Monday, 3 August 2015

Fostering Writing Independence

Despite lots of growth in reading and social developments during 2015, the boys are struggling to write independently.

So we started term 3 with a set series of sentence dictations pre-recorded using Explain Everything.

Each sentence builds on the initial word group.

example:  I like to play.
                I like to play rugby.
                I like to play rugby with my friends.

The boys download their Explain Everything, listen to their sentences and write down each sentence on a template sheet. They have access to word cards, word wall and gifted unfamiliar/topic words.

By the middle of the first week, two of the boys had established enough confidence to undertake the task independently and be incredibly successful. They were able to write 3 sentences with correct spelling, independence of finding words and almost correct punctuation.

Along with completing the dictated sentences, the boys have a "word of the day" activity to undertake. This activity supports the independence required for writing.

We continued this structured activity into week 2 and all boys continued to experience success. 

For week 3, I asked the boys what theme they wanted to write about. Funnily enough they all chose running around at lunchtime. 
Loseti knew that he had been successful following the formula of the whole group and wanted to try something much more challenging. So we have grown into now providing two different dictations - one for Loseti and one for the other boys.

The focus for week three is on reinforcing learnt words from weeks 1 and 2 as well as adding in some more complex vocabulary and introducing the concept of verbs.

Above, is the presentation that is embedded on our classroom site. The boys are able to use this presentation to link to their activities, read their WALT and also watch short movies based on their word work focus.

We have work to do on handwriting, punctuation and checking to see that the sentences are complete and make sense. However, overall I am pleased with the level of independence the boys are demonstrating and the success they are having with recording extended sentences.