The best group writing strategy for 5 year olds! PrepD Interactive Writing: Here I go again…and again…and again!

It’s the beginning of 2nd semester and my preps are half way through their first year of formal schooling in Australia. I’ve written many posts about Interactive Writing. The Early Years Program outlines Interactive Writing as a teacher directed writing strategy. However, I have developed this strategy into a student led whole grade activity.

To make this writing strategy really special, I allow the children to write using textas on large sheets of paper. Children select a colour to write with and use this colour to write their name down the side and their contributions. While the children are writing I’m listening to their conversations and observing the strategies they have learnt in action. Leaders are selected to help organise this activity with all children being given an opportunity to lead at some stage.

It’s my belief that this strategy accelerates writing development and supports less confident writers. Teaching children to prompt, support but ‘not do for others’ allows children to help others in a productive way which flows through to other learning situations. Self editing becomes a natural extension of the process as children read back and fix up known errors. Groups share their writing and discuss ways they could improve their writing next time. This reinforces taught concepts.

At the beginning of the year the students brainstormed a sentence about a shared experience that all groups wrote. Now each group negotiates their own two sentences to write and share with others when completed. I’m looking at how children transfer what they have learnt into their writing e.g. simple punctuation (full stops, capital letters and exclamation marks), space between words, sentence structure and handwriting, specifically letter formation.

Photos – Interactive Writing July.

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To add to this activity, I sometimes immediately type and print their writing using ‘dotted tracing script’ which the children trace over.

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If interested, please read my previous posts about Interactive Writing. You can use the search bar in this blog to find previous entries.

Cheers Nina

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