external image 14245_1158397284851_1375329560_30401325_1952348_n.jpg

Something that you want us to know about you or something about you that is interesting… Most of you may already know that I am from the Midwest. If not, I want you to know I was born and raised in Des Moines,Iowa and am proud to be a Hawkeye! :) You may not know that for two summers I worked in Alaska for a white water rafting company or that I once had a pet ferret named Bosco. Above is a picture of me and an amazing little girl I mentored for two years through the organization Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America. We still keep in touch, and my experience with her solidified my passion for teaching.

Explain your education and career goals: After I obtain my teaching license, I would like to travel overseas and teach abroad for a year or so. Ideally, when I come back I would love to work with third or fourth grade students. At this level, I believe children are beginning to get excited about learning and are capable of taking on more responsibility for their own development. My ultimate career goal is to be the teacher my students think back on as the most influential and supportive, and of course-their favorite!

What brings you joy? The things that bring me the most joy are, generally speaking; my family and friends, my golden retriever, music, nature, sunshine, yoga, hiking, food, coffee, photography, books, movies, laughter, and helping and caring for others.

What is your greatest fear about being a teacher? My all time biggest fear about being a teacher is not being able to connect with a student. I fear the possibility of not giving them everything they need from me academically, emotionally, spiritually, whatever aspect it may be. I want all of my students to feel cared for, supported, encouraged, and inspired to do their very best and be their very best.

Did you ever experience a time when something was extremely difficult to learn? Hmm, let me think…MATH! Like many others, I struggled with mathematics growing up and still find it to be a challenge as an adult.

How did it make me feel? I would get embarrassed I could not grasp the materials at the same pace as my classmates. I would quickly fall behind because I would not speak up when I was confused. It would make me feel incredible slow and inadequate.

How might this piece of your history help you connect to students with learning differences? I will be able to connect with students who are embarrassed that they can not work at the same pace as their classmates. As a future professional educator, I vow never to rush through a concept and leave a student behind. I know how hard it is to play the catch-up game and do not want to submit them to that. I will always encourage students to speak up. I hope to create a comfortable and safe environment in which they feel they can ask questions and inquire about materials they do not understand.

What do you want to gain from this course? I suspect this course will be very enriching and insightful. I am most excited to further gain the necessary knowledge and tools to provide all of my future students with the very best education.

INTRODUCTION: I chose the topic inclusion strategies in writing because I love literature and the creativity involved in writing. I believe the art of writing is something that is being lost in modern day society. I feel the mechanics and penmanship in a student’s writing suffers due to the overuse of technology. Students with disabilities have an added difficulty in being able to efficiently and accurately record a thought they have in their head. I want to investigate and learn as many strategies as possible to help ALL of my students reach their maximum writing potential.


1) Writing disabilities refers to a very wide range of both physical and mental challenges. For this reason, there is a vast array of strategies to correspond to every specific writing disability.

2) Writing intervention strategies can be useful for all students, not just students with learning disabilities.

3) There are a variety of tools that can assist children with writing disabilities. There are both hi-tech and low-tech accommodations for writing. The tools vary from devices assisting a child in holding a pencil to tools to help with spelling and grammar difficulties.

4) Through researching various sites about inclusion strategies in writing, I learned a lot about the warning signs of learning disabilities. It is imperative to spot a student with a disability early on so they can receive the necessary assistance to help them reach their fullest potential.

5) Human beings, regardless if they have a disability of not, have basic needs that must be met in order to feel fulfilled and reach the height of their learning ability. Through this project I learned many strategies of inclusion for writing, but also for the everyday classroom in general.


The “Pre-Referral Intervention Manual” by Stephen B. McCarney, Ed.D. and Kathy Cummins Wunderlich, M.Ed
*RATING 5/5*
This manual is filled with intervention strategies designed to improve writing. There are specific strategies for everything from handwriting to sentence structure. The text is very user friendly and provides a plethora of interventions that can be modified for each individual student depending on their needs.


”Effective Strategies to Improve Writing” by Steve Graham and Dolores Perin
*RATING 5/5*
I found this document on Slideshare. It includes an extensive list of ideas for inclusions strategies in writing. Some of the ideas are summarization, word-processing with teacher supervision, sentence combining and pre-writing

National Writing Project Website, www.nwp.org
*RATING 5/5*
This website includes many helpful hints on how children learn to write and how to support good writing habits. On the site I found an article entitled, “Inclusion and the Multiple Intelligences Centered Curriculum” by Jennifer Borek. Each one of Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences was supported by appropriate corresponding strategies to assist that type of learner.

National Center for Learning Disabilities; “What is Dysgraphia?”
*RATING 4/5*
This website goes into great detail about the learning disability called dysgraphia. Warning signs of dysgraphia are discussed. If a child is diagnosed this website has many strategies to help the students overcome their challenges with writing. I found it helpful the strategies were broken down by age groups; early, young, teenage, and adults.

“Assistive Technology Tools: Writing” by By Kristin Stanberry , Marshall Raskind, Ph.D
*RATING 4/5*
This site explained a wide range of assistive technology tools available to help students who struggle with writing. Some of these tools help students circumvent the actual physical task of writing, while others facilitate proper spelling, punctuation, grammar, word usage, and organization. I learned a lot from this site, and was unaware of all the writing tools available such as; abbreviation expanders, alternative keyboards, and special graphic organizers.

“Interventions for Students with Learning Disabilities in Writing” The News Digest.
Volume 25, July 1997
*RATING 4/5*
In this article, the News Digest focused on two interventions for students with learning disabilities which are; helping students develop their use of learning strategies and helping them develop their phonological awareness. This is a very lengthy resource, packed with great insights on how to equip students with strategies to assist in their writing abilities.

To Teach Students with a Writing Disability” by Jennifer Wagaman
*RATING 3/5*
This article includes some valuable information on the basics of teaching students with a writing disability. I only rated it a three because it did not go into a lot of depth. However, I think it is a good resource to start with in order to get a broad overview of the topic.

Writing an Inclusion Policy
*RATING 3/5*
I thought this document was relevant because it discussed the logistics of writing an inclusion policy. I appreciated in the introduction that it defined what an inclusion strategy is and also the related benefits. This document also broke down the steps and components of a writing an inclusion policy which was helpful. It also provided helpful examples and guidelines.

"First grader Without Hands Wins National Penmanship Award" by
By Mary Niederberger / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
*RATING 3/5*
If I was rating this source on inspirational value it would exceed the high score of five out of five. I rated it on its informational value in regards to inclusion strategies, which was slim considering Annie does not have a learning disability. However, I wanted to include it into my resources because I think it is an incredible story about how hard work and determination can pay off. Annie did not let the obstacle of being born without hands get in her way of excelling in her writing abilities.