Writing is hard work, requiring active engagement and the highest level of critical thinking skills.
Writing puts a heavy load on our working memory--many students with learning differences have compromised working memories. Hence it is key that pre-writing skills help lift the cognitive load that proficient and good writing requires.
Students must first "anchor" their ideas to make writing less taxing. Organizational notes--such as Mind Maps, Brain Frames and charts, set students up well for the planning and structuring stages of expository writing.
Modeling anything we want students to learn is important, but it is especially important, for students with learning differences.
Many students I work with are very bright, but have compromised working memory, slower processing and/ or word retrieval issues. They find writing extremely difficult.
Nearly all report later, however that with the EmPOWER writing method, they feel more confident and empowered about writing! Many of my graduated students who visit me later on, tell me what a powerful tool EmPOWER was in their college years and careers!
"Sometimes old is gold...writing is still one of the best ways to express ourselves."
Dr. Leslie Laud
EmPOWER is an interactive approach to writing that guides students through note-taking and writing as a system. "Brain Frames," developed by Dr. Bonnie Singer from Architects for Learning, are the organizational stage that help students move through the steps that the writing method stands for: Evaluate, Make a Plan, Organize, Work, Evaluate, and Re-work. Whether 5 or 18, Dyslexic or not, I use this method.