I have been endeavouring to engage my students in writing every day. For those of you who teach in a remote Indigenous context as I do you know how difficult this can be. Not only are our young students expected to write in a language that they only speak at school but they have physical limitations to manage such as hearing loss, cognitive delays and language processing issues. One tool that I use with my students is to ask them to make a voice recording of their writing for them to listen back to. It can be difficult to think of what you want to say, instantly translate it to English and then remember how to spell all of those words at the same time. Since introducing these supports I have seen my little boys who used to muck around and produce nothing during writing time change into industrious writers who are proud of their efforts.
Simple things can make all the difference to our students. When deciding how to help students it is important to provide the tools to help them increase their level of engagement, not simplify the task and rob them of the chance to perform to their full potential.
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