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Observation, Please Help!


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I am being observed for an interview in a year one/two class. The observation is only 20 minutes and I need to demonstrate my approach to the teaching of writing. I'm completely stuck as 20 mins doesn't seem long enough to introduce a topic and get the children to actually write anything meaningful. I would usually lead up to writing with lots of drama and language activities as well as looking at the features of that writing over several days before hand. Do you think I need to have the children actually writing within this 20 mins? I'd be grateful if anyone had any great ideas they could share.

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I dont think they will expect anything other than to see how you engage the children and respnd to them. They will be aware that you dont know where the children are at and also you dont have long enought to teach them something new. I would go with something basic and fun. Sometimes less is more. Maybe try something like......setting the scene for 5 minutes and then a shared writing activity with the oppertunity for children to talk to thier partners to gather ideas. you could.... tell them you need thier help because your pet dog/cat/parrot ect has gone missing. you want to make a missing poster but not sure what you could write. Maybe show them a picture of your pet and ask them to think of senteces on how they would decribe it. Maybe write the senteces and make mistakes telling them you not very good at writing and can they help you with all your mistakes. Like captial letters in the wrong places and no full stop.

Alternativly open and read a letter from some one exciting (popular cartoon character) and tell them you need to respond by writing aletter back to the character....Horrid Henery maybe.

 

We just did some work around Horrid henery and after we did the carpet input nearly all the children wnated to write him a postcard.

 

This way its linked to thier intrests and you have modelled with thier ideas. Also give them the planning of how you would follow the activity up.

 

Hope this helps

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HI

 

The big thing especially where we are is to use the pie corbett approach and although it is on an ongoing thing it is a lead into writing. With my class (reception) we re tell the story as we know it first then we may draw story maps to help us remember important parts of the story which would then lead onto writing the story.

 

20 minutes is not a long time so i would assume that yes you would show how you would get them enagaged wanting to write?

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I agree with the preparation for writing thing. Could you do a some kind of 'talking activity' to begin (drama, making something, responding to a story) then get them generating adjectives - big pieces of paper. This will give you some (vague) sense of differentiation and you can try extending as you go along getting some to put adjectives in to a sentence. As a finish off you could collect your own ideas and write some kind of character/setting description using all their lovely words.

 

I did something similar where I read QPootle5 then we made playdough aliens (I checked it was ok to use playdough first) which got them all talking then we moved on to the paper stuff. I didn't get the job but the lesson was commented on very favourably.

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20 minutes is not a long time so i would assume that yes you would show how you would get them enagaged wanting to write?

 

 

Thanks for all your replies! This is the main point I'm worried about really, the amount of time I have. It's not a lot to get them engaged and then going on to write something. Do you think it would be looked upon unfavourably if I told a story, got them to do some related drama and then just did a shared collection of 'feeling' words in preparation for writing? I have done this before for an observation and it took about 20 minutes.

 

I'm sure that by the time I had introduced something, discussed/demonstrated what we were going to write and they had organised themselves at the tables there will be no time for meaningful writing of sentences or anything like that, particularly as I would have to leave a few minutes at the end for a plenary! I made this mistake in my last observation. Maybe I talk to much!

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How about you use some stimulus, a picture and object something unusual. Ask the children to suggest what it is and to aowrkn in pair to make a sentence about the stimulus. You are the scribe and you take a few examples from the children and write up a sentence. Then ask the children if they can improve the sentence using some wow words.

 

So for example you show this picture

post-9053-1328463478_thumb.jpg

 

The children may come up with sentences such as - The man is feeding the bird. / The bird is taking food from the man.

You could then discuss how to improve that by asking the Who , where, what, why , when and how type questions so eventually you may get

Hovering outside the window the smiling man fed the bluebird. If time allows you could develop the whole idea. So the children are composing thinking about vocabulary etc but with only 20 minutes you are the scribe. Have plenty of talking partner type activities so they can see how to share and build upon one anothers ideas.

 

Just a thought!

 

Lorna

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