It’s wonderful to see Prep students (first year of formal education in Australia) work cooperatively in groups to produce a piece of writing within the first few weeks of school. They may not know all their sounds, but with an alphabet chart/pictures for reference and whatever prior knowledge they bring, writing skills are quickly developed and extended. This is a powerful teaching strategy.
Each child has their own colored texta and writes their name down the side of the sheet making it easy to see a child’s progress. Generally, I have groups of 4/5 students selected randomly. At the beginning of the year the sentence is provided after class discussion and is related to a shared experience e.g. I am at school. Teaching children to prompt each other without giving the answer is taught during Interactive Writing. By the end of Term 1 the compilation of a writing piece is totally formulated by the group.
Our sentence today is: I am going to the fair. These students have been at school for a total of 18 days and look what they can do!
It’s wonderful to see young children confidently being ‘risk takers’ with their learning. Listening to their group discussions was fantastic. Young children are naturally supportive of each other. They are in a win-win situation, nothing to loose but all to gain! …or something like that.