Daily Archives: October 29, 2009

Using my student’s writing to inform teaching and learning. Where do we go from here?

Angela Stockman ( a Literacy Coach in America) left a great comment on my last post asking me what I have taken away from the children’s writing which will inform program planning. I decided to write a post identifying the learning needs of my children. These needs will direct my planning.

Where do we go from here?

I have just reviewed my class writing samples based on the story Lazy Ozzie. There are a number of teaching needs that appear to be consistent across my grade. These teaching needs will direct my next fortnight’s whole class focus segments, where key learning needs are explicitly taught. Other learning needs will be taught to small groups of children needing extension or groups needing to revisit simple key skills and concepts. I also spend part of each writing session roving and working with individual students ‘at their point of need’. A number of my identified needs will be addressed during reading activities.

The Learning Needs:

Conventions of Spelling

  • Frequently occurring patterns of letters such as ‘ing’, ‘ow’, ‘ou’, ‘er’
  • Using more complex phonic conventions to spell words e.g. words that have the same sound pattern.
  • Looking at words with particular sounds e.g  farm, off, photo
  • Introduce common contractions- his, he’s, did not, didn’t  etc…
  • Review consonant diagraphs – ‘tr’, ‘ck’, ‘th’, ‘sh’
  • Ck Rule- Use a ‘ck’ when it follows a short sound of the vowels e.g. duck
  • Magic ‘e’ -When you have a word like mice the ‘e’ makes the word say its second sound e.g. cage
  • Ed & ing- If the last three letters of the base word are consonant-vowel-consonant double the last consonant before you add an ending that begins with a vowel e.g. swimming

 Writing Strategies

  • Continue to have students read back writing  ‘at the time of writing’ and at a later date
  • Checking writing for correct letter formation, spaces between words, use of full stops
  • Using commas, e.g. on the horse, on the cow – and lists
  • Reading writing to others  and reading back to self to make sure their writing makes sense
  • Checking spelling to make sure known sight words are correct
  • Continue using a simple plan – thinking about what I want to write, clearly defining a topic, adding detail to a topic, understanding concept of first draft, sequencing ideas to make sure they have a beginning, body and end using the ‘hamburger model’.

 Ideas Communicated in Writing

  • Expressing an opinion
  • Using high frequency words relevant to the topic – vocabulary building
  • Using a dictionary, creating personal dictionaries for our Inquiry topic
  • Identifying the main idea and subordinate ideas in texts.
  • Writing multiple sentences that relate to a chosen topic – Inquiry topic


I’ve asked Angela to look at my identified teaching and learning needs and add anything she thinks I have missed and there will be many. I’m always looking for feedback as I see myself as a learner and I often think I’m missing something obvious. I’d love to work with a coach.

Cheers Nina


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