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xD All suggestions gratefully received on this one!

 

On our recent Ofsted under CLL quote " they use their 'own' writing in role play and write their names. This is not extended for older and more able children"

 

So.... the consideration should be to "consider providing more opportunities for structured writing for more able and older children"

 

Any ideas where I should go from here ? There are always lots of mark making activities, there are laminated name cards for them to trace over, Inspector saw them writing letters in the sand, there are chalk boards (inside and out), there are playdough letters etc etc...... but structured writing ??? - how would others approach this- a pile of worksheets for them to choose from if they wish???

 

Would really appreciate some ideas here!

 

Thanks

 

Janice :o

 

p.s. I should have said age range is Pre-school 2+

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Hi Janice!

 

Hmmm. Initial feelings prompt me to ask if you have things like big, office-type diaries (or small personal ones), junk mail, forms from banks etc, you know, the kind of things that are always lying around for you to pick up in shops, Post Offices etc. These provide 'real' opportunities for the children to practice their writing. Could you ask them to 'scribe' ideas when you are discussing group plans/activities (it might be a good idea to make your own notes, though, in case!)

They could make signs and other bits and pieces for role play area.

You may already be doing these or similar things, in which case i don't know what they want! :o

 

Will give this further thought!

 

Sue :D

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Hi Sue....... yep got all that for role play for whatever theme it may be - but this is asking for structured writing and am thinking that the only way to achieve this will be having alphabet worksheets available to choose from unless someone has any other suggestions. And at the most it will only appeal to a handful of children (if that!) and I can't possibly make it too structured!!!!!!!!!!! She didn't make a big thing of it and said it was only a suggestion, but I need something that is going to blend in with the session, rather than making it a focal point.

 

Janice :o

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some of the things I did to extend writing (As seen by HMI so I assume they are OK!) were:

 

1) Using computer print offs of photos of the children doing whatever and asking them to write their own captions for them in books, displays etc,

 

2) Having linked open ended writing frames in the writing area, that went with our book. This could be something like a character with a big speech bubble so children could write what they were saying, eg the GingerBreafd man could be saying "can't catch me I'm the gingerbread man" but often they would write something else!! The key is not to limit the responses with the "correct" response.

 

3) white boards and dry wipe pens and washing up sponges to wipe out. These were always popular and lots of writing took place. (indoors and out)

 

4) having a planned "extended writing activity" each week, working with an adult. This was primarily for rising fives and was things like writing the invitations to the ugly bug ball, labelling a Handa's Surprise story board or making a card from Goldilocks to say sorry, writing a shopping list for Sophie an Her mum after the tiger went etc etc. It would link with our story sometimes it was groups, sometimes individual. Sometimes it was just the adult scribing and modelling but we tried to vary the genres often.

 

5) Putting out papers in all sorts of different shapes and manners of folds to encourage creative thinking and writing, hen shaped/leaf shaped/gingerbread man shaped etc etc.

 

6) having resources for making their own books, card, paper, stapler etc and making books regularly in adult led groups. We particularly made zig zag books and again I would provide pictures of books we had read to sequence and the children would write their own captions to retell the story, eg Hungry caterpillar.

 

All of these had a big response from the nursery children and did encourage the children to write more frequently. I also think that the changing attitude of my support staff to take time to talk to children about what they were writing about and to scribe with them, and encouraging them to write for themselves had a big impact too.

 

Hope they are of some interest!

 

Cx

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Thanks for that Catma - they are great suggestions! Making books and bookmarks are some of the things that we do already but what I'm having trouble grasping is whether she meant that we now go down the route of teaching them formal writing and if so, whatever font would I choose as we feed into about 5 different schools and they don't all use the same font!

 

I think I might be taking her comments too literally!!!!!!! xD

 

Janice :o

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Hi Janice

 

We had the same criticisms a few years back from OFSTED so I know where you are coming from!! Initially the Nursery team back then panicked and started doing all sorts of copy writing, work sheets and writing names over dotted lines and the like!It had no real impact at all on writing and just made it an adult dominated nightmare. It wasn't what the inspectors meant at all I don't think.

 

What I did when I took over the nursery was look for all the things that could be focused writing activities as well as the provision for the spontaneous writing. I found modelling myself very beneficial, the children would retell a story or make one up and I would write it on a white board or paper or in a big book and we would read it back and talk about the letters and sounds I was using etc. It helped them understand what writing is! We talk about writing all the time, but how many children actually see people writing regularly? After I joined in and modelled writing a price list and sticking it up with sellotape for an outdoor cafe children later kept spontaneously writing their own when they played that again and similarly in "The Bakery" another child wrote out recipes for making the cakes because she'd been in a group reading through the recipe for dough biscuits previously.

 

I also would try not to write childrens names for them unless they had had a go first and we always had their own name cards on the writing table for them to look at and copy from if they wanted them. If children did a drawing or something similar I would encourage them to write the story or caption that went with it and then write underneath their writing again modelling.

 

In the last HMI visit in february the children were making good progress so it must have worked somewhere!!

 

Hope that helps

Cx

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We have 'writing frames' in our structured play area (school nursery) eg order forms in the garden centre, forms for the doctors to fill in the hospital (very pictorial, invite writing the words yes or no), notepads in the cafe to go with very simple menus with words and pictures on. In general we try to give a relevant reason for writing and some kind of help for those children who are at the stage of writing more than a string of letters. Children have written lots and we often display their writing in the area. Sometimes we have shared writing activities with adults using the same or similar materials.

We practice writing individual letters - a very little at a time. Sometimes in group time we all have a go at writing the letter of the week on a white board and then rubbing it off and passing the board on.

I would definitely resist anything more formal. Hope you manage not to be pressurised. :o

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Horsechestnut,

 

Are these forms something you have devised and print off from your computer? Just wondering because there's no point in inventing the wheel if someone else already has..........! :D I would love to see them. :)

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If anyone wants some great ideas and photocopiable writing frames I have 2 books that are great. I got them through my old school, so not sure where they got them but they are called:

 

'Writing through Role Play, Writing frames for role play areas, foundation and Key Stage one'. there are 2 books- book one and two!

ISBN for the 1st book is : ISBN 1 899679 45 4

The are written by Lesley Clarke and are produced by Sound Learning. They have so many good ideas and save a lot of time when you just want that template to help you save some time. I have the 2nd book at school, but the first book has ideas for the following role play areas:

Airport/Aeroplane, Cafe, Clothes shop, Doctors, Greengrocers, Kitchen, Leisure Centre, Office, Pet shop, post office, school, sitting room, space rocket, toy shop and travel agents.

 

Hope that is of some use to people.

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Nichola, I've purchased materials from "Sound Learning" and been on their mailing list but so long ago now they no longer send to me!

I cant trace them on Google or the books on Amazon, I think those materials may be purchased only from supplier/publisher. Any idea of a phone number or website, please?

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