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The Big Talk


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Hi,

 

Having just attended a Big Talk training day I wondered if other reception classes were already doing Big Talk and or Big Write and how well or not it was going in the classroom. It was a very intensive and fast paced training day and I felt there were elements that would work well with my class but other areas, like having a display of WOW words and super sentences up for children to refer to, was expecting a little too much of children who currently haven't even been introduced to all their single letter sounds yet! :o We were also advised to involve the children with doing a 10 minute Big Wriiting session from January for those who are ready. This really worried me as I currently have only one child in my current reception class that would be even remotely ready to undertake this.

The rest of my school are heavily into the Big Write and love it so I would like to bring in Big Talk to give continuity through the school but just need to know what has worked well for others before I bring about any changes.

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Big Talk in this form is very new so few schools will have used it but we have followed our own version for a few years which is very similar and has worked well from nursery.

 

Alistair will correct me if I'm wrong but the 10 mins Big Write in the Spring term is only for those children who are ready (last year I had 4 children and we did this as their adult focused activity every other week). If they aren't ready postpone it until they are.

Edited by Marion
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Thanks for that Marion.

 

Yes, Alistair did suggest it was for only those children who were ready. It's comforting to know there were only 4 in you cohort that were ready to undertake the writing element in January. I was really beginning to panic that perhaps such a small element of the class undertaking the activity would appear not to have made expected progress. Most of my children spend the first few weeks of Autumn term doing L&S phase 1 and so I do feel I loose a lot of time but that is really about where the children are at on entry and therefore need the pitch to begin. I do provide lots of talk time in class and always have mark making zones available inside and outside in my continous provision so we have lots of opportunities to undertake independent writing.

 

Are you familiar with using wow word and super sentence displays with reception and if so do the children actively refer to them in their play?

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I have used WOW words and the children do refer to them especially if it is a word they have contributed to the display. In the past I haven't used the sentences as a real display - just temporarily for the day and found the children would remember what we had written and would go over and "read" it (from memory) so this is something I want to develop more.

 

We did the training as a whole school in September so I'm just beginning to implement some of the ideas - if Alistair is reading I have asked for my sofa :o and I've unearthed my granny's wooden potato masher!

 

Alistair's model is slightly different to how I worked before we had his training and I'm having fun xD with my imaginary friend.

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I am really interested in using Big Talk with my reception class but haven't had any training on it. Pleae could someone show me how to plan for big talk in your sessions? Thanks in advance. :oxD

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Hi,

 

Having just attended a Big Talk training day I wondered if other reception classes were already doing Big Talk and or Big Write and how well or not it was going in the classroom. It was a very intensive and fast paced training day and I felt there were elements that would work well with my class but other areas, like having a display of WOW words and super sentences up for children to refer to, was expecting a little too much of children who currently haven't even been introduced to all their single letter sounds yet! :o We were also advised to involve the children with doing a 10 minute Big Wriiting session from January for those who are ready. This really worried me as I currently have only one child in my current reception class that would be even remotely ready to undertake this.

The rest of my school are heavily into the Big Write and love it so I would like to bring in Big Talk to give continuity through the school but just need to know what has worked well for others before I bring about any changes.

 

I have not had Big Talk or Writing training but my previous school did this very successfully in KS1 and 2. In Year R I did "Big Drawing", do not know if there is such as thing and if there is, I am probably doing it all wrong - we based it on what we had been doing that week. For example a topic on space, I would put on music from "The Planets", turn off lights and talk briefly about what the children might see if they were out in space or looking up at the sky, remind them the things we had visited and posed other "thinking" type questions, whilst they sat with eyes shut and listened to the music. Then the children would go to tables and draw their ideas, we would go round quietly near the end, jotting down what they told us they were drawing (especially if they were likely to forget) and at the end would look through the drawings and all talk about the ideas (or often do this later). We did not have the Talk Time done at home, but the children loved it and came up with some wonderful ideas and drawings, even those not representing well could put down marks and we would scribe. Later in the year, as they began to write, we encouraged those that could do write ideas as well. It was brilliant for encouraging language and talk.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hi,

 

Having just attended a Big Talk training day I wondered if other reception classes were already doing Big Talk and or Big Write and how well or not it was going in the classroom. It was a very intensive and fast paced training day and I felt there were elements that would work well with my class but other areas, like having a display of WOW words and super sentences up for children to refer to, was expecting a little too much of children who currently haven't even been introduced to all their single letter sounds yet! :o We were also advised to involve the children with doing a 10 minute Big Wriiting session from January for those who are ready. This really worried me as I currently have only one child in my current reception class that would be even remotely ready to undertake this.

The rest of my school are heavily into the Big Write and love it so I would like to bring in Big Talk to give continuity through the school but just need to know what has worked well for others before I bring about any changes.

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Hello you lot - Alistair here! Not checked in for a while as been flat out training!

 

Great news about the sofa Marion - hope you will invite me up to sit on it!

 

Now then... on the training I talk about using WOW words with the non readers because it is all about filling their heads with good stuff ready to come out through their pencil at a later date. It does not matter if they cannot read them because you will use them in your teaching and game play. They are on display to give meaning to print.

 

Again, Super Sentences are not a long term display but very disposable. They too are used to show that print has meaning and show the adult as a writer. Their main purpose is to 'uplevel' talk and help children with the concept of a sentence before they ever write one.

 

Remember the mantra...If they can't say it, they can't write it.

 

With regards to the Big Write in Reception, I think the maximum I ever got by July was 15. So one is absolutely fine - small steps for those WHO ARE READY!

 

Any questions please ask away - Marion you are doing a great job in my absence - fancy being a Big Talk consultant?!!

 

Alistair

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hello you lot - Alistair here! Not checked in for a while as been flat out training!

 

Great news about the sofa Marion - hope you will invite me up to sit on it!

 

Now then... on the training I talk about using WOW words with the non readers because it is all about filling their heads with good stuff ready to come out through their pencil at a later date. It does not matter if they cannot read them because you will use them in your teaching and game play. They are on display to give meaning to print.

 

Again, Super Sentences are not a long term display but very disposable. They too are used to show that print has meaning and show the adult as a writer. Their main purpose is to 'uplevel' talk and help children with the concept of a sentence before they ever write one.

 

Remember the mantra...If they can't say it, they can't write it.

 

With regards to the Big Write in Reception, I think the maximum I ever got by July was 15. So one is absolutely fine - small steps for those WHO ARE READY!

 

Any questions please ask away - Marion you are doing a great job in my absence - fancy being a Big Talk consultant?!!

 

Alistair

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Hi,

I love the idea of Big Talk but at a recent INSET was left bemused by how to "do it".

We are a large 3 form entry school and the member of staff who had attended the training just told Foundation Stage to adapt it - AS USUAL!

But adapt what?

 

There is no money to send us on any specific courses at the mom so I'm begging for any online literature or ANYTHING THAT WILL HELP TO FUEL MY EXISTING ENTHUSIASM before frustration creeps in.

 

If you could point me in the right direction I would be so grateful.

 

loved listening to you in Blackpool earlier this year by the way and we did get our FLIP videos a couple of weeks ago--Better late than never!

 

Thank you so much

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Hello you lot - Alistair here! Not checked in for a while as been flat out training!

 

Great news about the sofa Marion - hope you will invite me up to sit on it!

 

 

Alistair

 

You have a standing or should that be sitting invitation to visit us although I am leaving the FS and off to Y2 so I may not get to sit on the sofa (unless I can steal it for my new class)

 

I'm hoping you are planning on bringing "In out, In out, Shake it all about" this far north?

Edited by Marion
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  • 2 weeks later...

Lots of common sense ideas for developing talk in the early years to provide children with the language and vocabulary they will need later in their school life to be successful writer. Also lots for developing talk with older children (so plenty for me to use in Y2). I think having had the training day with Alistair helps to put the book in context but it is written in straightforward language with a clear format for adopting Big Talk in any class.

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Hi,

We had a Big Writing locality training last year but it's not been followed up in the locality schools. Do you think that I as a Reception teacher would be able to read and then use Big Talk without attending a training? Would love to go on a training but money for CPD very limited this year and not allowed to attend courses recommended by County Early Years team.

 

It sounds very useful from the comments I have read but don't want to spend more of my money without knowing I could use it. Have spent too much this last year and getting slightly fed up of using own money to subsidise my room and my teaching.(but that's another post in the future not for now!!!!)

 

Nicky Sussex

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Yes I think the book is pretty easy to follow even without the training (although not so much fun)

I'm sure both Alistair and Ros will be only to happy to answer and questions (and I'll do my best as I learn myself)

I know exactly what you mean about spending your own money I've just ordered 4 more books on top of the 12 I bought before Christmas.

 

You can contact Ros on the Andrell forum and Alistair pops in here from time to time.

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Thanks for your help. I will order the book tomorrow and yes may well have some questions to ask once or as I read it.

The problem is we can always find extra books, resources etc that can be useful can't we !!!!

 

Nicky Sussex :oxD

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  • 1 month later...

Hello all Big Talkers

 

Please, if you have any quesitons...ask away and I will do my best to answer them. I try and log in as often as I can but these days I am mostly up and down the country delivering on Big Talk or aspects of effective EYFS practice. This week I flew down to Exeter to indoctronate the 'Exeter massive' with my message about excellent EYFS practice. Unfortunately I was stopped and searched at Manchester airport as I had 5 plastic severed fingers, a tiarra and a World War 2 potato masher in my bag! I can't even begin to explain!!

 

Marion I am 'Up North' soon. You never know I might just pop in!!

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