Tag Archives: PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing Strategy

Partner Interactive Writing – We all have personal histories. Our excursion to the Immigration Museum Melbourne…

My Preps as part of our inquiry into personal history visited the Immigration Museum in Melbourne. The Immigration Museum has excellent programs designed for all age groups. The children learnt about Cook who travelled to Australia in a boat from Vietnam. They learnt about refugees and the hardships they faced. Understanding what a refugee is seems a big concept for 5 and 6 year old children; however, I’m always surprised by the level of understanding they have.

The children love Student Led Interactive Writing and for this activity I selected Partner Interactive Writing. Working in pairs the children could be heard rehearsing their text, using tool cards (alphabet and THRASS cards) to support spelling, manipulating spacers when required to ensure spaces between words, re-reading – correcting and discussing what they had learnt.

One of our school staff has applied to become an Australian citizen. The staff member spoke to the children about what she has had to do to become a citizen. The children were able to explain the difference between applying to be a citizen in Australia and being a refugee. The children completed our inquiry last week.

Cheers Nina

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Week 8: Prep – 5&6 Year Olds:- My young writers are amazing me. This post: Journal Writing, Individual Language Experience Set Writing & PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing

I try to post during the week, but life is hectic. I know from emails that many teachers are following my students, and asking for more information. I’ll post something significant soon. I do need to say that my student’s writing parallels their reading development. They will tell you that they are ‘rocking and rolling’. Language Experience is the key.

Independent Journal Writing.

Journal Writing Samples: I always display a range of writing from my class. This is independent writing…and my students live near the beach.


Language Experience:  Set Class Sentence composed independently and individually.

Language Experience Sentence: All students write our class orally developed sentence independently. Whilst my students are writing, I’m observing their use od strategies. The Language Experience orally created sentence is: We are eating lunch at school.


PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing.

PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing: Language Experience sentence orally created as a grade: Today we are having a special lunch. I was particularly interested in how they would tackle spelling ‘today’ and ‘special’, and I have to say I’m impressed.

Cheers Nina

P.S  Send me an email if you would like more information.


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Week 7 – First Year of Formal Education in Australia: 5 Year Olds – PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing.

I can’t believe how quickly our first term in Victoria, Australia is travelling. The Preps have had Wednesdays off for the first 6 weeks, a four day week for week 7 due to a  public holiday, and will now attend everyday. The children have completed an assessment interview on one of the Wednesdays, which works well. With the initial assessment completed, I have documented where each student is on our learning continuum, planned teaching and learning needs for the grade, for individuals, and identified groups of students with similar learning needs. 

PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing is planned each week, and this is when I’m looking for the transfer of teaching and learning into their writing. Listening to the children ‘talk their learning’ while they construct their sentence gives a wonderful insight into their thinking. I’m looking for the strategies being used, their ‘thinking aloud’ and how well the taught strategies are supporting them. Listening, observing and questioning allows me to plan the ‘where to from here’.

Our Language Experience sentence for this learning experience is: We always do our work. My focus was on listening to their conversations, and observing their use of strategies.



Whilst roving and observing my students, I paid particular attention to how they attacked ‘always’. These children are beginning writers, and their attemps are excellent. Their independent writing is also developing well.

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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PrepD Student Led Interative Writing: Week 10- Term 2 Collaborative ‘Thinker’s Writing’:Tiddalick the Frog. Week 18 of my student’s first year of formal education in Australia

Background: I’ve been focusing on looking at a text deeply, rereading a text to my students many times, and addressing something different each time. We’ve been looking at narratives, starting from reading… and leading into writing their own. This week we’ve continued looking at the main idea in terms of the big concept, and the message or author’s intent. Why was the story written? What compelled the writer to tell this story, and what can we learn from, and about ourselves from the story?

We’ve unpacked the story into the beginning, middle, end and problem. We’ve also been discussing the story ‘beyond the text’, and teaching the children the term ‘going deep’. Today we looked at Tiddalick and how he felt, and why he did what he did. My students came up with some really enlightening ideas in support of Tiddalick and against.

A few weeks ago I read a Mem Fox book to my students. I read it seven times before my student’s actually identified the big concept and overarching idea. Spending time rereading one text is very valuable. Looking at the language used by the author also helps build the rich vocabulary that children need to read and write. I’ve also focussed recently on adjectives or ‘coloring in words’ and ‘going deep’ into a text enables these sorts of discussions.

This week, I had two teachers spend part of a morning with me and my students. My children wrote a retell about Tiddalick using the PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing strategy. It was one of those mornings when there were lots of interruptions and it wasn’t until during our share session and looking closely at their writing, that I thought, there’s a lot to celebrate here! It’s nearly the end of their first semester of formal education and these students are just at the beginning. I can’t wait to see what they’ll be doing at the end of the year.

When looking at these writing samples, I can see many teaching points i.e sh and th, continued focus on upper case, lower case, sentence structure and simple punctuation. It’s also important to add that this is ‘thinker’s writing’… it’s not safe writing like journal writing. These students have to work collaboratively to form their text, and then prompt and support each other to write.

The by-product of collaborative grouping is developing the children’s ability to work cooperatively with others… and yes, there can be disagreements, but unless children are put into these situations they will not develop the skills to negotiate, compromise and make good choices  in order to get the job done.

Cheers Nina


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Differentiated Teaching – Knowledge Scaffolding – The PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing Approach developed by Nina Davis – Would Dr John Munro support this strategy?

I have just finished reading an opinion piece, ‘Which children really benefit from streaming?’ written by Dr John Munro.  Reading this article has motivated me to write this post. Dr John Munro is an Associate Professor at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne – Australia. His article was published in ‘Shine’ – Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Victoria, Australia – December 2009: Issue 11.

It’s reaffirming for me as a teacher to read articles based on sound research which support my practice. My teaching practice is one where children are encouraged to understand, monitor and share responsibility for their learning, and I do this with 4-6 year olds. Assessment ‘for learning’ and ‘as learning’ drives my teaching. My planning carefully embeds scaffolding strategies that build upon student knowledge. I believe this teaching approach differentiates teaching and learning in my classroom. Dr Munro’s findings support the PD Student Led Interactive Writing Approach that I have been developing for the past two years and have been recording and reflecting upon in this blog.

I have taken the following excerpts from Dr. Munro’s article that made me go ‘aha’…

‘When teachers use knowledge scaffolding procedures effectively, diversity can be catered for without the need to divide students into groups for learning.

‘Some teachers believe it is easier to teach a group that is homogeneous in its ‘ability’. They usually link ability with achievement; the ability grouping is based on past outcomes.

‘They miss the point that achievement is the result of learning (and teaching), not the means by which learning occurs.

‘When teachers use knowledge – scaffolding procedures effectively in their classroom, this diversity can be catered for without the need to divide students into groups or streams.’

‘Knowledge scaffolding is about establishing what students know at the beginning of the topic, and guiding them to enhance this by scaffolding and directing their learning and thinking activity.’

Dr Munro does concede that there will be times where like ability grouping will be needed, but our aim is to develop independent learners. I agree! 

Cheers Nina

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