Monday, March 10, 2008

Tuesday Toot - Adam Writes!

Adam has had a lot of trouble so far in first grade getting his writing assignments done in class. It started way back in September and has been a problem ever since. He would come home after school, knowing that he was in trouble for not completing his assignment and then whine and mope for hours (no exaggeration) that he didn't want to do it. We knew that he didn't have any problems with penmanship or forming sentences and couldn't understand why he wouldn't do them. In fact, he came up with this fantastic sentence for the word "froze" in a spelling test:

power freeze
When it was one degree, the power froze for a second.
He finally explained that he didn't like to write "fiction" and he only wanted to write truths and facts. So for a while, he did his assignments by writing facts about the picture and not a story. But soon that didn't work either. His teacher felt that it was a "compliance" issue, but we knew that there was something deeply uncomfortable about writing for Adam. She told us that he was the best writer in the class when it came to sentence structure and formation so he should be able to do the assignments. I tried to explain to her that he was having trouble with the creative process and not so much the writing part of it. I asked her to help him come up with ideas instead of punishing him for not writing. As soon as he sees that he is in trouble, it becomes a downward spiral where he gets completely frustrated and even more writer's block.

So both his teacher and I offered up ideas upon ideas for Adam's writing assignments, even factual ones, but he refused to use them because he didn't like them. I tried to explain to him that it didn't have to be perfect, it just had to be completed. I also tried to dispel the belief that fiction was somehow bad or not truthful by giving him the example of video games. Obviously Mario isn't real and all his exploits on Super Mario Galaxy are fictional stories. See those pigs in that picture? They like to play video games. Why don't you write about which video games they like to play. Even though he felt that wasn't a good idea, he got one assignment done with that notion. I told him, when you can't come up with ideas, you can always fall back on video games as you never seem have trouble writing about them.

So imagine our surprise when we got this assignment back today:

Adam's flying story
One day a girl flu her kite on a very windy day. The wind was so strong it blu her way up in the sky. In one week she went all the way around the wourld. When she got home she wanted to do it again. So... She went around the wourld a secend time.
Doug and I were completely astounded by this story and extremely proud of him. And his teacher must have been pleased when she wrote "Super!" as well. Adam was a bit embarrassed when I wanted to read the story to Dova, and almost didn't let me put it on the blog. But he knows that we are truly proud of him.


Melissa said...


I totally understand about the writing thing, and the fact you weren't exaggerating about the amount of time on assignments. Both of my guys have dysgraphia and there are days....I can't wait until their typing skills improve to the point they are more comfortable doing that. :)

Anonymous said...

If memory serves me right that is exceptionally good writing for a 1st grader, handwriting too.