Supporting Language Arts With Technology

While most students from junior high through college are communicating to friends their thoughts and feelings with email and text messaging, students who have challenges in learning struggle to compose a sentence or a short paragraph. I’ve worked with several students who have both difficulties in penmanship and creating organized thoughts for a writing assignment.

Graphic organizers can be used to help students with ideas on a topic. There is a free site from Houghton Mifflin containing printable organizers that are in English and Spanish. A popular purchased software called Kidspiration uses a talking library of pictures and graphics for students to design their own organizer. A free 30 day trial version can be downloaded from the site.

An excellent resource for teachers is the website Read, Write, Think. Their Essay Map is interactive and printable. The web resources section contains a wealth of linked sites for language arts and reading. I have a student who really likes dogs. To help him be more motivated in making sentences, I’ve used this site and found a story starter with a picture of a dog doing a trick, a beginning sentence and lines for his own writing.

Sometimes no matter what is tried, a student may not develop a skill for writing but be more successful with pictures. Picture It is software that is similar to Kidspiration but in a word processing format using pictures to tell a story. This website has a demonstration of picture sentences. It is designed for students with significant skill delays in writing.

There are many more devices, software and interactive free sites that address language arts but this is a start. If you need more information, please contact me and I’m happy to help. 🙂

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