Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Differentiated Writing Activity for ESY, Summer School or Home

Whenever my mom and dad came to visit my classroom, they always brought books, play doh, and other school supplies.  One time, they bought these amazing sticker books (link to book on Amazon)!  I saved them for a long time thinking they were so cool that I wanted to do something special with them, but couldn't figure out what to do.  Flash forward to when I was planning for ESY (extended school year) and I was looking around my classroom for ideas of what I could bring with me (ESY was located in a different building than my school).  I stumbled across these books again, tossed them into a milk crate (thank you school cafeteria!), and was one step closer to finally using them!

Since many of my students had writing IEP goals, but struggled with traditional writing worksheets
(imagine tears, whining, ripping up worksheets), I thought we could use these stickers to help!  The kids got to pick stickers that they liked and put them on a piece of notebook paper.  Then, depending on the students' level, they either had to write a one word label of the picture (I helped with the spelling if needed or let them try on their own if they felt comfortable), write a sentence, or write an entire journal entry.  You could also give them 3-5 stickers and have them create a story that included all of them.

I know, I know, this seems so simple...and it is; but it made writing just fun enough that I didn't get any complaints!  First of all, the task was differentiated (i.e. I wasn't expecting a kid who can barely write 1 full word to write a sentence).  Second of all, it was based on the students' interests and motivation (i.e. they got to pick the stickers and the topic of their writing).

And since this activity requires minimal resources, it was perfect for an ESY activity that we could complete a couple times a week to help maintain and generalize writing skills.  This would also be an awesome activity to send home.  Have students pick a couple stickers and put them on some notebook paper and send home with directions differentiated for each students' level.

What do you do to differentiate writing and make it motivating?

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