Learning To Express Yourself Through Writing

Students are beginning to settle into their new school year routines, and sizing up the teacher's expectations for them in their classes. As is the case with most students, some classes will come very easy for them, while others will seem to be a form of torture. One area that appears to be a struggle for many of our students is the practice of written expression. For me personally as a student that was certainly not the case. 

When I was in fifth grade I lived for Thursdays. Math was always difficult for me, but I loved reading and I loved writing. In the old days at school, we had a spelling book that contained a set of twelve words that we focused on for the week. Monday nights for homework we had to write a definition for each word. On Tuesdays, we had to dissect the word and determine the part of speech. On Wednesday s the assignment was to write a sentence using each word, and Fridays were reserved for the spelling test. Thursday; however, was a special for that was the evening designated for writing our spelling story. We were to use all twelve of the spelling words in creating our own story about anything we wanted. My buddies would cram as many words as possible into as few sentences as possible and call it a story, but I was different. I loved writing spelling stories and would write pages and pages creating characters and events far beyond the use of the twelve words. Now I know this sounds vain, but my stories were really good, even entertaining. For a student who struggled in math, this was my time to shine and I took full advantage of the opportunity. 

Little did I know that the ease I experienced in putting words on paper was not there for many other students and they struggled with writing much like I struggled with math equations. Today many students struggle with writing assignments and quite often they actually suffer from a written expression disorder. This is a learning disability where a student's writing ability falls well below the expectation based on their age, educational background, and cognitive ability. Poor writing skills transcend subject matters and can cause duress for students of all grade levels. A student's self-esteem can even be adversely affected, as they may fear having to read their work in front of the class or have their work displayed. 

At The Piedmont School, we use a number of effective strategies and programs to assist students with strengthening their writing skills, but it is often not an easy nut to crack. The true causes of written expression disorders are unknown. Different manifestations of the disorder can have different causes. Delays in attention, dysgraphia, and even cognitive processing problems can contribute to struggles with written expression. For more information on written expression disorders and strategies to use for help, please feel free to contact The Piedmont School at (336) 883-0992. 

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