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  • Mrs G

Help your Writing Resistant Students

Updated: Mar 2, 2023

“But, I Don’t Know What to Write” Isn’t this how it goes… You introduce a writing topic to your students. Students get excited about the sentence you want them to come up with. You show an example on the board. Then, you turn them loose looking forward to greatness! Within ten seconds you hear the dreaded phrase… “I don’t know what to write”. Such is the life of a teacher.



Writing Interventions

In teaching special education, I have needed to find concrete ways to help students write. Here are my top three tips to try with students who are resistant writers:

  1. Use a sentence stem! Ask students to complete a sentence and provide them with the first few words.

  2. Take the pressure off! Remove time limits when you can. No more, “you have to do this before lunch.” Instead, be sure students understand why it is important in the big picture.

  3. Break it down! Even with older students, start at the very beginning. Make sure their grasp is a tripod. Have them highlight first if needed. Allow them to choose from one of two preselected topics. Give them a visual and written prompt.


Resources to Help Students Start Ugh, for some of my resistant writers, this is the hardest part of their day. It is painful to watch them struggle through it while their classmates scribble away.


With these students in mind, I created two scaffolded writing journals as a part of my Elementary Writing Bundle. Both Writing Journal I and Writing Journal II are meant for Pre-K-2nd grade students and have visuals to support each prompt and are set up like this: 1: Highlight the sentence. 2: Trace the same sentence. 3: Copy the sentence. 4: Complete the sentence with support from the picture.

Try It for FREE

What I have found is that this scaffolded approach helps remove that initial “I don’t know what to write” barrier and helps students find confidence. Print a free sample of this journal by clicking here. I hope it reduces some writing anxiety for your students! You can extend the learning by having students complete writing morning work every day.


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