Our inquiry this term has been a fantastic springboard for literacy, science and numeracy activities. As part of our program, we had Professor Bunsen visit to show the science in toys. He instantly captures the children’s curiosity with an array of experiments. Students are involved as observers and participants. The experiments were appropriate for this age group, fascinating and ‘awe inspiring’. Proffesor Bunsen is ‘full on’ from the moment he starts. The children were totally engaged and as a consequence of this are developing a wonder for all ‘things’ scientific.
Another great opportunity for collaborative writing came from this shared experience. The children worked in small student led ‘Interactive Writing’ groups to write a passage about Professor Bunsen’s visit. One group worked with Jacinta (4th year university intern) in a teacher led ‘Interactive Writing’ group where specific teaching and learning goals were planned.
Interactive Writing – Teacher Led Strategy
Interactive writing involves the teacher and small groups of students jointly composing a large print text on a subject of interest to the students and sharing responsibility for the recording at various points in the writing.
Teachers quickly record the words that students know how to write, and engage students in problem solving and recording the words that provide challenges and opportunities for new learning. This eases the transition to independent writing by:
- making explicit how written language works
- constructing words using orthographic and phonological knowledge (source: SOFWEB)
Language Experience ‘little books’ made from collaborative writing activities are an essential component of a Prep reading program. My own action research has established this. These books can be used for reading groups and because they are written by the children about their experiences they can relate to the content and read them. I have found the use of ‘little books’ improves reading.
Publisher is used to make these ‘little books’, which are simple and quick to construct.