As one student said, “Once I get it all planned out, the paper practically writes itself!”
Written expression is as important to academic success as is reading and comprehension. Short answer responses, essays, book reports, and other papers are often the end product a teacher or professor uses to assess a student’s learning. Written composition varies in form and production according to its purpose and audience. However, for this to be done effectively and efficiently, one must be able to clearly convey a main idea and offer development of that idea in an organized format with appropriate grammar and punctuation. Developing one’s ability to compose sentences and paragraphs that are highly descriptive and pleasingly worded also enhances the process. However, it is a task that many students struggle with and tend to avoid.
Langsford has created a Writer’s Road Map™ that helps students become better writers. We work on getting ideas down on paper in a clear and organized way. The learning process we use when comprehending – creating images in your mind that match the words on the page – is also used when writing. One’s ability to dual-code, or shift back and forth between concept images and words, makes it easier to put those words on paper. The focus is on the thinking process behind writing, not merely the content. Then the child can figure out what they want to say and envision how it will all be organized on paper, before picking up a pen or putting fingers on a keyboard. Once a mental representation of what the student wants to say is completed, graphic organizers are used to plan and organize the structure of the writing. This involves writing effective sentences and paragraphs, planning papers, and developing a “writer’s voice.” We include writing in a variety of genres such as personal narratives, compare and contrast essays and opinion papers. The writing is then critiqued and revised as needed. Grammar, sentence building, and vocabulary are also incorporated as appropriate. With this approach, students develop the necessary tools to simplify and enjoy the process of writing.
Today when Kate finished her session, she was very talkative about what she had done and about how she was working on writing a story. And then she said, “I wish I could come to Langsford for 5 or 6 hours a day! I could write lots of stories!” I was so happy to hear her say that - and to hear her be excited about writing. She has never wanted to write! So, thank you!