Handing the pencil over ... show the how but explain the why!
Teaching writing requires a scaffolded approach with specific techniques and strategies. Approaches widely recognised as rigorous practices are:
* Modelled writing
* Shared writing
* Interactive Writing
* Guided Writing
* Independent writing
These writing approaches ensure that students 'take control of the pencil' and are guided through the stages of writing. Through modelled, shared, interactive, guided and independent writing students see that writing is essential for communication in the classroom domain.
The stages we move students through apply for all text forms, not just creative writing. The work of Vygotsky supports the use of these writing approaches through the To-With-By Model of Teacher/ Student Relationships (Mooney, 1990).
The teacher uses this framework to provide the appropriate level of scaffolding for every student to maximise engagement and success with the writing tasks (Tomlinson, 1999; Marzano, 2007). The graphic below (left) identifies where the writing approaches fit within the model.
Planning, planning, planning...
The complexity of the writing process and the wide range of concepts required to be taught necessitate exquisitely careful planning. The precious minutes that we can devote to writing everyday within our Balanced Literacy Program must be used to the maximum.
Plan for writing from quality literature wherever possible. Discuss authors like Margaret Wild as you read their books, highlight the extraordinary vocabulary used in Fox--what can we learn as writers from this excellent author?
Tips for success
* Consider the purpose for writing, the form and the audience and share this with the students
* Narrow it down and teach one or two things solidly and satisfyingly
* Focus on the successes--if you have planned what you want to achieve, share this with your students and allow them to assess their own progress, you empower them as writers and learners.
* Ensure that your room is set up to support all students to access materials as they need them, such as task boards, labelled tubs, individual writing notebooks/folders, range of writing implements, word walls and dictionaries.
* Keep it fun! Embrace being an author yourself so that the students you teach share this passion.
Annandale, K., Bindon, R., Broz, J., Dougan, J., Handley, K., Johnston, A., Lockett, L., Lynch, P. & Rourke, R. (2005). Writing Resource Book: First Steps Second Edition. Melbourne: Rigby Heinemann
Fountas, I & Pinnell, G (2001.) Guiding Readers and Writers. Portsmouth: Heinemann
Marzano, R. (2007). The art and science of teaching: A comprehensive framework for effective instruction. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
McCarrier, A, Pinnell, G & Fountas, I. (2000). Interactive Writing. Portsmouth: Heinemann
Mooney, M. (1990). Reading to, with, and by children. New York; Owen Publishers.
Tomlinson, CA. (1999). The differentiated classroom: Responding to the needs of all learners. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Robyn Frencham (B.Ed E/C) is a very experienced Early Childhood teacher. She has worked as an Early Literacy Officer supporting Kindergarten to year 2 teachers in developing and implementing quality literacy programs. She has also worked as a tutor for 3rd year pre-service teachers at the Australian Catholic University, was part of the team of ACT teachers who developed the BEE Spelling approach and is a First Steps Reading (Second Edition) facilitator. Robyn currently works as the Executive Teacher at Narrabundah Early Childhood School in Canberra.
Jantiena 3att (B.Ed E/C) has taught in a range of settings including childcare centres, preschools, P-2 Early Childhood Schools and primary schools. She has worked as an Early Literacy and Numeracy Officer in over 17 schools. Jantiena is a Literacy and Numeracy Field Officer at Macgregor Primary School in the ACT. She is also a First Steps Reading and Writing (Second Edition) facilitator and worked collaboratively with the Literacy and Numeracy Section in designing the BEE Spelling approach.
The Balanced Literacy Program Reading Writing Modelled Modelled Reading Writing Language Shared Shared / Speaking Visual Experience Reading Interactive & Literacy Writing Listening Guided Guided Reading Writing Independent Independent Reading Writing Approach Purpose To Modelled Demonstrate how the writing process works and that what has been said can be written down and then read. Shared Jointly construct and compose text with teacher acting as a scribe. With Interactive Jointly construct and compose text by sharing the pen. Guided Provide scaffolded support at points determined by teacher through mini-lessons and conferencing. By Independent Practise using writing skills and strategies for set purpose. Elements To * Dynamic--5-10 minute instruction. Keep it short sharp and shiny * Clear think aloud statements focused on a problem solving approach * Single focus is modelled * Keep the pen in your hand-- this is your explicit teaching time * Decisions in writing process are made by teacher * Process not the product is the goal * Do it EVERY day * Session duration 10-15 minutes * Clear purpose is set at the start of the session * Single or limited focus * Decisions in writing process are made by teacher (but students provide input) * Teacher-managed blend of think aloud statements, student input and discussion * Keep the pen in your hand * Teacher provides targeted feedback to student input With * Session duration 10-15 minutes * Clear purpose is set at start of the session * Single or limited focus * Decisions in writing process are made by teacher (but students provide input) * Teacher-managed blend of think aloud statements, student input and discussion * Teacher provides targeted feedback to student input * Teacher asks students to take control of the pen at strategic points of the writing process based on student needs and strengths * Frequent support and opportunities for teacher- student interaction * A single focus for each interaction * Students working with their own pencil on their own text * Decisions in writing process are made by students * Teacher provides support at point of need * Degree of guidance depends on the student, the context and the type of task By * Teacher is available to support and challenge but support is not ongoing * Students have input on selection and refinement of writing (this happens over time) * Tasks should replicate the multiple demands of literacy events in real life. * Focus on individual expectations--what have you learnt with your writing today?
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|Author:||Batt, Jantiena; Frencham, Robyn|
|Date:||Oct 1, 2010|
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