Tag Archives: PD Student Led Interactive Writing developed by Nina Davis

The Studio Teacher Fellowship Program – WNY Education Associates: What have I been learning?

In 2014, I was given the opportunity to complete a Fellowship project under the guidance of Angela Stockman. I’m currently writing a paper summarizing what I’ve learnt. Initially my project started with a simple question:

What are the key ‘bump up’ indicators which should be on a student continuum?

Sounds simple! Well, that’s an understatement… I decided to start by looking at the continuums we have in place at my school, which are based on Fountas and Pinnell. How could I make these usable for my young writers? Then I started asking my young writers…

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Photo: This student was in their second year of schooling in Australia (Year 1). The student is in control of all aspects of their writing from the beginning. I presented the topic for this piece of writing but that’s it. I’m teaching this student again this year and many others, and I’m wondering what their writing will be like at the end of this year.

My project changed many times after exploring current research, speaking to other educators and most importantly my students. How could I nail down a topic or could I?  The very action of looking at my student’s writing and speaking to individual students about what helps them to be the best learners and writers has guided my project. My paper will finish with a list of recommendations largely created by six, seven and eight year old students and I’ll share those here.

Cheers Nina

 

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Hand over the control! PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing: June 2012 – (5&6 Year Olds)

PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing sessions enable me to roam, listen to conversations and question my student’s understanding of concepts and skills. I’m able to question individuals and groups about the strategies they are using to compose their text. Their feedback is enlightening and I’m always surprised by how well they articulate what they are doing, the strategies they are using and their collective knowledge of punctuation and composition is evident. I’m always looking for the transfer of explicit teaching foci.

Recently my students took their parents on a Student Led Tour of their learning and we decided to write about the tour.

I’ve written about this strategy numerous times in my blog. To read more simply type PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing in the search box. I firmly believe this strategy scaffolds, supports and accelerates my student’s writing.

Cheers Nina

 

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Week 8 – PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing: The strategy which supports and accelerates the writing development of young writers!

The key is students working collaboratively, sharing their learning, prompting each other and using skills and language used by teachers. Each student is engaged in the activity and committed to contributing with the support of their peers if needed. Groups can be structured to support children if needed or to extend children.

The Process:

Each child is identified by a color 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 colored markers. All students record their name down the side of the paper in their chosen color. This enables the teacher to assess the writing development of individual students.

I use PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing to assess and plan my weekly writing foci. It’s interesting to note that my students’ independent writing improves rapidly.  As with independent writing I’m looking for the transfer of my teaching into my students’ writing. Modelled, Shared and
Independent writing are also planned into my weekly program from week one.

At this stage of the year my students are able to identify their learning needs and will suggest a focus for a writing session. This is powerful! Some children…. and these children are 5 or 6 years old, will teach the writing focus or make suggestions for me to use in my teaching. This strategy extends highly able students, supports and develops the writing ability of students working at the standard and reluctant writers. It is my belief that PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing accelerates the writing ability of all students.

I have written about this strategy many times and provided numerous pictures and a description of my student’s writing development. Naming this strategy the PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing Approach recognizes my student’s commitment and success. They have a passion for writing and I can only hope that their enthusiasm continues as they grow. This strategy has been successfully used with older students.

The genre for the examples displayed in this post is Recount. The children were placed in mixed ability groups writing about a common experience. The Recount success criteria negotiated with my students was to include a title, sequence of events and personal comment. This is the format provided in the PM Writing Exemplars available at Nelson Cengage Learning.

Using WALT ‘we are learning to’ and WILF ‘what I’m looking for’ collaboratively developed with my students provides a clear success criteria and learning intension.

Post Script: 70 000 visits – Thanks for the support, comments, emails and sharing of your ideas. It is appreciated!

Cheers Nina

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PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing – 5 & 6 Year Olds in the initial weeks of their first year of formal education. Why students need to ‘think aloud’?

Think Aloud is a strategy that scaffolds students’ interactions with print. I’ve been using this strategy in literacy sessions – Interactive, Shared, Guided and Modelled. When modelling my journal, I’m making my thinking process very explicit. Articulating the strategies I’m using, resources that are helping me, and constantly articulating the ‘read back & check and change’ process.

This has definitely increased my students’ use of these strategies. During Student Led Interactive Writing, I roam for part of the session listening to conversations, and prompting when necessary. It’s wonderful to see these very young children sharing their thinking strategies aloud with their group. Today I noticed a number of children prompting not telling , and when this happens the learning truly becomes collaborative.

I model editing when I write, and I think by doing this I’m giving my beginning writers the message that it’s good practice to cross out, change and check. I’ve noticed this starting to happen. I’ve included a number of photos from today’s Interactive Writing learning experience.

Our Language Experience whole class negotiated sentence is: I went to the playground. At this stage of the year, all groups do the same sentence. There are excellent attempts at writing  ‘playground’. The children  had to draw upon everything they knew to attempt this word.

Cheers Nina

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Day 6- First year of formal education in Victoria, Australia for my 2011 Prep students: 4 & 5 year olds. PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing – Collective knowledge combined with collaboration is powerful!

Day 6- First year of formal education in Victoria, Australia for my 2011 Prep students: 4 & 5 year olds.

It always surprises me how much these very young children collectively know. One might know an ‘a’, another can write it! Some can hear the beginning sound, others the end sound. This week I introduced PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing and they loved it. Each group had an alphabet chart for reference, and spacer counters for between words. Before writing, the children looked closely at the Emergent PM Writing Exemplar book to find out what a sentence is, what made a word, and how we end a sentence. I made a list of the attributes they noticed.

Here are their ideas

 Letters make words.

Some words have more letters.

Letters have a sound and name.

Words make sentences.

There’s a dot at the end. The dot stops the sentence.

There are spaces between words.

 Some letters are big, some are small.

Armed with this knowledge, the children were put into random groups of 3/4 students with a leader chosen. All students will have a turn at leading a collaborative writing group. The leader is responsible for making sure children write their name down the side in their own color, and write their word of the sentence in name order. As this is the only time I allow the children to write in texta, it’s very exciting!

The children each write a word of our class sentence on their large sheet of paper. The sentence was: I am at school. I introduced ‘prompting’ with some success to these beginning writers. Prompting means the children are able to help, but not tell. This takes a while for the young children to understand, as they want to share what they know. However, I was absolutely amazed by how quickly they got going, and how well they collaborated, shared and supported each other! Amazing…

 

Cheers Nina

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PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing / Inquiry: Examples of my student’s (5 & 6 Year Olds) collaborative writing & the teaching strategy that I promote!

The key is students working collaboratively, sharing their learning, prompting each other and using the skills and language generally used by teachers. Each student is engaged in the activity, with 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 can run a teacher led group at the same time, which I do regularly. Each child is identified by a color, 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.

I use Student Led Interactive Writing to assess and plan my weekly writing foci. 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. However, 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. My desire is to make teaching and learning in my classroom ‘student led’, has ‘morphed’ this teaching strategy from teacher controlled to student controlled. My role is to watch for the transfer of learning, and listen to my student’s conversations which highlight their learning.

Interactive Writing is the strategy I use when we are writing about a shared experience. This week we went to our local beach to explore rock pools.

Inquiry: Sharing the Planet

Central Idea: Living things have needs in order to survive and grow.

Leaner Profile: Knowledgeable, Caring

Key Concepts: Form, Connection

Attitudes: Appreciation, Respect

In this inquiry we explore our local environment. As our school is a very short walk from the beach, we take the children to the beach to explore life in a coastal environment. Each year we organize Ben, known as Ben 10, from the Dolphin Research Institute Education Unit to lead our learning. Ben’s enthusiasm and knowledge is inspiring. He is a Prep hero! The Dolphin Research Institute Education Unit is supporting Inquiry Units across our school this term.

 

I’ve provided photos of my students Interactive Writing recount about our excursion. There are some great teaching points for the whole grade, and for individual students clearly identified. Because each child writes in their own color this makes identifying individual teaching points clear. I’ve also included a copy of the Writing Checklist (criteria) used by students to revisit and edit their writing. The checklist really guides the children through this process.

Cheers Nina

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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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