16 Hacks for Supporting Learners Who Cannot Finish Sentences or Express Complete Thoughts When Writing

Are you looking for hacks to support students who cannot finish sentences ot complete thoughts when writing? If so, keep reading.

1. Teach the student the concept of a “finished ” sentence by pointing out the subject/verb/ object components through the use of objects, images, and/or written sentences (depending on the student’s abilities).

2. Praise the students in the classroom who use finished sentences or thoughts when writing.

3. Provide the student a sequence of finished and unfinished sentences, both written and oral, and ask them to find which are correct and incorrect and make appropriate modifications.

4. Teach the student that a finished sentence has to express a finished thought about a subject and what that subject is or does.

5. Play the “trash” game by providing students with a box tagged “Trash.” Give sentence strips with finished and unfinished sentences. Train students to “trash” unfinished sentences.

6. Get the student to write letters to friends, relatives, etc., to create additional ways they can practice writing finished sentences and thoughts in legible handwriting.

7. Give a multitude of writing chances for the student to practice expressing finished sentences and thoughts in legible handwriting (e.g., writing letters to sports and entertainment figures, relatives, or friends; writing for free information on a topic in which the student is interested).

8. Give the student a topic (e.g., rules to follow when riding your bike) and have them write finished sentences about it.

9. Give the student additional time to finish schoolwork to achieve quality.

10. On occasions where correcting/grading the student’s writing, give specific evaluative feedback that will assist the student in constructing finished sentences (e.g., Learner writes: “Going to the show.” Teacher remarks: “Who is going?” or “Subject is missing.”). After checking the student’s written work, make sure they make all appropriate corrections.

11. Give the student ample chance to master handwriting skills (e.g., instruction in letter positioning, instructions, spacing, etc.).

12. Give the student examples of subjects and verbs on a classroom chart.

13. Read verbally to the student to encourage the student’s thought and writing processes.

14. Provide the student a subject and have them write as many finished sentences in legible handwriting as possible about the subject.

15. Acknowledge quality work (e.g., display the student’s work, congratulate the student, etc.).

16. Consider using one of the apps on one of our best writing apps lists:

The Tech Edvocate’s List of 31 Grammar & Writing Apps, Tools & Resources

Ten Apps to Help Learners Develop Writing Skills

10 of the Best Grammar and Writing Apps for Elementary School Learners

11 of the Best Grammar and Writing Apps for High School Learners

10 of the Best Grammar and Writing Apps for Middle School Learners

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