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Boys' Writing - Inspiration Needed!


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Has anybody got any fantastic ideas for getting the boys in my Reception class to write? Our assessment data from last year shows that they are lagging way behind the girls at the end of Reception and we need to address this!

 

This is partly due to poor fine motor skills - there are a few who are good readers but can't hold a pencil correctly. But I think the main issue is motivation. What could I do to inspire them?

 

Is anyone out there facing the same problem and what have you done to overcome it? Thanks to anybody who can help!

 

Susie

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Personally, I do things like put paper and pens around all over the place (you never know when inspiration may strike! ) - particularly outside, especially when we have bikes etc out - speeding/parking tickets, appointments for MOTs etc...?

 

Sue

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I have use role play senarios to draw the children in and encourage them to write.

 

I currently have my role play corner as a jungle and last week I made a letter that said the jungle explorer had enjoyed his holiday to the jungle but he had lost his teddy. He thinks he left it near the waterfall.

 

This caused great discussion- we talked about what we could do etc. The boys particularly focussed on needing maps to follow and were provided with paper and pencils, the girls wanted to draw pictures and write letters.

 

What I'm getting at is thwe fact that you need a hook- something that the children can take real ownership of and them pursue their own ideas. Alright at this early stage in the year the children only produced drawings, but with discussion and input some children had a go at using initial letters to show what the different paerts of their maps were.

 

I did lots of work on this last year and found some scenarios better than others. But they really encouraged the children to think, discuss and write for many different reasons.

 

I hope this is of some help.

Enjoy being creative and creating different scenarios.

 

L

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Guest tinkerbell

We put some old blackboards on the walls outside and have a box of coloured chalk and cloths for cleaning off always available.The boys love doing BIG numbers and names and dont mind being asked to do the odd number or letter.The Post Office is also proving really popular with the boys who are zooming round the classroom writing everyones name down on little writing pads before we can receive our parcels.As Lorna says find out what makes them buzz.

Tinkerbell

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In my writing area I have put stationary that is 'boy' motivated. If you type 'stationary' into Google images you can get Goosebumps writing paper and Star Trek notelets FREE! These have made an impact. There is other stuff too, such as animals, dinosaurs etc although you might have to type in 'writing paper' (again in 'images') for these - my brain's not working very well! I also include black paper (sugar or poster paper cut up) and long, thin strips (about A2 long) on which I've pointed out that they could write secret messages and then roll them up. I try and find pens and pencils that might interest the boys e.g. flourescent gel pens, pens with footballs on, Scooby Doo pens, pens that light up etc. I have also found some pens and pencils that have feathers on; these are popular. I expect you've thought of most of these things but I've recently started including these things and I've really noticed a difference in the number of boys that are spending time choosing to write.

 

I have to say that I spend a lot of my time stomping around WH Smiths and Woolworths bemoaning the fact that most of the pens, pencils and stationary are girl orientated and so it's no wonder that the boys lag behind in literacy.

Edited by Guest
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Wow this is just to say a huge thank you - I couldn't believe it when I'd had all your replies by the next morning! I went into school determined to try out some of your ideas and they really worked some magic! I made up some spiderman writing paper and left lots of clipboards - I was thrilled when lots of children (including those boys!) who would never approach the writing table independently got into writing invitations to spiderman, drawing maps to his house, taking the register, writing numerals etc. Lots of great emergent writing came out of it. Will definitely continue to do this and plan more time to support role play and find out what makes them all tick. Sadly we don't have access to an outside area other than taking the whole class out to the playground, but will always go armed with clipboards in the future!

 

So, a big thanks to everybody who replied for your inspiration,

 

Susie

(very grateful NQT!)

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I have just introduced some writing tool kits. I got the tool boxes from Wilkos and added paper, pens etc. Both boys and girls use them and can carry them wherever they like, the writing is brilliant and no pressure. They can even take them outside if they want to. :):)

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Now there's another fabulous idea I will have to try ! Do you mean those boxes with handles that open up to reveal lots of different levels and compartments (sorry, end of day and too tired to communicate properly!)? The ones artists carry around with them or you might put screwdrivers and other bits and bobs in? GREAT idea - especially since I have to carry all my resources downstairs and out into the playground....thank you :)

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We also have a 'discovery box' in the form of a toolbox with lid and handle in our pre-school. It's got all sorts from stamps to metal tape measures and cloth ones, calculators, old mobile phones, writing equipment, clipboards. Have attached a list of the contents.

 

DISCOVERY_BOX_CONTENTS.doc

 

Am off to get some free stationery from google, thanks for that!

 

 

 

Deb

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