|We were just beginning a writing unit when this child arrived. He put his head down on his desk and refused to even pick up his pencil. He was pretty withdrawn in general and wasn’t making any social or educational progress. Writing was the hardest time for him. I had hardly seen his handwriting because he refused to participate. One day I saw he was playing with something in his pocket. I walked over and sat on the floor near him. After a few minutes, he asked me what I was doing, so I said that his desk looked like a creative spot so I wanted to work there, if it was alright with him. He didn’t say anything, so I stayed there and corrected papers while the rest of the class was free writing for about ten minutes. I did this each day for about a week. He kept playing with something in his pocket. One day, he asked if I wanted to see it. It was a small Lego structure. We had a sweet little conversation about it and he told me how he built it. I told him that sounded like a neat story, and asked if I could write it down in his journal. Later that day, we were at the library and he was looking at a Lego book. I was so excited that I found an “in” with this student! After school, I procured a couple boxes of Legos and brought them to school the next day. At writing time, I asked him if he could build me something. He built a duck pond with a school and children playing. I wrote down his whole story as he dictated it to me.
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