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DM Interpretation Question - Writing... HELP!


Melcatfish
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OK so I am having another in depth discussion with myself about DM writing statements so thought I would see if any of the rest of you would care to add your thoughts!

Writing:

22-36 Distinguishes between the different marks they make

30-50 Sometimes gives meaning to marks as they draw and paint

30-50 Acscribes meanings to marks that they see in different places

 

OK, so for the 22-36m one I would interpret that as the child saying "that's a squiggley one, that's a big one"

My confusion is the 30-50 ones.

I have read on this forum two schools of thought,

1) Sometimes gives meaning... can be in a pictoral context "This is a spider" "This is a sad face"

or

2) Sometimes gives meaning to marks is specifically ascribing meaning in the context of written words and symbols "This says Mummy" "This is my writing it says Jane"

 

As for the other statement Ascribes meaning to marks that they see in different places...

What confuses me here is that it is in writing - if it is looking at marks and writing and saying "That says Tesco" "You wrote my name" then why is this statement not a reading statement.

 

Sorry, it has been a looooong weekend and I am now questioning my judgement!

Thoughts and comments gratefully appreciated :)

Mel

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Hi Melcatfish, didn't want to read and run. We recently got together in our borough to discuss these sorts of 'vagueness' within statements. In response to your first query, I would that the 22-36 statement as naming their marks in someway, where as the 30-50 statement is where there's more of a description of meaning. So the difference between 'they're frogs' and 'they're frogs, they're holding hands...they're friends' (my own son's words!) - sort of showing that they are trying to get a message across - showing their understanding that marks can communicate?

As regards your second query I would say that it's in the writing section to again show their understanding of writing for communication. It is not so much about knowing what the prints says as realising that the print is communicating something to us.

They are vague and we sort of worked in out by working backwards from the ELG.

Interested to hear if this is others interpretation.

Green Hippo x

Edited by green hippo
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Going on the stages of children's development of writing:

22-36 Distinguishes between the different marks they make ;They understand the difference between drawing and writing - writing is seen as something distinct. They might scribble over the page but know they are writing not drawing. This writing may not have meaning per se, it is simply "writing".

30-50 Sometimes gives meaning to marks as they draw and paint: This is about written marks as by now they know the difference between writing and drawing. This writing is understood as a record of their thought/s or spoken words as they have learnt that writing conveys a meaning.

30-50 Ascribes meanings to marks that they see in different places - they understand that writing is around them and will comment on the kinds of things they see - the school name on their sweatshirt for example when they notice it is the same as the big sign outside. It is not their writing but they understand it is writing and has a message we all share.

I knew that unit on the stages of development of children's writing in my teaching degree would come in useful one day!!

Cx

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Thanks Catma, I wish my teaching degree had had a bit more on the development of writing however we were at the height of the literacy hour and it was all about reading your big book, then getting in your 15 mins of word, sentence or text level work then 20 mins of independent work and finally the all important plenary. Plus it was a primary degree with not a lot of Early Years content!

 

Actually, your explanations are very clear and make sense in the context of what I can see in my classroom. I know it is picky but I wish they had been more careful with the wording - the one about giving meaning when drawing and painting especially, simply by mentioning drawing and painting it takes away that focus on them understanding that writing is a distinct type of mark making which is different from drawing.

 

Thanks again,

Mel

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Thanks Catma, that is a clear explanation.

So with the 30-50 statement - it is still about communicating the meaning whether writing or drawing? (Assuming that they know the difference between the 2)

So in my example - would "it's a frog" be in the 30-50 months or still 22-36? We had a long discussion about this at our meeting...

Thanks,

Green Hippo x

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I think the 22-36 is asking you for a different understanding to 30 - 50.

22-36 is about knowing the difference which is a clear stage in understanding what writing is about.

In 30 - 50 they are talking about their ideas in drawing and writing, which are the beginnings of understanding that writing says the same thing even if we go away and come back again so saying it's a frog or saying a bit more is still talking about their mark making. The amount they say wouldn't be my main focus.

Cx

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In our setting we've had to analyse, clarify and edit so many or most of the DMs and ELGs because we've had similar confusions - including about the ones above! We use our own wording to reduce the risk of misinterpretation. It is a worrying, I think, that we're making judgements about children ambiguously worded statements.

This analysis and moderation is part of our job though, using the various exemplifications provided in the DM document and Profile Handbook, and other sources. What we have found is that it's not until we worked with the statements for a while, moulding them to fit reality often several times over, that they became a really useful tool for observation.

Edited by Wildflowers
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Thanks Catma,

Think we were being a bit harsh!?

I have had children that will make marks that neither look clearly like writing or drawing and will always say "it's mummy" or "it's daddy". I can't decide whether they have actually tried to draw or write mummy or daddy or whether it is a learnt response to someone at home always saying "is that mummy/daddy?" It's difficult to know whether they are still at the stage of experiencing the mark-making or actually trying to communicate something (i.e. at that stage of knowing that writing is a record of their thoughts)

Hmmm....

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That just comes down to knowing the children I suppose!! I'd have slightly different expectations if the child was 48 months vs 36 for example, even though they could be in the same band. Developmentally they would be doing different things because 1 is a year older.

Cx

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I do SO wish that we could have a special section within the forum dedicated to these discussions! This is such a helpful thread and one that I know I will be returning to, as with several others re: DM ambiguities! PLEASE would the 'Powers that be' set up something? I have asked before but to no avail. If all the questions and answers could be found under one heading it would be really useful; there are many such threads that I have a vague recollection of but then cannot find it when I need it - always specific to the analysis of DM.

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Totally agree Devonmaid - we all know that DM is not a ticklist etc... etc... but with lots of ambiguity I find these types of discussions between practitioners a really valuable resource and would love it if they were in a special section all of their own.

 

Mel

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I do SO wish that we could have a special section within the forum dedicated to these discussions! This is such a helpful thread and one that I know I will be returning to, as with several others re: DM ambiguities! PLEASE would the 'Powers that be' set up something? I have asked before but to no avail. If all the questions and answers could be found under one heading it would be really useful; there are many such threads that I have a vague recollection of but then cannot find it when I need it - always specific to the analysis of DM.

 

I've alerted those with power to your appeal so you're not being ignored :)

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