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smile 1973 smile 1973 is offline
 
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Help!!!!!
Old 07-22-2011, 01:10 PM
 
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I have been researching writer's workshop for my special needs students. I have invested in the Units of study, I want to know if anyone has used UoS with special needs students? What modifications did you make, was UoS sucessful with special needs students. I have posted this on three strands hoping to get a reposne.


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Old 07-23-2011, 04:18 PM
 
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I don't teach self-contained special needs but I always have special needs students in my classroom (5th grade), most of whom are pulled out for language arts some of the time to the resource room. Obviously part of my job is to modify my work and lessons for those students, although they also get some of the support they need in the resource room.

So with that said, since that may be different from your situation, I've had great success using UoS with my special needs students. I've seen them make far more growth than previously. In some cases I think it was because the atmosphere that I found easier to create while teaching writing workshop led to students feeling less panicked and fearful of writing, and I had students who on the first day wouldn't write or would cry about it become a lot more comfortable very quickly. And then that allowed me to work with them on whatever they needed work with.

UoS is already set up in such a way that it's very individualized and differentiated. If we were working on, say, personal narrative, all my students would be all over the place as far as length and writing techniques - some already came in using dialogue and elaboration, having a sense of style in their writing, and others were struggling to put sentences together. So, although everyone might be writing a personal narrative, some kids' products might be much longer and more sophisticated than others. In writing conferences, I would be working with each child on different areas depending on what they needed.

The main modification I use is that for some of my kids, special needs and otherwise, it was helpful to have copies of charts that we made at their seat/in their folder instead of just hanging up (some teachers I think do this for all students). Sometimes I would provide more scaffolding in the form of graphic organizers to help them plan. (For example, when writing essays we use a "boxes and bullets" outline form. Most kids will just draw the boxes and bullets themselves, and I'll provide some blanks if they want them. For my special needs students I might give them a filled out one to hang out to to look at later, or I might give them a blank copy of the organizer with some notes to the side reminding them about what it's for/how to use it.)

I also modified grading rubrics as necessary. This varied widely depending on the goals for each student and the goals of the unit. Some units needed way more modification than others.

Hope this helps!
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Thanks so much it does
Old 07-23-2011, 05:26 PM
 
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I am super excited about UoS, the more I read the more excited I get. I know you are right that it lends itself to differentiation. I wonder if I am tooo excited!
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:26 AM
 
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What is UoS?
I teach special needs and am always looking for things for writing.
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