Session 3: Helping with Writing Purpose To introduce the writing process To discuss the stages of writing and the links to spelling To explore the ways that classroom helpers can assistin this process
Pencil grip Pencil grip is important, particularly when students are required to write more in the older levels. Please encourage the correct grip.
During writing lessons, check... Is the pencil grip correct? Is the child sitting on the chair properly? Is the paper/hand position correct? Is the child’s head in the correct position? (eg. not leaning too far down towards the table).
Structure of the writing hour Whole class focus – Teacher models writing. Writing groups – Teacher group, handwriting group, construction activity, independent writing activity. OR Whole class writing activity (eg. Monday morning journal writing). Share time – Students share their writing and discuss processes and strategies.
Writing in the Prep classroom Copying from the board Handwriting Journal writing Attempting independent writing
Copying from the board We assume this will be easy for students, but many find it difficult. Students need to track where they are up to. Students need to identify individual letters and words to copy correctly. Students need to remember spaces and punctuation. It can be overwhelming for our students so remember to praise them!
Handwriting In Prep, students focus on one letter per week. This letter is reinforced in all literacy lessons and a handwriting lesson will be completed during the week. This handwriting lesson focuses on the starting point, direction, size and formation of the letter (see handwriting chart).
Journal Writing Most grades will do journal writing every Monday morning. In Prep students use the sentence prompt On the weekend... At the beginning of Prep, teachers scribe for each child and the children draw pictures about their weekend. After a few weeks, Preps are encouraged to have a go at writing something about their weekend independently. This is tricky for many students!
Independent Writing Students will eventually be able to attempt to write independently. Some children can be reluctant writers, especially if they want to get their work “perfect”. Students are provided with sound/letter cards to assist them to hear and record sounds. It is a very gradual process for many students.
A key message We need to help our young students become good writers by praising them. We need to reinforce that it is fine to make mistakes. Mistakes help us to learn!
A writer needs: knowledge of a variety of writing forms to use (for example: letter, list, note, instructions, story) a reason to write someone to write to to know when correct spelling and neatness are important
Spelling strategies Say it slowly; what sounds do you hear? Circle the word (or part) you think is wrong Try it again Look in your own writing and around the room for charts and lists Ask a friend Use a dictionary or word book.
Spelling strategies continued Think about the word the child is trying to spell: If it is a word they should know, ask: “Is it a golden word?” If it is a word they can say slowly to hear the sounds, ask “What sounds can you hear in that word? What letters do you write for those sounds?” If it is a word that is on display, ask “Can you see that word on any charts around the room?” If it is a word like another word they already know, say “You know how to spell Will. So how would you write fill?”
Activities you may be required to help with Talking about writing Listening to children read their writing back Publishing (on computers) Handwriting Journal writing
Some examples of activities classroom helpers may be involved in:
Writing videos – Halfway through Prep Writing videos – end of Prep
Helping with Writing The purpose of today’s session was: To introduce the writing process To discuss the stages of writing and the links to spelling To explore the ways that classroom helpers can assistin this process