Week 6 of my 4&5 Year Olds first year of school: PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing – Why is this strategy so powerful?

What makes PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing a powerful strategy?

The key is students  working collaboratively, sharing their learning, prompting each other and using skills and language generally used by teachers. One comment I received recently described this as ‘lending our cognition’, and I really liked this description. All students are engaged in the activity, each student committed to contributing with the support of their peers if needed. Groups can be structured to support children, or to extend groups of children. The teacher is able to run a teacher led group concurrently, which I do regularly but not at this stage of the year. The children need to be confident and have experience with the process before I can withdraw.

Each child is identified by a  color which they select, and all are given the opportunity to lead a group. Teaching leadership skills concurrently is essential. The children are given poster sized sheets to write on and textas. The role of the group leader is to ensure their team record their name on the side, that all resources are ready (alphabet tool cards and writing spacers) and that each child contributes in name order.  I use PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing to assess and plan my weekly writing foci for individuals and the whole class. The color used identifies the writer.

It’s interesting to note that my student’s independent writing improves rapidly. I’m looking for the transfer of my teaching into my student’s Independent and Interactive Writing.  Modelled Writing and Shared Writing are also planned into a weekly program from week one. We get going quickly. Language Experience and Inquiry are my ‘holy grail’.  

By the middle of the year my students are able to identify their learning needs and will suggest the foci for writing sessions. That is powerful! Some children, and they are 5 or 6 years old, will teach the writing focus or make suggestions for me to use. Groups share their writing with the class, with little books made using their Interactive Writing texts used for reading. This strategy extends highly able students, develops students working at the standard expected and supports less able students. I believe it accelerates the writing ability of all students.

Please read my previous posts in this blog. I have written about this strategy many times and have provided numerous pictures and descriptions of my student’s writing development. I’d also recommend reading my posts on general Independent Writing development as I have provided many examples of student writing in these posts as well. I think once you’ve seen the development of my student’s writing you’ll be as excited as I am about this approach, and keen to develop this approach in your own classroom.  It’s called the PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing Approach to recognise my student’s committment and success. They have a passion for writing, and many in previous years have taken exercise books home for the holidays to keep a journal. Many of my parents tell me that their children write at home because they love it. Now that’s special! I can only hope that their enthusiasm continues as they grow.

The pictures provided are of this weeks use of this strategy. My students are in Week 6 of their first year of formal schooling, take out Wednesdays… and I’m amazed. They were able to ‘get going’ quickly, the chosen leaders knew their role,and the resources were out and used. The process is developing, but they’re giving ‘it a great go’. The conversations and ‘thinking aloud’ is happening, although ‘prompting’ takes time, but they are collaborating and being inclusive. This is a skill in itself!

 Our Language Experience sentence for this writing experience is: We eat lunch at school At this stage of the year each group constructs the same sentence. Before they start writing, I ensure that all groups can chant our sentence.

 

Cheers Nina

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