We Can Teach Gifted Students to Write
Dear Dr. Sylvia:
It has been my pleasure to hear you speak at the National Association for Gifted Children and the Gifted Association of Missouri conferences and I am very interested in the topic of pencil anxiety. I am the lead teacher for gifted education and I am working to improve the education of the exceptionally gifted children in our district.
I am noticing a trend in the elementary age boys with 150+ IQ's who are unable to produce quality writing pieces both in situations with time constraints and when given unlimited time. The writing samples show bare minimum expectations and a lack of detail, when the child clearly knows more about the topic. They do not like to write and avoid it. How can I help them improve this skill which is so critical in their education? I have let them type, but they still produce minimal work. I would appreciate any suggestions or your ability to point me to other resources.
There aren't many boys with 150+ IQ, but the problem you're describing is one I hear repeatedly about many boys of high ability. It may well be that screens have taken over their childhood and prevented them from learning to express themselves in writing. Every generation has its own problems and while many generations of boys have struggled with "pencil anxiety", it seems more omnipresent for this generation than any other.
In addition to typing on the computer for all drafts of their writing, here are some suggestions for pencil anxious students:
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