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The ADHD Book of Lists: A Practical Guide for Helping Children and Teens with Attention Deficit Disorders, 2nd Edition by Sandra F. Rief

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5.8 Strategies for Building Skills in Written Expression

Written expression is the most common academic area of difficulty among students with ADHD. Several brain processes and skills are involved and used simultaneously (for example, language, attention, memory, sequencing, organization, planning, self-monitoring, and critical thinking) when composing a written piece of work (List 5.6).

Students are expected to meet grade-level standards in several writing formats and genres, such as persuasive essays, personal narratives, summaries, and reports, and teachers have the challenge of differentiating instruction to writers of varying levels. The teaching of writing requires knowing how to scaffold the instruction and provide the necessary structures and supports to students who need more help in the writing process. Even students with significant writing difficulties are able to meet writing standards when they receive explicit teaching, modeling, and guided practice of writing skills and strategies.

Teach the craft of writing and composing by using some of these approaches:

  • Modeled writing. Demonstrate the use of strategies, enabling students to witness the thinking and self-questioning processes that are used while composing. Speak aloud what you are thinking (metacognition) while creating a draft of some piece of writing—for example, a beginning paragraph with an interesting lead. Project your writing on a screen so that students can follow the process.
  • Explicit instruction in ...

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