Interactive Writing: Small Group-Teacher Led and Whole Class-Student Led – The transfer of learning!

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I keep coming back to this teaching strategy because I believe this strategy not only accelerates writing development but also provides support for less confident young writers.  Interactive Writing is normally a small group; teacher led writing strategy which is also powerful.  My desire is to make teaching in my classroom ‘student led’.  Very early in the year (see earlier posts) I start whole class student led group Interactive Writing. My role is to watch for transfer of learning and listen to my student’s conversations that describe their learning.

As mentioned, my students have been trained to prompt and I now hear my teacher’s voice and language being used by this group of 5 (and now a few 6) year olds as they support each other. I overheard one student quietly help another stretch out a word using my words.

I’m always looking for the transfer of ‘what has been taught’ into their Interactive Writing and then as individuals into their personal independent writing. I’ve included photos that I believe display that transfer is taking place. The children have been extending their writing and sequencing their thoughts. I have planned modelled writing sessions and shared writing sessions that have focused on developing these skills. 

To extend their skills I have  incorporated photos of their Interactive Writing about a shared experience completed this week into this post. I allow the children to have one ‘freebie’ word which they negotiate as a grade and I might add that they have become very selective about the word they choose. Before we write about a shared experience, we talk, discuss words, and revise punctuation we might need to learn. At the beginning of the year all Interactive Writing groups write the same class derived sentence. Now groups have been encouraged to write three linked sentences of their own, formed and negotiated by their group.

When they are completing their own personal independent writing they are encouraged to expand their ideas and are now writing more informative pieces.

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I’m always looking for the transfer of taught skills being embedded into my student’s writing. The following examples are a selection of writing displaying growth in my classroom. I am thrilled by my student’s writing development and believe Interactive Writing- small group- teacher led and Interactive Writing- whole class student led, combined with modelled, shared and guided writing interwoven into the weekly classroom program, is the key element in developing the writing skills of young children. That’s a big statement, but as it’s my post I can say it!

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Where to now? Developing my student’s letter formation through some fun activities will be incorporated into their weekly program. We’ll just keep doing what we’re doing!

Cheers Nina

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