck In Their Ways - Kelsie Fender, Thu Jun 18 21:54
          I can imagine that new teachers would end up teaching the way they were taught! We are creatures of habit and revert back to what we know best. I also agree that it could seem as though new teachers... more
      • true but... - Megan Rembert, Thu Jun 18 06:31
        we definitely have to reinvent the wheel of teaching right now with our methods but are the things talked about in the lecture like copying and prompting really frowned upon as additional activities? ... more
        • RE: true but - stacy huffman, Thu Jun 18 22:42
          Megan I think you are correct in that things like hangman and word searches are great backup activities. They are great ways to practice a skill that has already been learned. I think that the main... more
        • Re: True but.. - Kelsie Fender, Thu Jun 18 09:32
          I think that there is a time and place for something like a word search or fill-in-the-blank activity. I reviewed the lecture before typing this response, and it states that there are some common... more
          • Re: True but.. - catheyt, Thu Jun 18 14:08
            I agree with you Kelsie. As a teacher you are going to have your kids doing activities that are essentially time fillers (busy work). You just have to be aware of these as you do them. You should not ... more
            • As a child... - Rachel Caldwell, Fri Jun 19 14:49
              When I was in elementary school, I loved doing word searches and I did not mind writing words over and over because they were simple and fun to do in between activities in class. So like you said, I... more
      • tracing letters - Cynthia Trickel, Wed Jun 17 22:46
        I remember when handwriting was a daily part of my curriculum as a beginning teacher many years ago. I also remember how some teachers could be so focused on it. I moved from Georgia to Virginia when ... more
        • Re: Tracing Letters - Kelsie Fender, Thu Jun 18 09:19
          Cynnthia, I believe that if a child's handwriting is legible and he or she is completing the work they need to be, it shouldn't matter what their handwriting actually looks like. It is so strange to... more
      • Re: How NOT to - bennettmc, Wed Jun 17 18:36
        Kelsie, I also discussed in my post how I was taught these concepts when I was in elementary school. You made a great analogy with the doctor example. The federal legislation, "No Child Left Behind"... more
        • Re: Bennettmc - Kelsie Fender, Thu Jun 18 09:47
          I certainly agree! It is hard to expect our students to keep up if we are not the ones who are staying on top of new, research-based techniques. I think it is very easy for a teacher to begin using... more
      • Re: How NOT To - Molly Smith, Wed Jun 17 08:12
        I was also amazed that teachers are still using these techniques! Something that really stood out to me was the fact that we would be able to trace any number of languages but would still have no... more
        • Re: Molly - Kelsie Fender, Thu Jun 18 09:39
          Molly, One of my favorite points from the lectures this week was that we can trace any languages but not know how to actually read or write them. I think it makes the point so clear that just because ... more
      • Re: How NOT To - hillaryyarbrough, Wed Jun 17 07:48
        I completely agree! I felt the same way while listening to this lecture. I couldn't believe that the techniques we are being taught to use, or being shown in the classroom, are the techniques we... more
        • Re: Hillary - Kelsie Fender, Wed Jun 17 11:32
          Hillary, You make a great point! I have had some experience in a classroom through practicum, however it really hasn't been a lot. Do you have any ideas (they don't have to be perfectly polished)... more
    • Writing and Technology - Tracy Nicole Cornacchio, Tue Jun 16 20:32
      This week I realized how big of a struggle writing is for students with ASD. There are so many aspects that play into writing and teaching writing that I never thought of before. I have noticed that... more
      • RE: Writing and Technology - Nicholas Flippen, Fri Jun 19 20:16
        Tracy, I pulled the same conclusions from the materials this week. I saw the use of a lot of assistive technology in student's writing. I think there are a number of reasons why this was done. One, a ... more
      • re: writing and technology - Hunter Hastings, Fri Jun 19 14:37
        This is a really good post. I would say that our students need to be given opportunities to write on whatever topic they desire. I always load when teachers would give guidelines, but not strict... more
      • Re: Writing and Technology - Angie Helton, Thu Jun 18 08:10
        I enjoyed the Kirsten video as well. Her sentences made perfect sense to her because she was writing what she saw. She could clearly make a connection with it and when her teacher would rephrase her... more
        • Re: Writing and Technology - Tracy Nicole Cornacchio, Thu Jun 18 10:57
          I did not hear Kirsten too well since there was a lot of background noise but maybe it was clicking with her. Maybe it would have been better if Kirsten was retyping what the teacher was typing.
      • technology - Cynthia Trickel, Wed Jun 17 22:53
        I agree with you. This module taught me many things about writing that I had never thought of. Our group had a great discussion about technology and finding the appropriate devise. We agreed that... more
      • Tracy-Technology-Reply - Rebecca McVey, Wed Jun 17 22:40
        Tracy, I found myself reflecting on your question for quite a while. I believe that freedom of choice is almost necessary, but find myself wondering how to keep this while preventing students from... more
        • Re: Tracy-Technology-Reply - Tracy Nicole Cornacchio, Thu Jun 18 11:00
          Someone had a good comment earlier about guiding these students to write about things related to their topic. For example if the student wanted to write about trains we could read a book with them... more
      • choosing same topic repeatedly - koppenhaverd, Wed Jun 17 15:01
        See the lecture on supporting rather than legislating topic choice. It is easy to move students toward other kinds of writing by providing lots of choice, peer feedback (I'm tired of reading about... more
      • RE: Writing and Technology - Kelsie Fender, Wed Jun 17 11:43
        While we're on the subject of writing and technology, one point we made in my group was that in the Kirsten video, Kirsten and Amy wrote descriptive sentences about frogs using powering. I thought it ... more
        • RE: Writing and Technology - Tracy Nicole Cornacchio, Wed Jun 17 12:24
          I also watched that video and I loved they way they were using PowerPoint to write about the pictures. It looked like they were writing a story about frogs.
      • technology - Jordan Seagraves, Wed Jun 17 10:42
        One of the most beneficial things I got out of this week was how much technology could aid in instruction for writing to both help the student become engaged and to aid them in writing. I would like... more
        • Re: technology - Tracy Nicole Cornacchio, Wed Jun 17 11:03
          Now that you say that I do remember reading about students using technology such as a computer to socially communicate with others via social networking. The only worry I have about that is that I... more
          • Reply to Technology - Maggie Horne, Fri Jun 19 11:26
            Tracy, this is something that I constantly battle over in my head. Our society revolves around technology and all students should know how to use it, social media included. So much of our students'... more
          • RE: Tracy's Question - Jordan Seagraves, Wed Jun 17 11:14
            You pose a very important question. I think there could be many answers to your questions. One way is to monitor students while they do their work. If they are writing emails to their e-pal, then... more
      • Re: Writing and Technology - Molly Smith, Wed Jun 17 08:29
        I also noticed how technology seems to be used a lot in writing instruction for students with ASD. The Pennington (2009) article said that researchers often use computer technology to present... more
        • Re: Writing and Technology - Tracy Nicole Cornacchio, Wed Jun 17 11:05
          Pix Writer seems like a great program for teaching writing to individuals with ASD. This program sounds great for students who struggle with spelling but it seems like at some point in time they will ... more
          • Dislike of Pix Writer - Rachel Caldwell, Wed Jun 17 15:18
            I did not like Pix Writer, and found that it seemed to go against most of the things that were discussed in the lectures. This program gives the student no freedom in their writing, but instead... more
            • Re: Dislike of Pix Writer - Tracy Nicole Cornacchio, Wed Jun 17 18:42
              I can see what you are saying about Pix Writer. Spelling was my concern also with Pix Writer. I think it would be better if the students just wrote the words and created their own sentences.
      • Re: Writing and Technology - hillaryyarbrough, Wed Jun 17 07:52
        I completely agree with you. I can see the challenge of having a student want to write about the same topic each time, or their writing not improving because they can write about anything. The only... more
        • Re: Writing and Technology - Tracy Nicole Cornacchio, Wed Jun 17 11:07
          That seems like a good idea to choose a topic close to their interest so hopefully they will still be engaged in writing.
      • Re: Writing and Technology - Kelsie Fender, Tue Jun 16 23:33
        Tracy, You pose a really good question! I believe that if a student is consistently writing about the same topic, but he or she is strengthening their writing, they should be allowed to continue... more
        • Writing Topics - Rachel Caldwell, Fri Jun 19 17:03
          I agree, while to us it may not seem like they are improving since they are writing about the same thing, they might be getting so much out of it. I have worked with a first grade student with Autism ... more
        • Re: Writing and Technology - Tracy Nicole Cornacchio, Wed Jun 17 07:31
          That makes sense. Thanks!
    • Cole Video- Comic Books - McKenzi Davis, Tue Jun 16 17:51
      I thought that it was really neat how Cole's written piece of literature was a comic book. I'm assuming that Cole was allowed to choose what format of writing he wanted to create because when Cole... more
      • Reply to Cole Video-Comic Books - Maggie Horne, Fri Jun 19 10:22
        I completely agree with what everything was saying! I loved watching the videos of Cole and how thrilled he was to showcase his comic book and talk about his process and even getting published. The... more
      • Reply to cole video - Hunter Hastings, Fri Jun 19 08:31
        I agree! When teachers give students opportunities to write about things they choose and in the form they choose, they are creating an environment in their classroom. One where creativity and... more
      • Re: Cole Video- Comic Books - Molly Smith, Wed Jun 17 17:12
        I agree with everything that's been said about Cole and his comic book. Allowing students to be creative and experiment with different writing styles and genres is so important. I think that Cole... more
      • Re: Cole Video- Comic Books - Tracy Nicole Cornacchio, Tue Jun 16 20:35
        I believe comic books and graphic novels are becoming popular among students recently. I think it is great to allow students to choose their topic and their style of writing. It sounds like Cole... more
      • Re: Cole Video - brawleyeo, Tue Jun 16 19:32
        I watched this video as well and loved seeing how proud he was of his comic. I also liked that his piece of literature was a comic book and wasn't traditional. I agree with you in that you can learn... more
    • Eric Video - lavertyse, Tue Jun 16 17:01
      In the Eric video, why did the teacher praise Eric for putting together sentences that do not make any sort of sense? He seemed capable of compiling sentences that were readable, but sometimes he did ... more
      • Re: Eric Video - hinesjd, Sat Jun 20 12:30
        Cool idea: I get what you are saying. I think that is is always important to praise effort despite the result; but when the potential is there we cannot just settle for any result, we need to push... more
      • The Main Goal - Cassidy Milosh, Thu Jun 18 23:01
        Eric doesn't need to be pushed right now, he's learning to use writing to communicate and express his ideas. He is being praised because that's best practice for beginning writers. The first and... more
      • Re: Eric video - Angie Helton, Thu Jun 18 08:16
        He was communicating. To me that is what she was praising. He was labeling what he saw in the pictures because he had not had writing instruction before. His skills grew so much and he was better... more
      • Re: Eric Video - Anonymous, Thu Jun 18 06:15
        I agree with the other replies on this such as we don't know his response to negative criticism but it could also be that she wants him to realize it's wrong. I don't think this is the final draft of ... more
        • Re: Eric Video - Megan Rembert, Thu Jun 18 06:16
          I agree with the other replies on this such as we don't know his response to negative criticism but it could also be that she wants him to realize it's wrong. I don't think this is the final draft of ... more
      • Re: Eric Video - bennettmc, Wed Jun 17 14:47
        That's a good point. I am not a teacher, and I have only had some experience with children with ASD. However, I think it's good to continually praise these children to offer encouragement. However,... more
      • Re: Eric Video - Tracy Nicole Cornacchio, Tue Jun 16 20:38
        Maybe the teacher did not want to discourage the student from writing. It is possible that the student could not take negative criticism but it looks like the teacher would have to address the... more
        • when praise works and when to teach - koppenhaverd, Wed Jun 17 14:55
          The video you watched of Eric is a 3rd grader receiving for the first time in his life good writing instruction. Watch the video again and listen to my explanations. Watch the lectures on teaching... more
          • micro-teach - Cynthia Trickel, Wed Jun 17 22:30
            I had not heard the term "micro-teach" or thought about "mini-lessons" before this class. But it makes perfect sense, especially with children who need that extra assistance. I would think that using ... more
    • Writing Assessments - lavertyse, Tue Jun 16 17:00
      In the beginning of the Writing Instruction for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders article, it mentioned that students with ASD have trouble on assessments that involve written tasks. I feel... more
      • RE: Writing Assessments - hildebranak, Sat Jun 20 18:29
        Our CoHort at CCC&TI actually just finished a course on assessment and we found there are many different ways that a student can be assessed. Some examples are: Oral (as in asking questions aloud and ... more
      • Assessments - Britt Hatcher, Sat Jun 20 09:50
        While I can see that something like this would be difficult for students with ASD, but would challenging, but do you think that it would not be such a bad idea to challenge the ASD student to take a... more
      • Re: Writing Assessments - Molly Smith, Wed Jun 17 22:57
        I had a similar question! I wonder if technology could be used to assist during assessment in the same way that it is used to help benefit their writing. How would better assessment help benefit... more
      • writing assessment modifications - koppenhaverd, Wed Jun 17 14:50
        You're all dead right here. If the test is not a test of writing, any reasonable accommodation should be allowed: verbal response, multiple choice, etc. Coordination of IEP team and referencing... more
        • Re: Modifications Q? - McKenzi Davis, Wed Jun 17 16:47
          Dr. Koppenhaver, As never having a disability I have never had to go through testing modifications, or really any major modifications (to my knowledge) of any sort I was wondering how modifications... more
          • re: modifications - koppenhaverd, Thu Jun 18 10:56
            You special education majors know far more about this than I do. As far as I know if a child's IEP lays out modifications, the child has a legal right to them in class and during any testing. Some... more
          • good question - Megan Rembert, Thu Jun 18 06:35
            I know for a student I had in 3rd grade, he had on his IEP a modification for writing saying that if he got frustrated, he could have a scribe write for him and I think this was true for anything he... more
          • McKenzie Reply-Modifications - Rebecca McVey, Wed Jun 17 22:56
            McKenzie, to my knowledge, students by law MUST receive any modifications listed in their IEP. This applies for tests as informal as unit tests in then classroom to as formal as an EOG or another... more
            • I Heard.... - Jean Milton, Thu Jun 18 22:00
              When I was doing an assignment that required a records review I noticed that one of the students had large print and read aloud on all of their testing. I put that in the back of my mind until I sat... more
            • Re - McKenzi Davis, Thu Jun 18 09:48
              I have never seen or been aware of any modifications that were made for any students on test days so I cannot address your question. But, what a shame for students to have modifications and not... more
          • Mistake in previous post Re: Q? - McKenzi Davis, Wed Jun 17 16:48
            I meant would the student follow the modifications of the IEP?
      • Re: Writing Assessments - Tracy Nicole Cornacchio, Tue Jun 16 20:41
        As a general education classroom teacher I believe a teacher can meet the studentís needs. If writing is not what the teacher is assessing there are multiple other ways to assess the student to see... more
      • Re: Writing Assessments - McKenzi Davis, Tue Jun 16 17:15
        I think that writing assessments can be modified in some instances for students that struggle with writing so that they have the same opportunity for success as other students. As long as the... more
    • Spelling and Writing - McKenzi Davis, Tue Jun 16 15:50
      As teachers, I think that we get caught up in the formality of writing. One thing that has stood out to me so far in this week's lectures, readings, and videos is that in the beginning stages of... more
      • reply to spelling and writing - Navila Castro, Sat Jun 20 15:43
        McKenzi I like that you bring up your own experience with spelling. I actually would recommend these types of students to use online programs like Write:Outloud or Co:Writer because that would allow... more
      • Reply to Spelling and Writing - Allison Powers, Fri Jun 19 22:51
        Yes! I think that is one of the reasons we see such a dramatic change when we allow students to use computer programs that help them with spelling. By pulling up a list of suggested words, that is... more
      • Writing and Spelling - Amanda Wallace, Fri Jun 19 22:40
        This really does make since. In the kindergarten class I was with this semester, the students were just encouraged to sound out the words and spell them the best they could. Corrections came after... more
      • re: spelling and writing - stacy huffman, Thu Jun 18 22:34
        McKenzi love the story you shared about your experience during your internship. I too have seen the harm that this can do to students who are learning to write. I worked in a resource setting and so... more
      • McKenzie Reply - Rebecca McVey , Wed Jun 17 22:22
        I completely agree, great point McKenzie! I feel that it is so important to present writing in a positive light and allow students to explore instead of being a stickler for rules. If I were learning ... more
        • Re - McKenzi Davis, Thu Jun 18 09:51
          What their teacher and I would do was have them read it to us for us to write it on another copy for them. Sometimes the students could not even read their own writing; when this happened we had them ... more
      • Correcting spelling errors - Jordan Seagraves, Wed Jun 17 10:55
        I have thought this for a very long time and heard it the first time last semester in my other graduate course. I shared with my group during our discussion that I remember in 2nd or 3rd grade that I ... more
        • emergent writers - catheyt, Thu Jun 18 13:49
          I agree with you Jordan. I teach kindergarten and I see this with kids all the time. They are excited about writing until they reach a place where they know their writing isn't' "right". Its... more
      • Re: Spelling and Writing - lavertyse, Tue Jun 16 17:06
        McKenzi, I agree that spelling corrections should not come until the editing stage. I think we should support students to write freely without that worry. That is what editing is for! We just don't... more
        • reply to lavertyse: work smarter not harder - macdonaldke, Wed Jun 17 20:28
          I think this is a great idea to have students write as much as they can and then allow them to look up words when preparing to write a second draft. I personally love writing, but I know that usually ... more
          • work smarter - Cynthia Trickel, Thu Jun 18 22:37
            Allowing students to write without worrying about spelling or editing the first time around sounds like it will allow for more thoughts to flow into the writing. It will allow the students to... more
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