Tag Archives: young writers

The teaching text we/I need! Just imagine…

learner-profile-open-minded-015

To the many teachers who contact me about the work of Angela Stockman and Steve Peha.

Just imagine having at your fingertips a writing text or texts which take you from curriculum design to implementation to assessment and where instruction is guided from student work… and written for the Australian Curriculum and other curriculums. That would be something because I know there’s a gap. Yes, there is some excellent material out there but it’s difficult to implement. Imagine…. if the text and extras were cloud based as well. I can!!

Just maybe, and I mean maybe, this could happen and I’ll keep all posted here! Fingers crossed!

Cheers Nina

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

IB-PYP Inquiry: Relationships with each other affect how we feel and behave. Visible Thinking – Using Thinking Tools and more…

I’ve been exploring making thinking visible in all curriculum areas. Thinking tools and questioning are being taught and added to a collection of tools the children can choose from to develop perspective, vocabulary and an understanding of their world.

One of the tools I’ve been exploring with my students is Point of View. This tool can be used for all curriculum areas, whether exploring a character from a book, developing a character for a narrative, or to solve and explore a general problem. When children put themselves in the position of others, their empathy and understanding of a problem, situation or character deepens. Our inquiry for the first 8 weeks of the year has been about relationships.

Central Idea: The relationships we have with each other affect how we feel and behave.

What lines of inquiry will define the scope of the inquiry into the central idea?

  • Self Awareness (LP Attributes, Attitudes, Skills, Mission Statement, Essential Agreement, School Pledge)
  • How we develop relationships (What is  relationship? What relationships do you have in your life? What makes it a relationship?
  • Roles and behaviours within relationships (Scenarios, Role playing, Photos of LP Attributes, Essential Agreement)
  • How relationships affect us (Good, Bod, Reflections task board/Think board- develop their own)

What teacher questions/provocations will drive these inquiries?

How do we develop and maintain healthy relationships?

What makes a supportive relationship?

What/why do actions help to build healthy relationships?

My students have been exploring the relationships they have in their world.

Example: Point of View: Friendship and why we need to have more than one best friend. My role is to record my student’s ideas and not mine, but I think they covered all bases! 🙂

2015 FebMarchand ANZAC 002

Brainstorm: A good friend…

2015 FebMarchand ANZAC 057

The Point of View has been a fantastic tool to help sort friendship and playground issues which is part of building healthy relationships. Young children can be egocentric and developing their understanding that there can be other views has led to a very inclusive group of young learners.

The children have also used Point of View to understand the behaviours of a book character and to develop their own characters and plots when writing.

Cheers Nina

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Aunty Arty and the Disquieting Muses Written by Rowena Wiseman, illustrated by Narelda Joy

Narelda_Joy_AA COVER with names CMYK 300DPI  copy

Rowena Wiseman has a student in my class. How lucky am I? Rowena is a published writer and is a shared organizer  of our Writer in Residence program, even though this maybe new news for her. I have many ideas for our program this year and one is to really target our aspiring writers in years 5 and 6. Rowena is excited to share that her first Aunty Arty story is finally out in the world.

Jet Black Publishing is a new children’s ebook publisher based in Melbourne. Their mission is to publish inspirational and creative stories for children and young adults and they are donating 20% of the sales to children’s literacy charities, such as the Australian Children’s Literacy & Numeracy Foundation.

Who is Jet Black Publishing?

Jet Black Publishing is developing a range of teacher resources to support the series e.g. write a book review, text structure and Narrative writing plan, colouring sheets and printable classroom posters featuring an inspirational quotes from famous artists.

If you would like to know more, there is a 10-minute YouTube video where Rowena and illustrator Narelda Joy talk about how they created Aunty Arty. Discover where ideas for a book come from and how an illustrator creates rough drawings and turns them into finished artwork by clicking this link.  https://www.youtube.com/user/AuntyArty

MP News Jan 2015 (1) This is an article from the Mornington Peninsula News about Rowena.

Book information: Aunty Arty and the Disquieting Muses written by Rowena Wiseman and illustrated by Narelda Joy $11 Available exclusively as an ebook

Cheers Nina

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Our Writer in Residence Program: First Writer in Residence and Co-organiser Rowena Wiseman

Exciting! Here is a copy of a post I’ve put on my school’s blog…

This week our Writers Workshop lunchtime program held its first Writer in Residence lunchtime program. This was open for Years 3-6 students. Our Writer in Residence program has been established to engage our serious young writers.

Writer in Residence: Rowena Wiseman- Published Author

Writer in Residence Program 002

Rowena has offered her support and will be attending and making suggestions on how we can grow this program to benefit our young writers and illustrators. The students who attended our first Writer in Residence were a pleasure to listen to. Their ability compose rich questions reflected the talent of these students.

Rowena brought her notebook, drafts of published works and explained how she collected ideas, honed her skills as a writer and the resilience required to become a published author.

It was interesting to hear how a writer asks others to read their work, comment and make suggestions, as well as the editing process a published piece of writing is subjected to as part of the publishing process.

Rowena is a parent member of our school community. We are also seeking other community members (grandparents etc.) involved in a writing based profession i.e. illustrating, advertising, journalist to name a few to become involved in this program.

Our aim is to have a Writer in Residence each month. We would love to hear from you and invite you to become a part our Writer in Residence program. This is the beginning of a wonderful school initiative which we hope will engage more of our students as word spreads.

I’ll keep you posted. Cheers Nina

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Writers Notebook: A powerful tool which documents if ‘what has been taught’ has been embedded and is being used consciously by students.

This year we introduced Writers Notebook across my school. My students and I absolutely love our notebooks. We have a tool/skill workbook where  student’s record / practice grammar, word-work and genre study. Their notebooks have a collection of their writing, thinking tools, planning and ideas. Some pieces are finished, others are not. There are plans, drawings, ideas, narratives, reports etc.

I chose a scrapbook and lined paper because the smaller exercise books didn’t allow for the drawings etc. Upon reflection the lined paper has meant quite a bit of sticking pages into a book but my students have managed this well. For next year our team has looked at a range of books more suitable for a notebook. I also stick books together so the children can look back and reflect on their journey as a writer. And they do!

This week I read a book by Terry Denton. The text in the book is made to look like the meaning. What was interesting was that a number of my students decided to ‘have a go’ at this in their own writing. They always have choice in their notebook. I’ve uploaded some photos of their attempt to make the words look like their meaning. These children are 6,7 & 8 year olds.

Classroom writing 003

Classroom writing 005

Classroom writing 008

Classroom writing 009

Classroom writing 012

Classroom writing 014

These notebooks are powerful as documentation of learning as they show the transfer from a taught skill/ genre to a student’s writing where they draw upon what they know. I’m hoping this makes sense. The scaffolds are around the room but the students need to direct themselves and their use. The notebooks clearly show me where learning has been embedded into conscious use.

If you have writers notebooks or something similar, I’d love to know how your students use theirs and if you use their notebooks for assessment purposes.  

Cheers Nina

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

How do I keep my brick wall strong?

The first term of 2013 finished last week coinciding with Easter and it’s time to reflect on my year so far. This year I’m teaching a junior grade made up of grades 1 and 2. After a number of years teaching a Prep grade, following on with a junior grade was a logical move for me as an educator. Having said this, I’ve been around long enough to have taught all levels of primary education a number of times.

Time changes best practice and I’m working with a colleague where I’m definitely the learner. The teaching of maths is my personal focus this year. Last week, I was able to be a part of one of my colleague’s math sessions, and as I love being in the ‘learner’s seat’, it was enlightening. I have so many questions!

Each year I find something to inspire my personal professional development. It doesn’t always mean attending out-sourced costly professional development. I have the mentor in my own work place!

Personalising Learning: My favourite words – I need help or I don’t understand….

Setting the scene: I want my students to understand that being a learner is about taking risks… Recently, we discussed brick walls.

Learning Walls and Personal Walls

Analogy: Our learning is just like a brick wall. What happens if some of the bricks are missing or not placed properly? What makes a wall strong?

They knew instantly! The beauty of this analogy is the children know you can take out wobbly bricks, position the brick again and make a strong wall. You just have to know which bricks are wobbly. That’s why pre-assessing knowledge and sharing results with children is important. They also explored their personal school/ learning wall and how to keep this wall strong. It was a great topic for the children to write about. How can I keep my brick wall strong?

Briars and latest writing 050

Briars and latest writing 051

Briars and latest writing 054

Briars and latest writing 055

Briars and latest writing 057

Briars and latest writing 058

Briars and latest writing 060

Cheers Nina

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

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

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized