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HI everybody, I need your opinions & knowledge on this one...

 

When you are working with a group of children, e.g. in a guided writing session, do you allow them to use key word cards? E.g. lists of words which they can copy to help with their writing?

 

Don't want to give my opinion as I want to know what you think. Thanks very much,

 

Dianne

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I allow the chikldren to use the key words and tricky words we have up around the classroom. They are at child height and the children know that if they need them to write then they can get them.... some of the childern also use them in their play writing.

I also give children an alphabet line if appropriate to help them with the shapes of the letters... this has worked well with my Year 1 children as they are becoming more independent and not asking me what each letter looks like.

 

Be interested to hear what others have to say on this.

 

Lorna

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In my guided writing, I have a set of key words for them to consult - they read the word and then cpoy it. They then write the other words using their phonic knowledge. I am interested to see what others do too.

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I usually encourage them to ue their phonic knowledge as much as possible but do have the key words on velcro for them to use if they ask to-its usually when we've been reading this word or its our word of the week. Its tricky because some chn become to reliant on word banks when we just want them to 'have a go' even if its not the correct spelling. :o

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Zim, your response is exactly why I wanted to ask what other people do - a lot of my smarter children become awful writers as they try as much as they can to limit themselves to words they can copy!! I seem to have less of a problem so far this year actually, and the children are happier to do emergent writing than last years class who seemed really hung up about it. I guess, for those children who do copy a lot of words for their writing, I'll just have to make them write a little more, talking with them about making it a bit more interesting & not worrying about spellings!

 

I'd still love some more opinions if anyone has something else to add!

 

Dianne

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hi zim

this is what i do as well- i find that its important to let chidlren 'have a go' . if we expect them to find the word before they write it then they become reliant on gettingit right every time and you will find that chidlren are hesitant about trying to write anything without the word or to relyon their phonic knowldge to write things.

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Just read back and my own spelling is terrible-oh well! At the end of the day, children have many influences when learning to write. Parents being their first and some will just have to 'get it right' all the time. Its a tricky one coz sometimes even the adults in the same classroom may do things differently. I know we should-(teachers and support staff-)have the same goal for their writing but its not always possible when the people you work with change or you get a different helper for the day and they might give the child the word to copy. When their emergent writing doesn't make sense-eg for a display for the wall-do you underwrite what they have written? I also feel this is a bit dodgey. For the sake of parents and others looking at the display making sense of what the child is writing is important but sometimes I worry that the child has 'had a go' but now I'm doing the 'proper' version!

While we're on the subject of key words, I'd be interested in how you all teach the chn to read them. Do you have a systematic approach? This is my 5th year of teaching Reception now and I have done it in a variety of ways. I usually start with the easier ones that fit in with the topic or big book then try to fit this in with the writing as well. I know that learning 'on rote' is frowned upon and that chn should be reading in context but I worry that I'm not covering them properly if I do it through structured play etc all the time. I do get the children to point to key words on signs we have in the structured play-eg please wait TO be seated and to write labels in the construction eg MY car and they are obviously reading words in context in shared and guided reading but I also play key words lotto with them and my teaching assistant reads over the key words sent home when she changes their books because this is something that has always been done traditionally!. I don't know what others think but the chn in our school don't get that much parental support so if we don't have a systematic way of teaching the key words I'd feel that they'd miss out. They do enjoy these games and are learning but I know our LEA adviser and probably OFSTED would have a fit if she walked in and saw us playing lotto or bingo with the key words! Opinions please :)

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my reception words are dividedi nto 5groups thatcan be used to make sentences.

 

in the first set are - i love my brother, sister, mum, dad, play can.

 

This gives the chidlren a purpose to make sentences and to understand that words need to placed in a certain way to make sense as a sentence that can be read back.

 

it also introduces phonic c-v-c words as well as whole word recognisiton.

 

I also play lotto games with my chidlren and the words are sorted acc to the sets. I do this in nursery so children are beg to recongise the shape os words.

 

i could post the rec word sets if anyone wants it.

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Yes please!! I would love to see the reception set of words. It sounds a good idea as the children can begin linking them together.

Thanks Jo

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in the first set are - i love my brother, sister, mum, dad, play can.

 

If you use 'like' instead of 'love' you will be hitting on one of the reception 45 high fq words.

 

I encourage my children to use "have a go" spellings too. I have copied, enlarged and laminated all the letters and actions from the Jolly Phonics writing sheets and have them up in the classroom. It really helps those children who know the sound and the action they need but who can't recall the letter.

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