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Teaching Year R Children To Write


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I joined a new school as year R teacher last September and am experienced with this age group. My Literacy manager is insisting that I start with copy writing and progress to independent. I did this years ago, but now prefer to encourage the children to use the sounds they know and practise emergent writing which is born out of Letters and Sounds sessions. Unfortunately, however, the manager has evidence that children in the school succeeded using the old methods (they also use the Oxford Reading Tree and work through each stage without giving the children any choice of reading book and I am used to 'Book Bands'). The standards at the school are very high-lots of level 3s at end of year 2. I'd like everyones thoughts on this-very tricky for me as I am the new one and the school has evidence. How can I work in a way that I dont believe in?

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Guest LornaW

Hi Mackdebs

 

You sound as if you are in a school in a high achieving area and it sounds as if you Literacy Manager is afraid to let go of a tried and tested method. I would get all the research you can find and ask her to let you develop the writing the way you believe. Ensure yher you will not drop the standards and indeed you would expect them to rise. Keep her infomed of how it is going. Have you seen this rather old document but non the less worthwhile

 

http://www.pgce.soton.ac.uk/ict/NewPGCE/IW...ng_fs071301.pdf

 

Also all the work from the Primary Strategy on Talk for Writing etc may be good ammunition for you.

 

I agree with you that copy writing is not the answer. Ok for able children it won't hurt but for me the subliminal message is that writing is something adults do and children cannot do it on their own.

 

Have you watched A trap for baddies from the NAA a great video with a smashing example of developmental writing. Also shared writing and guided writing will ensure your children make progress.

 

Good lucj I am sure there will be lots of advice from others on here!

 

Lorna

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Went on a CLLD network the other day and was told about Gateway to writing on DCFS website ... or what ever it is called these days. Had a quick flick through and looks like some useful stuff

 

H

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That is an awful situation for you. All I would say is that I totally agree with you that copy writing is not the way to learn. Your guided writing should be about giving children skills that support their phonics programme and give them the confidence to have a go (sounding out phonetically) which is supported by the independent access to writing resources in their play.

 

Lots of luck! x

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Thanks for all the replies so far. It's great to know others agree with my views.

Yes Lorna W , I am in a very high achieving school and as it is a small village school that could be in danger of closing if we don't attract enough new families with our high standards, their is a feeling that 'if it worked for us before, why make changes?'

My head has been to all the right meetings, so knows about continuous provision etc etc -indeeed, that's why she appointed me-but she is also very concerned about standards.

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Hi Mackdebs

 

We haven't done copy writing for years. We do as you have said emergent writing born out of words and sounds and mark making and writing in the sand, using paint etc. We have a group of children i think it was 6/7 children in the end this year we gave point 9 to in writing and letters and sounds for the profile end of year. They came in only writing their name and making marks. Thats our proof it works.

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