Writing 101: Strategies to progress your students.
This short blog is written for teachers (particularly NQTs) to understand the key strategies that can enable children to progress their writing. I have carried out research over the summer and came across the work of @AP_Literacy (whom I credit here). These basic skills are intrinsic to effective teacher practice. We use them consistently throughout each unit of writing. However, I feel that this refresher is particularly important prior to beginning the next academic year.
The teacher’s bread and butter and essential to setting up expectation of children’s writing. This provides the teacher with the opportunity to explicitly demonstrate the writing process to their pupils and clearly link the purpose of the lesson and specific audience effectively. It is a chance for each pupil to view writing through a particular lens that the teacher chooses. This is where the teacher demonstrates the craft of writing. The teacher is able to use their own ideas and resources from working walls etc to develop ideas.
- Teacher as the scribe.
This can be carried out in smaller groups where the teacher elicits ideas from the pupils (all are asked to contribute to the discussion) these ideas are shared, refined and edited through talk with the teacher writing down these ideas, feeding back to the students and then the students reading back and improving on it independently.
2. Students write as a group.
The emphasis is now on pupils to ‘have a go’, they discuss and try out ideas as a group, or in pairs, carrying out quick writes and then read aloud their work by sharing out loud and coming to a consensus. The teacher here is a facilitator and may add some suggestions, but, it is essentially pupil led.
This involves bringing children together, with the same ‘needs’ to move them on and progress their writing. This is a mini lesson within the whole lesson. This will involve discussing the specific target for improvement and may involve modelling to them a small piece of writing. The pupils then have a go and look to see where within their own writing they can apply this skill. This gives students the opportunity to ask questions and focus in on why they are stuck.
The importance of spelling.
Spelling can be taught daily and can be practiced regularly. Children have a tendency to zone out if not given consistency to revise, practice and apply their skills. This can be done in lessons through mixed attainment groupings and peer support. Word banks are an effective resource for those children who particularly struggle.
Pace of learning.
Regular practice of writing is key to progressing pupils and ensuring that they are given regular opportunities to write at length. We as teachers are then responsible for demonstrating writing and then enabling our pupils to have the time and opportunity to write at length to create a rigorous and positive approach. This can allow children to absolutely embed the skills and practice required to develop and move on pupils effectively.
Whilst clearly Modeled writing should precede the other strategies, they can be used in whatever order a teacher sees fit. The purpose of this blog is to highlight what they are and why they are used. I have simply given an overview here rather than delving deeply into each.