digital learning update
Anxious writers can present in so many ways. They may be quiet and hope to go unnoticed, or they can exhibit disruptive behaviour and appear defiant. There are many reasons why children behave in these ways, but if they struggle with writing anxiety, it may be because they are trying to avoid engaging with literacy tasks.
The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened anxiety levels for many children. The challenges of working from home have highlighted how important the support structures at school are – and for many struggling writers, the gap between their writing and that of their peers has grown wider.
In a few weeks’ time, we will be working with Carol Allen, an ICT and Inclusion expert, to present a special webinar about how our child-friendly word processor Clicker can be used to alleviate writing anxiety. The webinar will take place on Wednesday 10th March – 4:00pm to 4:30pm GMT. You can reserve your free place via our website.
Carol has been working in education for over forty years and is widely recognised for her work on creative and engaging use of technology to support pupils with literacy barriers, so this should be a fantastic session. She has long been a fan of Clicker and has described it as: ‘the gold standard piece of software to support reading and writing for any age, primary, secondary, higher education.’
One of the things she likes about Clicker is that it supports access to learning for students who do not have an IEP but who nevertheless struggle to produce text, keep up with others and document their learning in way that works for them and for their teacher.
We’ll be exploring the question “how can we support the anxious learner?” more in the webinar, but here are just a few common concerns, and how Clicker can alleviate them.
Worried about illegible handwriting?
For children who worry that their work just doesn’t look good compared to their peers’, Clicker can be a great help. If a child can use a keyboard or touch screen, they can use Clicker to produce a nicely presented piece of writing that they feel confident handing in.
“One of my Year 4 pupils used to hide his work with his hand and barely produced more than a paragraph. But now he uses Clicker, he is so excited about writing and is producing long, extended pieces of work…”
Emma Gorton, Micklehurst All Saints Primary School
Worried about getting started?
Another hurdle that children with writing anxiety face is where to start with their writing. Using Clicker’s built-in mind mapping tool Clicker Board, children can plot and organise their ideas to prepare for writing.
“Our students love using the Clicker Board mind-mapping tool, with their central character in the middle, so that they can plan and sketch out their story ideas… It’s just a lot friendlier, I think, and much more accessible for our learners.”
Cheryl Gaughan, Talbot Specialist School
Worried about their spelling?
To support children who worry about their spelling, turn on Clicker’s intelligent word predictor, which will suggest context-sensitive words as they write, improving their productivity and fluency.
“The Predictor really stood out to me – as soon as the children start typing there are options for them, giving them that extra bit of support.”
Sheila Robertson, Wallacestone Primary School
Worried about writing in different styles?
Perhaps you’ve tasked your learners to write a story using alternatives to common adjectives. Later that week, they’re asked to create a fact file on Ancient Egypt or write up their findings from a science experiment. For the anxious learner, it can be difficult to adapt to the different styles they are expected to write in at school.
With LearningGrids – a bank of professionally-made curriculum resources available for free through Clicker – you have a wealth of supportive material at your fingertips. LearningGrids enables you to give your pupils instant access to sentence starters and key words for all kinds of topics to bolster their writing.
“I love the ready-made grids and how everything can be adapted to different ages and needs… It boosts pupils’ confidence and allows them to access the curriculum alongside their peers but at a level that suits them.”
Primary teacher, Manchester
Find out more…
There can be lots of reasons why children struggle with writing anxiety, but with Clicker to support them, many of their worries can be alleviated.
This is just a handful of strategies to support the anxious writer with Clicker. If you would like to find out more, don’t hesitate to sign up for our webinar “The anxious learner, the reluctant writer”.
If you have any questions about Clicker or the webinar itself, our friendly team is always available to help. You can contact us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us on 01604 671691.