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Big Write

Discussion in 'Primary' started by redelton, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. Hi,

    We've been using Big Write for just over a year and wondered whether anyone else is finding it a little restricting? We're currently reviewing it in school as children's writing has become very formulaic and VCOPed!! Is anyone else finding the same / reviewed or adapted the strategy due to similar concerns? All thoughts and ideas welcome!
  2. Hello there,

    We have been doing the Big Write for about 5 years, and yes it certainly did begin to lose momentum! However, last year I came up with the idea of having a 'Big Talk' before getting the children to write. It is basically a Philosophy session that precedes a writing session, but our whole school has really taken it on board and we have had some fantastic results. Not sure if your school has embraced Philosophy but I would recommend it as a way of allowing the children to be much more involved with the entire process.

    Let me know if you would like more information on the 'Big Talk'!

  3. Hi Kim - thanks for the response. We do Talk Homework - but would love to know more about the talk Philosophy / Big Talk. Our biggest issue is how the impact it is having on the creative element of our curriculum.
  4. Er, yes. Lots.
  5. Lots of the SATs markers the last few years have been commenting on similar. When used well, it's a great tool - when used as a band-aid, it just becomes a carpetbombing of inappropriately used wow words and death by connective (what a way to go). There does tend to be a group of lower/middley kids who know their moreovers and therefores - but don't know what the words mean and just shove them in regardless, and try to do every sentence using "adverbly, I verbed down the adjective noun" when it doesn't always fit - especially when they're confronted with a non-fiction type genre (the trainer task the other year was particularly bad for this one).
    Oh and the attack of the final sentence punctuation pyramids - where the kids realise they haven't included every single item on the entire punctuation pyramid (or punctuation face I've seen some of them taught to draw and tick off as they use) and you get everything in the final sentence which makes no sense whatsoever and ends up with the ...? to cram the last couple of missing bits in!
  6. We still use it but rather than Ros Wilson's approach using VCOP we use Alan Peat's sentence structures. The children find this much more manageable (e.g. they only need to use 1 De:De sentence) and actually makes their writing more interesting rather than more formulaic. They find that writing paragraphs are easier using T.I.P.S (or S.P.I.T as some class members prefer and remember!).
    We love Alan Peat!!! https://sites.google.com/a/robinhoodschool.co.uk/4oq-home-page/lessons/literacy/alan-peat-sentences
  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    by training I mean with Ros Wilson not someone from school or the LA
  8. NQT2004

    NQT2004 New commenter

    I marked sats papers and agree that Big Writing can mean children put in lots of elements that don't actually make sense!
  9. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    I've not come across the BW before today - I'd heard of it but never done it. Today on supply I did it for the first time. I thought it sounded fantastic, but I agree with a lot of the stuff above. I gave them a sample letter to look at and highlight the VCOP elements. I then encouraged them to use this in their writing after break. When I came to mark their work it was generally pretty awful. Lots of fairly low ability kids chucking in "moreover,...." when it made no sense and the like. One girl finished her work "On the other hand, Yours sincerely, XXX" Also a lot of "wow" words which just sounded stupid.
    Perhaps my fault for the way I did the input. But I dont' think I make THAT much impression on a class in half an hour [​IMG]
  10. manic28

    manic28 New commenter

    Sales pitch more than training really. Let's be honest

  11. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    not when I attended
  12. Definitely not a sales pitch when I went too - been to the conference then had consultant in school. The consultant was great, saying you don't need to buy anything to make a good BIG write session. I only use the games occasionally - I prefer to make my own resources. Also you can do VCOP in any genre - it's the teacher subject knowledge that holds things back. The other thing that came out for me was that people use VCOP from the training but forget the rest. What about basci skills - BIG write ethos pushes this greatly. It made the WORLD of difference in my school. Children WILL overuse to begin with - believe me they did - BUT this does lessen the more you do it. Just keep positive and keep at it. If the momentum is going in your school have a relaunch - jazz it up a bit! We are having raffle prizes and the kids LOVE it!!!!

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