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Video Transcript: Writing

[opens with teacher at a whiteboard, cuts to students in the class]
Teacher: I want you to write things that are true and accurate about the metric system that you know.

[cut to Max, a sixth grade student, in interview with Dr. Mel Levine]
Student: Ah, I'll remember what I want to write but when I write it down I'll forget words and stuff.


[fade to a writing sample]
Dr. Mel Levine: So if you focus on the mechanical parts of writing, it's hard to have good ideas.

[cut to Max]
Student: Yeah, so it's sort of hard for me to focus on both of them.

[cut to Dr. Levine]
Dr. Levine: One of the most common writing liabilities in middle school occurs in a student for whom nothing is automatic when it comes to writing. [onscreen label: "Automatization"] It may be that forming letters is taking too much time and effort, or the recall of spelling or punctuation is requiring a tremendous search of memory in order to do it properly.

[cut to student writing in class; Dr. Levine in voice-over]
And kids who have what we call delayed automatization, they just can't remember the little bits and pieces of writing automatically, often hate to write.

[various students writing in class]
voice-over: In addition to the memory requirements of writing, students also need to be able to organize and arrange their thoughts in a logical order.

[cut to Nick writing in class]
Teacher: So what does that paragraph say?

Nick's teacher, Sandi LaRoche (voice-over): Nick has learning problems with processing. He can't do more than one thing at a time. When he's writing, he can't write and be creative and spell and use all the grammar and all the punctuation. So that has to be more steps for him.

[Nick writes in class]
Teacher: Well, if we covered it by three rhombuses, what would we have covered?

Nick (voice-over): Well, like, when the teacher's going fast, she wants us to write notes, I might have to ask--I might look over and see what other notes people have.

[Nick in interview; onscreen label "Nick, fourth grade student"]
Dr. Mel Levine: Why is that?

Nick: Because I can't keep up with the notes.


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