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Getting children to transfer skills learned in phonics to their writing

Discussion in 'Primary' started by modgepodge, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. modgepodge

    modgepodge Occasional commenter

    I teach Year 1. We have 30 minute phonics sessions scheduled a couple of times a week (and 20 mins on the other days) so as a result those sessions become almost more of a grammar session - I do the phonics input then get the kids to write sentences using the new words. I've worked really hard with them this term on capitals and full stops, reading to check it makes sense etc etc.and most of them (over 20/30) can now do this completely independently. Fabulous! However, when I ask them to do writing in any other subject, they instantly go back to writing in one long sentence with no punctuation, not thinking about spelling etc etc. Extremely frustrating. I've got visual reminders to help them which have worked brilliantly in phonics but it's like they think that those skills are just for phonics or something. They also often mispell words which I KNOW they can spell correctly because they did earlier in the week in phonics.
    How do I get them to transfer the skills they are showing in phonics sessions, in to their writing?
     
  2. modgepodge

    modgepodge Occasional commenter

    I teach Year 1. We have 30 minute phonics sessions scheduled a couple of times a week (and 20 mins on the other days) so as a result those sessions become almost more of a grammar session - I do the phonics input then get the kids to write sentences using the new words. I've worked really hard with them this term on capitals and full stops, reading to check it makes sense etc etc.and most of them (over 20/30) can now do this completely independently. Fabulous! However, when I ask them to do writing in any other subject, they instantly go back to writing in one long sentence with no punctuation, not thinking about spelling etc etc. Extremely frustrating. I've got visual reminders to help them which have worked brilliantly in phonics but it's like they think that those skills are just for phonics or something. They also often mispell words which I KNOW they can spell correctly because they did earlier in the week in phonics.
    How do I get them to transfer the skills they are showing in phonics sessions, in to their writing?
     
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I don't teach sentence structure in phonics lessons, but in literacy so that helps.

    I also do the revise and teach part of phonics as a starter to literacy lessons. Then the practise and apply parts are done as independent activities within the literacy lessons, which also helps with the linking it altogether.

    Literacy lessons are all about me teaching children to write in proper sentences and use all the bits and bobs to help them spell properly. Yes they do learn new vocab and the knowledge from history and geography as well but the focus is grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, spelling and handwriting. Always.

    Can't promise it is the 'right' way nor even the 'best' way, but it seems to work.
     
  4. It's difficult for them to concentrate on the mechanical aspects of writing and on what they are trying to say. That's why they can learn words for test, but immediately misspell them in their independent writing. For many pupils this remains a problem even at secondary level.
    If u stop and ask them when to use 'there' and when 'their', they give the right answer, but can make the wrong choice a few minutes later.
    With lots of never-ending practice.
     
  5. fruit_bat

    fruit_bat New commenter

    I have the same problem modgepdge and it drives me insane!! Then I have parent complaining to me about poor spellings.
     
  6. This is an age old problem and it's one of those things that only gets fixed with lots of practice. They are able to do it inphonics because that is their focus. Whereas in Literacy, if punctuation is not the main focus of the lesson then they forget because they are focusing on what the learning objective is. I have got a girl in my class who is doing really well with her phonics, but is not necessarily applying it in her writing. This is because she is in such a rush on getting what she wants written down that she forgets to focus on using her sounds. When we take the time to think about her words she is able to identify the sounds and way to represent it.

    Just think to when you are learning something new. You need it all in small chunks and when asked to remember lots of things at once you might forget to do one or two things. However with practice it becomes second nature and you remember all the things you need to do without really thinking about it.

    It will come, it just takes time.
     

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