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Hi there everyone

I'm at that stage in the year where I'm beginning to pull my hair out with writing development! I have a group of children who have gone from mark making :) to writing recongisable letters :)

However they seem to be stuck there and are not able without massive support to use their phonic knowledge to begin to write the appropriate/dominant sounds in words.

I sometimes use the rearrange and stick a muddled up simple sentence strategy and have occassionally used overwriting their dictated sentence. I was wondering what others are doing and how they would go about tackling this? I though about the ELS type of groups that they do in Year 1 (targeted daily support through a predetermined program). I would have to consider the timing of this carefully and what type of things I could do with them.

I am an experienced teacher but sometimes I really do feel I am failing and have come to a bit of a dead end. I would love anybody elses advice as to what I could do to help them

cheers everyone... in anticipation

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Sounds quite typical and Im not sure I've got any answers, sorry! I tried to overcome this a couple of years back by concentrating on letter formation --making the physical process automatic. It certainly didnt seem to hinder the children and removed the "I cant write" syndrome. I also tried to concentrate on the physical process without making any writing demands but I was then asked to do more writing tasks! So possibly concentrating for the rest of this term on letter formation/ handwriting might help??

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Can the group of children hear any of the phonemes in the words? If they can hear at least the initial sound, and know what the letter looks like, then I would think a few sessions of group shared writing might help,where they help you form the sentence / 'spell' the words. Perhaps try getting them to find a magnetic letter for the initial sound and then write it. Perhaps some sessions using small whiteboards in pairs, where one child says a word and their friend writes the initial sound and then they swap and put a smiley face if they agree. I have used all sorts of strateies over time too - copy writing, magic lines, first/last phoneme writing, breakthrough sentences, dictated words. It may be that they are just not quite at that stage at the moment . I had my reception children writing initial sounds on iindividual whitebards the other day and some moved quickly onto writing CVC words, but others obviously haven't.

To be honest, my reception children (I have 13 R- 3 very needy statemented, 16 Y1- 2 statemented) haven't done much focussed sentence writing but more writing in play and on small whiteboards. Good luck- I'm sure they will get there in the end.

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One example -

 

Show the children a handwritten shopping list you have done, talk about it, read it etc then put that one out of the way.

 

Try getting the children, in a small group, to help you write a shopping list - maybe for snack, baking etc. Give them a thin length of paper and ask them what they think you need. If someone suggests eggs ask them all to write it down - 'how do we write eggs, what letter does it start with?' - if they can say 'e' ask them to write it, if not don't worry, they may be able to help with the next etc. I always find if they know their initail letters they can usually do this; they just need that bit of support and praise. Just a list of 4 or 5 things the first time is enough.

 

If you can get them to a shop to use the lists all the better - failing that take it yourself, buy the goods and show them that you used the lists. Or make a list of things you need from the art cupboard etc ('to help you remember') then take them to the cupboard to read out the list as you get the things out - writing for a reason.

 

I have done this activity many times and the number of lists in the writing corner is phenominal so be prepared! :)

 

Megsmum

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We use an A4 card with pictures of things beginning with each letter of the alaphabet with the intial grapheme correspondence. We call these their abc cards. The children say the word, they listen for the initial sound and then we look for the picture beginning with this sound on their card and then find the grapheme on the card. They then go over it on the laminated card and then attempt to write it.

At this stage I find a writing session is very intensive, adult reliant and hard work on my part as each child is trying to sound the intial sound, find the picture and then write the grapheme. I often ask a mum helper to help me as I find I need to be 7 different places at once. However, once the children understand how to use these cards it's great because they use them independently and really feel like they can write.

Hope that makes sense

Trudiex

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Show the children a handwritten shopping list you have done, talk about it, read it etc then put that one out of the way.

 

Megsmum

 

I agree the shopping list is a great incentive especially if its followed up with a picnic or cookery session using the items from the list :)

We did menus a couple of weeks ago and this was very popular (especially with boys) as was doing a stocktake of classroom resources

also find the children like to write instructions for adult helpers in the DT area

Had some lovely imaginative writing outdoors in the story tent :D

 

Think the approach you use depends on whether you want to encourage the children to become writers confident to have a go or expect perfectly spelt words :o

Edited by MARl0N
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  • 4 months later...

:) don't forget the 'power of the pen', i.e. what you let the children CHOOSE to write with.

 

Enthusiasm abounds if they can write with a felt pen, and it is MUCH better for those (boys?) who lack that certain grip! Children just wanna have fun!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Set up the activity so that CVC words are required. eg We wrote a book of the little red hen, and each group of children chose from hen, cat, pig or dog. We collaborated (ie shared writing ) on the rest of the words. The children built the words from letter tiles (only the ones needed on the table) then copied them onto a piece of paper to stick in the ready made book. The finished book was read aloud and left in the wriing corner.

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