Friday, July 25, 2008

the writing...is coming along!!

Ciarra's 3rd grade teacher is tutoring her over the summer, working on keeping her reading and writing up to par. She ended 3rd grade at an ending third grade level, which is a testament to this teacher (and others) ability to really teach her WELL.
Ciarra's writing has been coming along, she has good fine motor skills, but writing requires 1) having a train of thought you want to express and 2) spelling each word individually as you go to create the story. Sometimes the story ends up not going where she wants because the spelling and planning take up all of her time/energy. Yesterday, she brought home this paper. her teacher told me that she wrote it ENTIRELY on her own, no spelling help, no nothing help. I was excited. She has written many papers, but this one is a cohesive train of thought with pretty darn good spelling if I do say so myself. :) Im a proud momma. And yes, it isnt what most 9-10 yr olds could do, but it is what SHE can do. And I will gladly take it.



6 comments:

datri said...

Great job, Ciarra! Can I say she's an inspiration yet again? LOL.

I was wondering if you do anything adaptive for her in school. For example dictating or using a keyboard if the assignment is to write a story. How do you handle those dreaded standardized tests?

Michelle said...

well thank you. She has a long way to go before she writes well enough to be legibly enough to breeze through writing assignments, but I am excited at forward progress. :)
Our school has been a teensy bit slow to catch on to any adaptive equipment, their hearts in the right places but it is a LOT of work. I bought the program Clicker 5 by Cricksoft...and cant say enough good about it. It is a writing program for kids who need some scaffolding as they read/write. GREAT program. I understand they will also be adding Kurzweil (similar to clicker) this year, with a station right in her classroom, and are training 10 teachers, which is awesome. It will help her use the computer to read and write. It can even scan books or papers in and make them clickable so they can be spoken to her or even have their definitions read aloud. I am excited to see how that goes.
As far as testing, she tests in a seperate room with more breaks and it is usually stretched out for a longer period, I believe. (Not 100% sure.)
I am a real believer in technology, I think that programs like dragon naturally speaking etc could be a godsend, but they arent great at unique speech patterns, and while her speech is good, it fluctuates and depending on yucky noses etc the program wont hear her correctly. Someday, someones going to write a speech regognition program that works for kids with speech impairments. I spent almost 400 bucks on Dragon, and it sits on a shelf. Argh.
Thanks for writing.

Michelle said...

oh, last yr, her awesome teacher would take dictation for her, Ciarra would write her reports etc with the teacher doing the writing, and Ciarra speaking and editing. It worked beautifully.

Abigail said...

Michelle, where did you find that info about Curious George? I find the text on a You Tube video (on the soundtrack of Curious George music). When I went to do an online search, I found lots of info on the Rey's amazing journey out of WWII Germany, but not much on the Down Syndrome inspiration behind the actual story.

I'm so happy that you posted this story. I'll add a hat tip on my blog to your website! -Abby

Michelle said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curious_George

that is where I found it. We were in Boston, my little girl (who has DS) was looking for CG everywhere. We went online to find pictures, to "try to find" his apartment building. ;) In that search, the article came up. It is a cool one, isnt it?

whatever to us said...

Congrats Miss Ciarra! What an awesome job on the paper :) Chelle-thanks for sharing with us, hugs!