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Final practice student teaching for SATS 09 night time writing task

Discussion in 'Primary' started by JessM, May 3, 2009.

  1. Hello...I'm a final practice student desperately in need of some advice!
    I'm in a mixed class Reception/Year1/Year2 and have been asked by the class teacher to focus my literacy lessons this week on a night-time theme (the week before the Year 2 children do their SATS) so that they will have some ideas for the long writing part of the SATS tests. I'm not quite sure how much help and information i can give them and not sure on the kind of activities that i can get them to do without getting them to actually do any information writing??!!
    I've set last week's homework as finding out facts about nocturnal animals and thought we could share these at some point and maybe make posters with the information?? - is that cheating?
    I also thought we could look at a poem to do with the night time and use some of the adjectives to write our own descriptive sentences about the night - is that also cheating??!!
    I was also thinking of looking at The owl who was afraid of the dark and imagining that we meet the owl and tell him what we think of the night time?
    Am i way off the mark or on the right lines?? it's really hard as i am obviously just a student and dont have much experience so ANY ideas at all would be much appreciated!
    Thank you in anticipation!!!!
    JM x x x
  2. Hi.I'm a Year 2 teacher and I'd say those ideas you've got are great.Just make sure that you don't get the children to write a report at any point during the week as you can't teach the text type the week before SATs.
    I've decided just to focus on nocturnal animals with my class. We've looked at them a few times over the past couple of weeks and I'll do more this coming week.
    In terms of your specific ideas and questions of them, I'd say making posters is ok as long as it is a poster and doesn't become a report. I just got my class to make a poster that said nocturnal animals and then had pictures of them and the name of the animal under the picture.
    I'm not sure about if the descriptive sentences of night time is cheating - hopefully someone else will come along and clarify that.
    The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark would be a great book to look at. You could hot seat the owl and get the children to ask him questions about night time.
    Hope this is helpful. It's my first year in Y2 and I've spent so long reading the materials but am still confused. I think the task is potentially good but there is a lot to cover before hand to ensure the children have knowledge to write about.
  3. Elfreda6969

    Elfreda6969 New commenter

    Good ideas.
    I have decided to ask chn to research 2-3 animals.
    Start by asking children what they already know and what they want to find out. Write these as questions - I would steer the class towards questions such as: where do they live; what do they eat; how do they find food; why do they come out at night.
    I would focus a bit more on reading non fiction texts to the children as well - this is so that they become familar with key vocabulary - ie nocturnal, predator, prey, carnivore etc.
    Read a non fiction text then play quick games - which word means a meat eater etc; can you use this word in a sentence?
    The piece that they will be writing will be a non fiction piece - so they need to be immersed in factual language.
    To sharpen their research skills, children could draw a meal for an animal. They could use non fiction books to research this.
    You could also get the children to focus on WHY these animals come out at night - ie their special senses. Children could explore their own senses - ie how do you know what this object is? Then you could give children an outline of a few common nocturnal animals and ask them to research and then find information on how they find food. You may need to model using contents page, index, how to scan a page to look for the word "senses" etc.
    They could create a poster to share with the rest of the class - Hedgehogs have poor eyesight but an excellent sense of smell. They use their long snouts to .....etc
    Do you have access to any DVDs, Espresso etc - these are great ways to help children learn or reinforce learning.
    Language features - Try and find a text or write one for them that models the following - time connectives, connectives, the use of technical/topic words, the use of adverbs, the use of adjectives, use of action verbs (ie Late at night, the owl watches silently from the branch. Seeing a mouse, it swoops down silently and grabs its prey in its sharp talons..........
    Get chn to identify these in a text and then to write a similar sentence or do this orally.
    Oral work - can you improve this sentence? The owl catches the mouse.....
    Can you add a time connective, can you add an adverb, can you add an action verb.
    I play to put each of these categories on different coloured paper and children can create a range of sentences
    see this site for some resources

    see this site for ideas for ICT activities that have some nocturnal animals

    see this site for overall guidance

  4. I don't at all blame you for not wanting to throw the children in cold to the task (I'm sure I'd feel the same way) but I think this thread highlights why so many Year 3 teachers have it so hard adding value to the levels children come up with. The 'system' is inherently unfair.
  5. Thank you both loads for your fab ideas and advice, i really appreciate it, and it may mean i get to have the afternoon off! Thanks again, good luck with yours too!
    Jess x x x
  6. Elfreda6969

    Elfreda6969 New commenter

    " Surely elfreda by doing what you have been doing, you are in effect teaching reports? "

    You are ALLOWED to teach reports - just not one week before the writing task. Non chron reports are in fact a TERM 3 unit.
    My class will not write their task until after the half term - so there will be about a 2-3 week gap between the teaching and writing. They will actually be writing a report on another topic entirely, but will be expected to remember the lang features of non chron reports - ie third person etc.

    The task itself will just be 1 piece of writing which will help to create a picture of children's ability. My experience of KS1 moderation is that it is looked at briefly anyway

  7. MarilynDan

    MarilynDan New commenter

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