Writing is one of the most challenging tasks students must undertake in school and large numbers of students falter and fail when it comes to writing. As an adult, there are many occupations where you don't need to be a good writer. But in school there are writing demands everywhere. Whether it is writing in a journal, writing the key definitions in a chapter, copying problems from the board, taking a state writing competency test, producing a book report, or taking notes in a science class, students are asked to produce an increasingly large amount of writing.
Writing may encompass the most complex task students face each day. Students must simultaneously recall ideas, vocabulary, rules of spelling, punctuation, and grammar, and make use of strategies while producing their thoughts on paper. Orchestrating these multiple demands can be overwhelming for some students. They must use a range of abilities from the higher order problem solving processes of brainstorming and creating ideas to the more basic movements of getting their fingers to form letters using a pencil or typing on a keyboard.
Some students who possess creative, thoughtful, and knowledgeable ideas are unable to convey this information in writing.
There is a wide range of reasons why students might struggle with writing. They may not understand what strategies to use. They may be anxious and believe they will never write well. They may also have a profile of neurodevelopmental strengths and areas in need of improvement that may impede their learning and execution of written work.
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