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Diverse Thinking Different Learning

Mar 5, 2024

When it comes to writing, there is so much happening behind the scenes. It is so much more than sitting down, grabbing a pencil, and putting words on paper. In today's episode, we'll explore the challenges students face when it comes to writing. From motor skills to executive functioning, today’s guest explains the complexities of the writing process. 

Shanna Trombetta is an Educational Therapist and she joins the Diverse Thinking Different Learning Podcast to help us better understand not only the writing process and the challenges students face, but also ways we can support struggling students at home and in the classroom. She shares practical strategies and insights to empower parents and educators in guiding children through the whirlwind of creativity, skill, and determination that is writing.


Show Notes:

[3:16] - A lot of learners who come into Shanna’s practice struggle with writing.

[4:24] - Shanna describes some of the things that are commonly a struggle when it comes to writing. There’s so much happening at one time.

[5:39] - It is common for students to have a lot of great ideas, but the mechanics of writing hold them up, and they wind up not writing anything.

[7:32] - One way to support kids with writing is by providing them with a structure.

[9:37] - People who don’t struggle with executive functioning can typically create their own structure. But many kids need to be shown how to organize their information.

[11:24] - When she works with students, Shanna helps them develop and use tools.

[13:08] - What is background knowledge and why is it important for writing?

[15:01] - Shanna describes writing around themes to help with structure.

[16:57] - Chunking is a great strategy that helps students take one step at a time.

[19:01] - Keeping a checklist as they write is another tool that can alleviate the stress of keeping track of things in their mind.

[21:00] - Assessment data is really helpful for Shanna so she knows to target some of the spelling patterns that are a challenge for a student.

[23:16] - So often students know what they want to write about. Strategies to get the information out are not “cheating.”

[26:22] - Writing is an area where many students experience stress. Make it fun.

[28:30] - While struggling, it is hard to remain motivated. Shanna shares some ways to keep students positive while they’re learning.


About Our Guest:

Shanna Trombetta is an Educational Therapist affiliated with the Association of Educational Therapists, dedicated to serving the community of Los Angeles. Shanna holds a Master's in Educational Psychology and a B.A. in Special Education/Psychology from Marist College. Additionally, she holds an Educational Therapy Certification from UC Riverside, a CLEAR credential from the California Commission of Teacher Credentialing (grades K-6), and CLAD certification. She serves on the International Dyslexia Association Chapter of Los Angeles Board and is a Child Nexus member. With a rich background spanning over two decades, Shanna has excelled as a classroom teacher, literacy coach, private homeschool educator, and currently, as an Educational Therapist, offering a depth of expertise in her private practice. Specializing in supporting neurodiverse children, addressing dyslexia, and navigating language-based disabilities, Shanna is unwavering in her dedication to creating inclusive and effective learning environments. In her free time, Shanna treasures moments spent with her two daughters, husband, and Australian labradoodle. A passionate book enthusiast, she often finds solace at the beach with a captivating read.


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The Diverse Thinking Different Learning podcast is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or legal advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Additionally, the views and opinions expressed by the host and guests are not considered treatment and do not necessarily reflect those of ChildNEXUS, Inc or the host, Dr. Karen Wilson.