By Allison Gardenswartz, Consulting Educator
My daughter has a hard time getting her ideas down on paper. She can tell me the story, but what ends up on paper is missing a lot of information. When I have her read it back and ask about the details she says "Oh yeah, I forgot." How do I slow her down? Her teacher is always telling her to check her work. It seems as though there's a lot of competition to finish first.
When working on writing, I recommend taking a five-step approach.
Taking time to pre-think the parts that she wants to include in her writing will help her not to "forget" when she is actually completing the essay. By taking time to jot down ideas before actually writing the paragraph, she will then be able to focus more on the writing portion when writing the paragraph and likely make fewer errors. Often, when students feel the pride of good grades on an assignment well done, they become less interested in finishing first.
It is worth mentioning to the teacher that your daughter is concerned about the order in which she finishes her work in relation to other students and asking how the classroom is structured: is there a reward for finishing first or are students allowed "free time" if they are done early?
It is important as a parent to reinforce that quality of work is the priority and it is less important how much or how quickly she writes.