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Guided Writing


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I'm quite happy with the way I do guided writing, children seem to be learning lots, enjoying writing and seeing themselves as writers, but another teacher seemed surprised today about how I do it, so I just wanted to check with all youl ovely people that i'm not unknowingly doing something ridiculous, too formal and KS1ish?

 

We do lots of different writing, have lots of opportunities for writing in all areas of the classroom, children choose to write in their play etc, this happens in all different sized groups, obviously. My guided writing, though, when I am actually doing direct, focus teaching of differentiated skills (eg finger spaces, initial sounds, spelling HFW we need in the context correctly etc) is in groups of 5 or 6, in the same way that it would be in year 1, year 2 etc. This guided writing is still play-based, but with an explicit focus.

 

For children at an earlier stage of writing, it would be more fluid, flexible groupings, where I would draw children to me, but again knowing which group of children I am aiming to work with.

 

Is this similar to how you do it? The other teacher thought I would work in smaller groups.

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If your group size is working for you, then stick with it. Each cohort is different, another time you might find your groups need to be smaller to be effective. I wouldnt want to see them any bigger than 6 though.

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Assuming you're in year R from things you've said, then that sounds fine and exactly what I would do except in a few cases that need it in smaller groups. I would agree it is the best way to teach the key elements of writing and if it works for you and your kids that's the main thing. Also as you said, they are having play based writing opportunities - without focussed teaching of the skills they'd never be able to use writing effectively in their play.

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What you are doing sounds fine in terms of group size and content - I did a similar thing when I was in Reception and it worked well.

 

If it's working well carry on!

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I work in a similar way but usually have smaller groups, often only a couple at a time (I can do this because I have 18 in my class - not sure it would work with 30!). I find that if I have, for example, 4 children, even if they are working at a similar level, they tend to race on (through enthusiasm I think), whereas I can slow them down and get them to think about sounding out, spaces, or whatever I am focusing on with them. Once they can do a bit more (such as my top group who can write a few sentences, sounding out well with spaces between words) I will have them as a group, but find the others benefit more from more adult attention. However, as I said, I don't know if this would work in a bigger class - we might be writing forever!!

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  • 2 months later...

Please may I ask if you do guided writing in exercise books? and what other exercise books you have in reception if any? Thanks

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I do it in small groups too. They vary in size- my smallest being 4 as they need a lot more attention and my largest being 7, as they are so far ahead of the other children. I do the same kind of focuses as you. So what you are doing sounds fine to me!

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