Tag Archives: recount

International Baccalaureate IB – PYP: Inquiry – Toy Story / Toy Expo / Toy Expo Recount (Partner Writing) 5&6 Year Olds

For visitors who have been reading my recent posts on our  inquiry Toy Story I’ve included photos of the Prep Toy Expo 2012. Once again this was a wonderful experience for our Prep students. The expo gives our students the opportunity to talk, explain and display their design brief and model. The whole school supports this event with parents and community members attending. It also provides a common experience for my students to write about.

Partner writing is collaborative, involves student talk and talking together about a piece of writing  assists my students to create a logical sequential structured piece of writing. The saying ‘two heads is better than one’ is certainly true. As I roam I can hear  children verbalising their experiences and jointly constructing a written text. This age group need support to think a piece of writing through and verbalising their ideas first is ideal. I’m often heard saying, ‘tell me more’.

Cheers Nina

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Young Beginning Writers: Final Week Semester 2 – Victoria, Australia ( 5 & 6 Year Olds / Prep )

The final weeks of term two and semester one for 2012 were busy. Reports, Three Way Conferences and portfolios added to teaching and other responsibilities made the run to the holidays a marathon.  Time to post here has been rare so it’s great to be able to share some student writing completed in the the final week of term two by my Prep grade.

Herbert and Harry by Pamela Allen: Independent Book Response

Above Text: Herbert and Harry found treasure and they were brothers.

Above Text: Herbert and Harry are brothers. One day they found treasure.

Above Text: Herbert and Harry  found treasure and they were brothers.

Final Recount: Term 2 for inclusion in student portfolios.


These are random samples of independent writing. It’s great to see my students using a title, content and final personal comment without prompting. Using PM Writing Exemplars provides the scaffold my young writers require.

Cheers Nina

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Language Experience: Our first class made book, and a recount…

Young children starting their first year of school (Prep in Victoria, Australia)  have big expectations about school, and I don’t want to disappoint them. They want to learn, they want to be able to read, write, and know things about numbers. They want to explore the playground, make a new friend, and feel comfortable in their new environment … and paint a picture.

The philosophy behind the ‘Language Experience Approach’ underpins my teaching at this stage of the year.

What I think about, I can talk about.

What I can say, I can write.

What I can write, I can read.

I can read what I can write, and what other people can write for me to read.

The Language Experience Approach is powerful because it contributes to developing a strong oral vocabulary. It is well researched that children with good oral language find the path to literacy easier. All students draw upon their vocabulary when reading and writing no matter what level of schooling they are. 

This week my preps are illustrating and reading their first Language Experience book. This will be taken home, and read as part of my home reading program. The message I give parents is, it’s not glossy, it’s theirs, and it’s an important book. The book is created from sentences we are developing about a common experience, and starting school is the most obvious content choice for our first book. I started exploring Language Experience three years ago, and how I implement this has changed. It’s now about ‘less waff’. Is ‘waff’ a word?

As sentences are created they are written on sentence strips and placed in a sentence strip board. Once four sentences are created, a little book is made. Once the book is made, the sentences are removed from the board and glued to a large sheet of paper, prominently displayed, and read everyday. This strategy works!

Today the children wrote their first journal. They have learnt about using a  writing spacer to use between words. Introducing the writing spacer this early in the year is new for me. They are also using a spacer between each word, instead of using one counter and moving it each time. I think this is a better strategy for this time of the year. Each child also has access to an alphabet sound card, and it was great to see these being used. It’s still early in the year, but have a look at their independent writing – sensational!



What a fantastic start these young writers have made. The last sample reads: I went to my nanas. I hope you enjoy seeing my student’s progress recorded this year. This is their 8th day of formal education!

Cheers Nina


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