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How do you get them to write?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by chocoholic01, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. chocoholic01

    chocoholic01 New commenter

    Ok so after returning back from maternity I get class from hell that are not waht the previous teacher siad they were but I am notallowed to change the grades and have been hauled in to ask why no progress is being made. Now to cut long story short I have boys who are supposedly a 2a/3c that are writing only half a page and I need advise on what to do.
    I have tried showing off the best work and really giving incentives. I have put doors roud the room and each day they open then to see who wrtoe the best openers. I have a big wow word display where again when I find a brillant word in theri work they will display it showing how good their word iThey get chocolate footballs if their work is really good and is used as a good example on the IWB.

    What can I do as it is really getting me down and starting to hate it. Any ideas would be greatfully received.
  2. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Maybe give them a break from talking about openers and wow words and focus on them writing for enjoyment's sake.
    Have you tried getting them to write about something they want to write about?

  3. greta444

    greta444 New commenter

    hear hear! Oh where has writing for enjoyment gone? (Or just writing for the hell of it for that matter) Key is to engage them with the subject matter rather than focussing on the technicalities. Teach those as you go along, whilst marking probably.
  4. You say they are "only writing half a page". I teach Y2, but I have level 3 writers who often only write half a page and would gladly send them up to KS2 as a L3 - That half a page is of a bigh quality.
    Is the content of their writing worthy of their previous levels? Do they use apt vocabulary, vary sentence structure, use descriptive language etc?
    If it is quantity rather than quality that is concerning you, then perhaps you just need to find the right route in to inspire them to write.
  5. chocoholic01

    chocoholic01 New commenter

    I know what you are saying but I guess I have just got a blovk myself too. I have alwasyt been todl that if they do not wrtie more than a page they are still a level 2. Last half term was all about Friction so we looked at the Wacky Races. Children used thre Tacs wheel and decided where they wanted their learing to go. For example they decided Penelope Pitstop had been kidnapped and they needed to wrtie a newspaper report to report the missign driver but also to advertise for a replacement. They wrote a recount of the disappearance and then also decided that they should try and make the races better and get sponsers so wrote letters etc. I really thought this would all appeal to the boys especially but still not on board.
    Is anyone willing to share any of the ideas that they have used to help engage the children?
  6. Sorrim

    Sorrim Occasional commenter

    I have tried all sorts of things to engage my children in writing but one of the best was to write about something scary or whatever appealed to them! . I would read a story to them, to model what I wanted them to write. Something like Harwell Hall always worked well. Then they would work in pairs. Each pair had a large-A1 size piece of paper, with a picture stuck in the middle. The picture could be of the setting or a room in a haunted house or whatever you wanted.
    Around the picture, they had to write what they could see, hear, smell, touch, taste and how they felt-atmosphere. They then expanded on what they had written and added more detail.
    Still working with a partner, they used this as part of their story and built the rest of the plan around it.
    Each day they would write some of the story so it was built up over a week. the boys seemed to like the formulaic way of writing a story this way. I had to ban zombies and other things which are simply not scary, but the results were good and the children enjoyed it.
    Once it was finished, I gave them time to edit and improve their work, or their partner's work, before I read it. During this time they could think about WOW words, punctuation etc or whatever they were working on. Oh and if you have some suitable music playing as they plan and write, that seemed to work well too!
    I've used this method with lots of different genres and the children seem to enjoy working with a partner and bouncing ideas off them!
    Good luck,
    Sorrim x
  7. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Give them smaller pages then!

    No way can a child who doesn't write a whole page (presumably A4) only be a level 2. A whole heap of year 5 and 6 children would only be level 2s if that was the case.

    If you know these children can do more then simply insist that they do. You can 'try to engage' until you are blue in the face, but sometimes they just know they can get away with less. And to be honest, what engages my class may not engage yours.
  8. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Some children just drivel on, though, and I'd much prefer half a page of something coherent.
  9. I completely agree Inky. If my children are only writing half page stories, it is obviously lacking in content, detail and build up so that is what we focus on. There's no point just saying "write more" because they go away and come back with "and then I did this and then i did that and then..." just to get it done.
    Usually the children in my class that produce less (with a few exceptions) are producing the best work because they take their time to formulate interesting sentences. I actually spend more of my time telling children that I would prefer them to write less and concentrate on making it better quality.
    Whoever told you that if they're not writing more than a page they're not a level 3 is talking rubbish. Should a level 5 child by that rule be forced to write 4 pages before they can be given their level!?

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