"I don't know what to write!"
As educators, we are all too familiar with this comment from our students. Idea generation and overall organization are especially challenging for our students with language or executive function difficulties. While strategies like graphic organizers are useful, they often have little carry-over without a teacher present to guide the process.
A new writing program called SQ Write was designed to help students become more independent writers. The premise of SQ (Self-Question) Write is that students with language difficulties are not using internal questioning language to guide them in the writing process. SQ Write offers a scaffolded, strategic method to teach students this skill.
For example, a teacher may say, "Write a passage about what you did this summer." SQ write recommends the following sequence for completing this assignment. First the student asks the question, "What do I know about this summer?" Prior to writing, the student has to think of three answers to this question, and verbally rehearse the answers. After thinking of three topics, the student follows SQ Write's method to self-formulate questions about each possible topic. Unlike other programs where teachers provide the guiding questions, SQ Write actually has the student learn HOW to create their own questions.
SQ Write is the perfect way for SLPs to target language goals with older students since the program incorporates both oral and written language. The program meets common language IEP goals such as:
- Student will ask and answer wh-questions.
- Student will verbally identify the similarity of two ideas.
- Student will verbally sequence a narrative/expository using transition words and phrases.
At SL3, we have used this tool to help expand the writing of 3rd-5th graders from one short paragraph to 5 paragraphs with expanded details in as few as 10 thirty minute sessions. SQ Write is appropriate for grades 3 through college. It can be used in all academic tiers, from Tier 1 classroom based to Tier 3 remediation. SQ Write meets both Common Core and state standards.
We encourage SLPs to check out this amazing product and bring it back to your schools.