Anyone who reads my blog, by now has realised that this is one of my favourite teaching strategies. I’ve ‘morphed’ this strategy from teacher led to student led. This allows me to rove, listen to student conversations and watch for the transfer of explicitly taught concepts of print. I am able to assess each writer’s phonemic understanding, knowledge of punctuation and known vocabulary. I can also take a teacher led group according to the learning needs of my students. Groups are randomly formed some weeks or tailored for various other teaching needs. This strategy allows me to cater for the learning needs of all. It allows for extension for some writers and scaffolds needy students.
Initially children brainstorm a class sentence to be written by each group about a shared experience. As the children’s written English knowledge develops groups begin to write longer texts, brainstormed by themselves and of increasing length. The photo’s below display the development through the year. Unfortunately, my early samples were deleted by mistake. Early interactive writing samples displayed initial sounds, some final sounds and some known sight words. I start with teacher led Interactive Writing and introduce student led once children have been at school for about 4 weeks. It’s amazing how quickly they learn once they know what a sentence is, what a word is and how words are made.
You will not find student led Interactive Writing in books because it is an adaptation to the initial strategy. I must also note that Interactive Writing is a teaching and learning strategy. My student’s journal writing is where they practice and show case their skills as young writers. For anyone reading this post from outside Australia we have only 2 weeks left of our school year. My children will start Year 1 in late January, 2010.