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.
As I write my student’s reports I can’t help but reflect upon my teaching and my student’s learning. What can I do better and what is going well? My blog helps me to reflect on, and improve my practice.
Interactive Writing As A Whole Class Student Led Writing / Reading Strategy
Why do I keep writing about this strategy? My experience tells me that Interactive Writing as a teacher led small group instruction method is great, but whole class-student led Interactive Writing is powerful in terms of student learning.
What I hear is as important as what I see. The conversations the children engage in while writing are fascinating. They understand the concept of prompting, not answering. They see that personal achievement and pride comes from ‘having a go’ and letting others have ‘a go’. Editing their writing becomes a natural progression of learning conversations. Celebrating each other’s efforts at the time of writing and during share time is a natural part of discussion. Cooperation and organisation is intrinsic to success, coupled with participation. Less confident writers are supported and active participants. Not bad for 5 and 6 year old children!
So what have I learnt from watching and listening?
Having decided to write about our excursion (a shared experience) we discussed what a sentence is and the simple grammar we would need to use. Then as a class we came up with a sentence. Sometimes I give a ‘freebie’ word, but on this occasion I didn’t. A ‘freebie’ word/s is negotiated with the grade e.g. they might choose Immigration Museum. The sentence the children came up with was, ‘We went to the museum on a bus.’
N.B – All groups are writing the same class formed sentence. This will be extended to personal group formed writing at the beginning of next term.
Their writing informs my teaching!
What I see and hear tells me:
- Connection between speech and writing is developing
- Writing conveys ideas / information
- All can read back what they have written
- Taught letter formations are transferring over to writing
- Understanding of spaces between words needs developing
- Conventional letters and groups of letters are being used
- Simple punctuation- use of full stops & capital letters
- Drawings support the text
- Letter/ sound knowledge is developing well
- Spelling of frequently written words is developing well
- Most words of one syllable and regular spelling are spelt correctly
- Is using phonological processes when recall isn’t automatic
- Says the word to identify the sequence of sounds and letters as a strategy
- Attempts to spell unfamiliar words (museum)
- Relying heavily on letter-sound relationships
Please read my previous posts about Interactive Writing. The writing development is evident. Cheers Nina
‘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
· producing a text that can be read again.’
Source -VELS – SOFWEB
My Way- Student Led http://www.education.vic.gov.au/studentlearning/teachingresources/english/literacy/strategies/tsvels12writstrat.htm – The Beginning!
It’s wonderful to see Prep students (first year of formal education in Australia) work cooperatively in groups to produce a piece of writing within the first few weeks of school. They may not know all their sounds, but with an alphabet chart/pictures for reference and whatever prior knowledge they bring, writing skills are quickly developed and extended. This is a powerful teaching strategy.
Each child has their own colored pencil and writes their name down the side of the sheet making it easy to see a child’s progress. Generally, I have groups of 4/5 students selected randomly. At the beginning of the year the sentence is provided after class discussion and is related to a shared experience e.g. I am at school. Teaching children to prompt each other without giving the answer is taught during Interactive Writing. By the end of Term 1 the compilation of a writing piece is totally formulated by the group.
Let me know if you would like more information and I hope the photos help.
The writing standard of my children was amazing thanks to this strategy and Language Experience (more later). Cheers Nina