When Dina Weiss comes to K-313, she is immediately joined by a group of kindergartners. Though she is there to provide Occupational Therapy for several students, Dina is inclusive in her practice. As such, all have benefited from our time together (including me!).
During writing workshop, children love to experiment with various writing tools that Dina brings. They watch as she draws lines for each word while a child plans a sentence, then they do the same. As Dina models letter formation, writers around her listen closely and model in the air.
When Dina visits at choice time, all want to join in on fun with sensory play or big easel drawings. Dina meets children where they are, often finding creative ways to provide support while they are engaging in meaningful projects.
While not everyone receives Occupational Therapy in my classroom, all children are developing related skills. Rather than isolating tools for specific children (which can be stigmatizing), Dina helped me transform my practice and classroom environment to promote participation of all.
Dina’s willingness to collaborate has made me a better teacher. Now, she has so generously offered to share her expertise with the Two Writing Teachers community. To do so, I asked her to answer the following questions (and pass along some of her favorite tips and tools!).
- What makes the physical and visual process of writing challenging?
- Why do students receive Occupational Therapy?
- How can teachers provide more support during the writing process?