4 Easy Ways to Improve Struggling Writers


Literacy Approaches, a consultancy company passionate about helping students through research, professional development workshop for teachers and literacy programs to improve student achievement that will lead to lifelong success!

 Overtime we have found that small changes can make a huge difference in students’ academic success. There are four small changes that can be made and implemented in students’ lives to enhance the development of writing. Writing can be very intimidating, especially for a student who already feels defeated and incapable of writing on a certain level. Fortunately, there are strategies that can help your developing writers. The first tip is to:

1.     Provide helpful feedback

Feedback plays a significant role in improvement. If the child is unaware that their writing is not up to par then they won’t know that progression is necessary. Feedback and constructive criticism both allow for the students to better see the areas they need to focus on. Always remember that providing feedback both positive and constructive is important in helping students succeed in writing.

2.     Read more

Studies show that the more you read, the better you write. Reading increases critical thinking which is a component needed for writing. “Reading exposes us to other styles, other voices, other forms and genres of writing. Importantly, it exposes us to writing that’s better than our own and helps us to improve,” said Roz Morris, professional writer, editor, and blogger.  

3.     Write more

Writing is a skill, and practice is key! To become better at writing or any other task, practice and repetition is fundamental. In order to perfect your craft, you must be willing to take the time to invest in the process. If you have a student who is struggling, take a second out of your day to work with them. Give them a writing prompt daily or weekly. This allows them to continuously practice, which would eventually lead to improvement.  

Finally, the last step is to:

4.     Make it interactive and fun

Of course, when dealing with students, fun should be involved. From personal experience students and children thrive best when activities are entertaining, interactive and inclusive. So, next time you work with a child on improving their writing skills, come up with enjoyable games or activities. Get creative! Your child will thank you for it.


Listed above are four simple changes that can have an impact on your students’ writing. You may not notice progression right away but if you try these four tips eventually you will see progress. Writing is a skill that takes time to develop. By including the strategies listed above and encouragement your students will be well on their way as writers.

By: Kaylyn Jones


We are passionate about helping students, parents, schools, and municipalities locally and nationally to help students achieve literacy success. We provide professional development workshops, research and literacy programs to improve student achievement in literacy that will lead to life long success.

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Sentence Building


Reading is an essential part of literacy as well as writing. For a young child, learning to write can be a daunting task. With so many grammar rules and different sentence structures, it is easy to get overwhelmed. I am here to help you think of creative new ways to teach writing to your students. If you have a Pinterest account, the possibilities are endless and can be overwhelming. This is going to narrow it down to some tried and true ways! One of my favorite ways to help your readers work on being writers is the Lego game. This is as simple as writing age-appropriate words on Legos and having them literally build sentences. If you want to work on certain sentences, you can pair the words with a worksheet and have your students match the Legos with the worksheet.

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The Lego game is a great way to practice because it is very versatile. This will not only work on building sentences, but it will also work on their reading and sight words. If your readers are not at the sentence building stage yet, you can have them match upper and lower case letters on the blocks. Being able to recognize letters and their sounds is an important step on the way to literacy. One of the most important ways to teach writing is to constantly think of ways to make it fun and new. Students do not need any more lessons where they are taught at. They need lessons where they can interact and explore their creativity. Not every student is going to learn the same way, so having a few different strategies will pay off. As teachers, it is our job to feed this creativity and encourage it.

By: Jessica Wing


We are passionate about helping students, parents, schools, and municipalities locally and nationally to help students achieve literacy success. We provide professional development workshops, research and literacy programs to improve student achievement in literacy that will lead to life long success.

Connect With Us!


Welcome to our first Literacy Approaches blog!  Hello! I am Dinese Murray, the founder and president of Literacy Approaches.  I am an educator, wife, mother, and dedicated to helping students achieve success in literacy! My husband and best friend, Larry and I have been married for over 26 years. We are originally from New York City but now reside in North Carolina with our four wonderful children ( Kolonji, Nia, Jahleel and Mayah).

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I am also passionate about a few other things outside of education. I enjoy growing vegetables and fruits in my garden. I love taking family trips to the beach. I enjoy laughter during dinners with family and friends. I also like playing fetch with our family dog Rosie, she loves to jump and play.

My backyard garden in the springtime. I love flowers!

My backyard garden in the springtime. I love flowers!

For as long as I can remember, I've always loved to share the best practices in literacy to help students achieve success. As an educator for over 20 years, it has been my mission to help struggling readers and writers. I understand the plight of a struggling reader and writer because I too struggled as a child. By the 4th grade, my reading and writing skills were at least two years below grade level.

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My mother decided to pursue additional help for me. She enrolled me in literacy program that taught reading and writing in a different way than how I was taught in school.  I remember the instructor read aloud many books. We had loads of discussions about the story, often writing responses to literature. There were also tactile and kinestitic literacy activities that coincided with what we were reading. I remember being more excited to go to this literacy program than school. 

In a span of a year, my literacy skills soared! It was the grace of God, my mother’s love and dedication, and the literacy program that helped me to become the first person in my family to graduate from college with a bachelors degree. I went on to received two additional Masters of Science degrees in education.  My goals is to help students to become successful in literacy that will lead to a life long success.

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The Literacy Approaches blog will include some of the best practices in literacy to help teachers, parents, administrators and ultimately students!  We will have resources, research, training, tips and so much more. Be sure to check back often so you don't miss anything!


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Encouraging Writing Opportunities in the Classroom

   In today's education system, there is a heavy emphasis on test-taking and making the grade. Opportunities to write are sometimes overlooked or completely skipped. However, writing is a vital skill that you will use in your everyday life. College is basically one essay after another. Without proper practice and good encouragement, your writing skills will suffer.
   When I was in elementary school, we were encouraged to have journal time every morning. We could write about whatever we wanted. The teacher did not even read our journals. It was just a time where we could write without worrying about being corrected and graded. For me personally, this was an important exercise. It built my confidence and allowed me the freedom to be creative in an otherwise structured school setting.
   If you are a teacher looking to incorporate writing exercises into your lesson plans, you can use book reports or really any kind of report. After science projects, students can write an action report. There are plenty of different reports that students can write to summarize the day's work. I think making time to practice creative writing is also very important though.
   One of my favorite ways to encourage creative writing is with writing prompt dice. The dice game is also a great way to help the reluctant writer get started. Instead of calling it a writing prompt, you can call it a game. Writing prompt dice are just two dice with pictures on them. After you roll them, you just writing a story about the two pictures. If you teach younger students who are not quite writing yet, you can just practice oral storytelling until they are ready. Do not discourage students who enjoy illustrating their stories.
   One of the worst things you can do to encourage your students to write is being overly critical and judgmental. As budding writers, their confidence is fragile. How a teacher reacts could and probably will influence them for the rest of their lives. Be sure to praise their work. Post it on the wall or fridge. Writing is meant to be shared. Having it posted where everyone can read it will build your student's confidence.
   It is my firm belief that everyone can be a writer. With the proper encouragement and opportunities, your students can build their skills and grow to enjoy writing. Even if your students do not go on to become world famous writers, writing is a skill that they cannot live without