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How to help a child who can not do independent creative writing

(51 Posts)
Picturesinthefirelight Wed 21-May-14 09:54:36

Because me & his teachers are at a loss.

He is in Year 5 & there have always been big issues with writing. He can't make choices & can't think what to write about.

With coaxing and support and being led step by step along the task he can produce done nice work, or if its about a subject he's into like Mibecraft.

However yet again in tests he was given a Long Writing task ( about a hot air balloon ride) & at the end of 45 mins had only written the title.

He said he didn't know what to write as he's never been on a balloon ride so didn't know anything about it. A couple if years ago he had a massive tantrum over A writing task to do with having visited somewhere in holiday because he said he'd not been on holiday (he had but couldn't remember)

We suspected Aspergers but 2cahms visits & a private ed psych visit later they say he does not demonstrate the characteristics.

We're at a loss.

wafflyversatile Sat 21-Jun-14 19:40:20

wafflyversatile Sat 21-Jun-14 19:39:47

How's he getting on? I was reminded of this from a piece on BBC about minecraft in the classroom.

me55monster Wed 28-May-14 18:04:45

Hi Pictures I've only skim-read the thread but appreciate this probably isn't the whole answer but my DS found this Descriptosaurus really useful for building vocabulary and learning some descriptors to be used in stories.

As I say, not the whole answer, but may be useful smile

wafflyversatile Mon 26-May-14 22:28:32

No one can be good at everything, or exactly as good at everything. On that score, as lesley says, it doesn't really matter. He can easily get through life without creative writing.

But he he will be charged with writing creatively throughout his school career so it does matter just now and it seems it is stressing him out, from what you say, so finding a way for it to be 1. not something that will hold him back from his general academic progress, and 2. less stressful for him even if that just means helping him care less.

I hope things improve for him. He evidently has creative imagination in his drawing. Maybe that is another way in. Visualising. Drawing a picture in his head then describing it in words.

No harm in asking about any interventions.

Good luck. Keep us updated. smile

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 26-May-14 22:11:35

Last year he was also in an English enrichment group based on the fact that his reading/comprehension levels were exceptional. He didn't get in this year though.

It's just writing.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 26-May-14 22:10:00

He goes to a small group learning support session.

He has also (on the basis of computer based tests) been offered a place at a selective independent school.

freetrait Mon 26-May-14 20:49:54

Interventions are very normal, providing the right support where it's needed. I know our primary (one my kids go to) has several going on. Yes, it can be dependent on teachers giving up their time, but not always, sometimes they are timetabled. And in Secondary kids arriving with less than level 4 have support/intervention to get them up to level 4 so their access to the curriculum is better. This is normally not lunchtimes, but during part of form-time/another lesson- rotated so they don't miss the same thing too much.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 26-May-14 19:44:42

I don't think that would be possible as his class teacher is also the deputy head & already runs various lunchtime/after school clubs as do all the teachers.

I wouldn't feel comfortable asking a teacher to give up their own time & ds also I wouldn't want him to give up his lunchtime/clubs especially as he's just started to socialise more in the playground.

Lesleythegiraffe Mon 26-May-14 19:44:23

I think there's far too much emphasis put on creative/imaginative writing.

Since I left school I've never had to do either.

What's the point making kids struggle through settings, characters, plots etc when it's something 99% of them will never have to do in real life?

mrz Mon 26-May-14 19:36:28

No the school would provide the intervention if a teacher is willing to give up their own time over lunchbreak.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 26-May-14 19:14:05

You mean pay for a private tutor?

freetrait Mon 26-May-14 18:30:18

Could you ask the school if an intervention is appropriate, better now than in Y6? If a teacher could give him 15 minutes 1-1 twice/three times a week at lunchtime/before/after school, this might make all the difference.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 25-May-14 21:52:03

I'm going to suggest the Minecraft thing to him. He doesn't write about Minecraft much but does draw very detailed pictures.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 25-May-14 21:50:53

He doesn't have 1:1. Just his class teacher tries to help him as much as possible (but this does of course take away from the needs if the rest of the class ).

freetrait Sun 25-May-14 21:33:38

Maybe he needs more "tests" and an agreed strategy of support in the "tests" as well- support that can then gradually decrease as he gains in confidence. I wonder if it's anxiety that is paralysing him, and then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. Does he get 1-1 support/interventions to help?

wafflyversatile Sun 25-May-14 21:30:14

I'm not that au fait with minecraft but does he not require imagination to build a world in that?

Can he place his creative writing projects in minecraft world?

So for that test he could look forward to seeing his buildings from the air, or seeing if he can fly the balloon down the mines or drop diamonds from the basket? Take some dwarves on the flight? (I might be getting confused with dwarf fortress now) Also if he has to place his writing in minecraft that may constrains his choices which sounds like a good thing if he has trouble choosing from various options.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 25-May-14 21:22:43

His teacher said he is ok now in class with support(didn't specify exactly what he does but I'm guessing its similar sort of strategies) but in tests he can't write anything.

freetrait Sun 25-May-14 21:18:30

No, agreed. But I guess the theory goes if they get that sort of support regularly they remember what to do for the test when they are not allowed it.

mrz Sun 25-May-14 20:50:23

No you wouldn't be able to give that sort of support in tests

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 25-May-14 18:47:24

But what about an exam situation free trait, you're not allowed to give that sort if help then are you?

freetrait Sun 25-May-14 18:43:56

Realise that I have spelling mistakes and bad english in this post!!! shock. Can do better, honest!

freetrait Sun 25-May-14 18:42:48

Maybe the tasks are just not concrete enough for him, and he needs help to get going. I am teaching in Secondary and each subject sometimes has to accommodate an extended writing task and mark it. We did one recently for Y7 and it was interesting- this is a mixed comp with SEN students, and in this particular class there is a boy with autism who is statemented for this. He couldn't get going with the task, was sat there writing nothing looking distressed. So, I went over and wrote him a list of questions that he needed to answer. He was then very happy and got on with it straight away. Also, the whole class were given sentence starters and vocabularly on a powerpoint that they might use. I think some children need this help and then hopefully as they get older and more experienced they can do without it.

HolidayCriminal Sun 25-May-14 16:07:10

Tonnes of sympathy & empathy, here.
Also dealing with y5 DS. Who doesn't tick expected boxes for XYZ SN.

At least yours will research on the 'Net. Mine gets quickly overwhelmed & has never done a school project.
I have resorted to asking DS to write shopping lists, or dialogues from the (newspaper) comics. Shopping lists of what he wants for Birthday. Sometimes I dictate to him. He still loathes all that & can take up to 2 hours of exclusive 1-to-1 for me to get him to write one full page. Anything just to put pen to paper.

School showed me a long story he'd done in yr4 that looked really creative; but in retrospect I suspect he copied it all out of a BeastQuest book. (sigh)

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 23-May-14 13:47:42

Yes, I bought it him for Xmas!

He refuses to eat sausages or even sweets with pork gelatine in!

iseenodust Fri 23-May-14 11:06:41

Has he read The Ubelievable Secret Diary of Pig? That's a funny flight of imagination!

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