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Redefining the Word "Pencil"

As someone who truly appreciates a good #2 pencil, the traditional pencil is my tool of choice when I am writing and has been since I was a child.

As it is for millions of children all over the world.

But what do you do when a child is an emergent writer?

They might not yet be ready for a traditional pencil.

If that is the case, it is time to consider how we define the word pencil.

A pencil is a tool that helps EVERY child express themselves. In keeping with the idea of a traditional pencil, a child might use:

  • a marker

  • a crayon

  • a traditional pencil with a supportive pencil grip

  • a jumbo pencil

But if these are not yet accessible for a child, it's time to consider an alternative pencil.

  1. Partner Assisted Scanning: scan for letters or words to use in composing a writing sample

  2. An AAC device: use to craft sentences, identify a topic, or share ideas with a verbal output. An image may be used to represent meaning and lead to conversations about what a child "has to say".

  3. A keyboard: use to find letters or words that represent thoughts and ideas

  4. Magnetic or tile letters: use to find the initial sound of a word or to craft words. When used with a photo or an image, meaning can be attached to what they are expressing.

Writing is an expressive medium, and every one has something to say.


So why not think "outside the box" to make writing accessible for all?

While I'm a fan of #2 pencils, I absolutely believe that all of us are writers.

We just have to find the best tool.

Inclusiveology is an educational program that supports school communities with the nine essential elements of meaningful inclusion. To find out more about how to make your learning environment accessible for all CLICK HERE.

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