Hi New & Nervous,
I think a chart might be really helpful for this student that you're talking about. I've created one for you that has a shark on it and it says: One Bite At A Time! It will look great in color and black and white if you choose to make copies.
Please look for this chart in the next e-newsletter sent out from Latitudes/ACN.
I'm working on a collection of Tips for Writing and will be happy to share them with you (and the readers) when I'm done. In the mean time, you might consider letting this child write short answers to questions instead of writing complete sentences. If writing is as challenging to him as it seems to be from your description, this might be a great help to him.
I found using this approach to be a win-win situation: The child is able to complete the task without frustration because there's so much less writing, and I received the assignment to grade to see if the child understood the lesson.
Creating complete sentences is, no doubt, a strong emphasis when teaching writing. And because we still want to know that students are able to do this, asking them to demonstrate their abilities to you orally when the assignment is completed is a great way to assess this.
I'll get back to you with more tips and accomodations that can be made to use with students who struggle with writing. This is a great area for discussion!
Best wishes with your new class! I remember my first year of teaching very well! Enjoy!!
Your students are fortunate to have a teacher like you who cares so much about them!
P.S. Parents, if your child is struggling with writing, or suspect that he/she may be, please contact your child's teacher to discuss your thoughts. Parent-teacher collaboration is an excellent way to find helpful approaches to use with your child both in and out of school.