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Putting pen to paper: the schools nurturing a love of the written word

The Guardian – Naomi Larsson

“At Jenner Park Primary School in Barry, Wales, pupils between the ages of seven and nine are writing letters to residents of a local care home. The initiative sees children and their elderly pen pals exchange updates about their lives, helping to build relationships between generations while also giving the children an understanding of the value of writing letters by hand – an activity that’s becoming less and less common.” (more)

The 3 superpowers of collaborative nonfiction writing

E-School News – Ken Haynes

“Kids love to tell and share stories, but writing nonfiction is different, because they have to take concepts or events and not only understand them, but convey that information in writing. For many kids, it’s hard enough to show what they know verbally, but having to develop and then convey their thoughts and levels of understanding in writing can be very difficult.” (more)

‘Allow imaginations to lead’: igniting the creative spark in young writers

The Guardian – Emma Sheppard

“In Leeds, Parklands Primary School structures all creative writing tasks around a particular novel. Pupils are currently studying The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Year 5 teacher Grace Huby says encouraging children to work in groups to discuss their ideas, decorating the classroom and acting out scenes has helped to improve the quality of their writing, as has inviting guests to the school – Cressida Cowell, author of How to Train Your Dragon, visited on World Book Day this year. The aim is to give pupils inspiration, says Huby.” (more)

A focus on writing in every class is key to success in this rural California district

Ed Source – Theresa Harrington

“The writing program helped spur a culture shift throughout the Brawley Union High School District, which includes a continuation high school for students who are behind in credits and a community day school for students who have behavior or attendance problems. The culture shift included comprehensive teacher training and staff teambuilding, new classes, and stressing the importance of standardized Smarter Balanced tests in English language arts and math to students. Over the past three years, the school, which serves about 1,670 students, has seen its scores soar on these tests aligned to the Common Core standards, which high school juniors take each spring.”(more)

Creating a Dysgraphia-Friendly Classroom

Edutopia – Jessica Hamman

“Dysgraphia is a language-based learning difference that affects a student’s ability to produce written language. In the early grades, students with dysgraphia may have difficulty with consistent letter formation, word spacing, punctuation, and capitalization. In later grades, they may have difficulty with writing fluency, floating margins, and legible writing.”(more)

Dyslexia—when spelling problems impair writing acquisition

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Dyslexia is a reading disorder that affects the ability to adopt the automatic reflexes needed to read and write. Several studies have sought to identify the source of the problems experienced by individuals with dyslexia when they read. Little attention, however, has been paid to the mechanisms involved in writing. CNRS Professor Sonia Kandel and her team studied the purely motor aspects of writing in children diagnosed with dyslexia. Their results show that orthographic processing in children with dyslexia is so laborious that it can modify or impair writing skills, despite the absence of dysgraphia in these children. The findings of this study are published in the November 2017 edition of Cognitive Neuropsychology.”(more)