Getting ready for 2021: Writing
My main advice with writing ( and any other main curriculum area) is to first see what your school uses. Check in with your mentor teacher or other teachers around; ask what they do, how they teach, what resources and then create a plan. You might do whole class writing all the time; goal based writing; experience based or provocation writing; theme or genre based writing; fun writing and more! There are so many ways you can run your writing programme and it all goes back to your students and what they want. Again like maths, you can have other things set up to support your writing programme like games or activities, modelling books, appropriate word games or vocabulary, goals and progressions and more.
I start writing with the genre or theme we are working on. I make it explicit with anchor charts, examples, modelling and lots of engagement with hands on applications of the learning. For each session, it will start with a hook or exciting provocation to get them into the writing. Usually a piece of writing will be crafted over two-three days and not just one day. It will be broken up into sections so it can be drafted, edited and published. Of course with littles this can take awhile, hence it taking a few days to accomplish what you need. A prime example is narrative writing. You can't just say cool go write your own story now. Students need time to plan their characters, setting, problem and solution before even writing what they want to happen.
Each session I remind them of the theme or genre, we talk about what we did the day before and then launch into the hook. We usually have some form of whole class brainstorm, discussion or learning journey that will take us to the actual learning point we are specifically writing about. There is lots of language building, brainstorming, think/peer/share and more.
After this, they come back to the mat for specific writing modelling that is based on the learning for today. So for example in the picture below, it was the actual writing that took place then using key words, vocabulary and sentence structures that we have been working on, are displayed or are important to the learning. In this time, I will also share the differentiated learning too so students can use this to help their learning; and aim for an appropriate level in their writing. Sometimes it will be in lots of detail (if the learning is something new) or very generic like the below picture where I am simply saying they need to talk about 'what and when' for 2 stars in writing. There would be lots of scaffolding and shared language happening in this process too - so students have as much knowledge as possible when writing.
After that, they then go off for either independent writing, writing with the teacher or writing with the teacher assistant. I send groups off based on their goals they are working on and have same goal students working in groups together. Independent writers are able to use the activeboard and sentence structures for help plus sound cards, word cards and anything else they might need.
I will aim to work with two groups in writing time but this really depends on time. If I can, I put similar groups together and target both of those goals at once in the guided writing. I then conference with the an independent writing group at the end once they have finished writing and are ready to have it seen by the teacher. I use things like editing eyes once finished and peer checks also.
In the teacher conference time I will check their goals in their work and slo their progressions to see how they are working. A lot to pack in a session, but once it is going, it is really smooth flowing and students know the routines and what is expected of them.
Now that probably does not explain hugely EXACTLY what I do, but it really is hard to write down what I do explicitly in a blog post. Once my classroom is set up, I will do a video explaining it in detail, plus how I run my guided writing programme too.
I love teaching writing my students make amazing progress over the year. Its changed and varied a lot of the year but that is to help meet the needs of my students. What I do is for a purpose and explaining it in this blog post has actually helped me confirm my reasons for why I do what I do and how positive I can see it being with my students.
If you have any questions please email email@example.com and I will get back to you about those!
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