Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Jill Eggleton - Writing Course

For me, one of the biggest everyday occurences that I stuggle with is teaching writing. I'm forever looking for the best way! I don't know why writing is so challenging - but what I do know, is that I'm not the only person who finds it to be like this.
Is it because children work at such different paces? Is it because there are sooooo many different needs? Is it because it's not a black and white science? Is it that I havn't found/adapted/produced enough meaningful writing activities? Is it harder to teach writing in the senior school? (My theory to this one is yes.....) Or, is it just me?

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to go to a writing conference by literacy guru Jill Eggleton. It was eyeopening and helpful in many ways. (Unfortunately, my biggest challenge has not been solved - I will continue to fight the groups/not groups, fixed/flexible groups, timing issue.) I had four major take-outs:
  • quality not quantity, encourage short pieces of writing that can be well re-crafted (also, length puts a lot of children off)
  • there is no good writing, only good re-crafting
  • Writing is about a message - always positively feedback to this. Writing isn't spelling.
  • You shouldn't DO writing. Instead, writing should have a meaningful context. Eg, "We are going to try and convince the principal that we should wear mufti, so to do this we need to use the structures and features of an exposition/persuasion." OR "We are going to be learning about the moon. In order to present our information, we need to know and use the features of report."
Where to from here?
  • adpat my approach to writing to meet the above
  • create a level 2/3 tick list of success criteria that each child can have in the back of thier book and tick off each time they achieve. Eg, I can write in compound sentences.

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