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How much writing in literacy books?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by giraffe77, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. In my role as Literacy co-ordinator, I am going to be monitoring books. Wondering how much writing in books would be expected in each year group in your schools? Is there a set target to aim for?
    Does anyone have any experience of doing this before who has any advice for me? Proformas to use, what to look for (ie headings to use), frequency of monitoring, etc.? I'm slightly worried about doing it consistently, as I've never done it before.
    Thanks in advance.

     
  2. In my role as Literacy co-ordinator, I am going to be monitoring books. Wondering how much writing in books would be expected in each year group in your schools? Is there a set target to aim for?
    Does anyone have any experience of doing this before who has any advice for me? Proformas to use, what to look for (ie headings to use), frequency of monitoring, etc.? I'm slightly worried about doing it consistently, as I've never done it before.
    Thanks in advance.

     
  3. Anyone?
     
  4. I would look at the progress that the child has made in writing from when they started in September. Can progress clearly be seen? Is feedback marking making a difference and are children being given the opportunity to respond to feedback in a meaningful way? Level some of the writing and compare it to the teacher's assessment to check for accuracy. Is there evidence of self and peer assessment if age appropriate?

    If your school has personalised targets in the books you may want to see if the children are engaging with and referring to them (this may be more appropriate when conferencing with children or if you do a literacy 'learning walk').

    You might want to write a short message in the child's book when you've finished along the lines of thanking them for sharing their leaning, an area you've seen they have progressed in and perhaps a 'next steps' comment. This would depend on how many books you were monitoring!

    I'm not sure that there is a set amount of writing that needs to be in books but annotated photos of children engaged in drama, for example, with the L.I. can be good way of showing what the children were doing on days they weren't actually writing.

    Hope this all makes sense and is of some use!
     
  5. SleighBelle

    SleighBelle Occasional commenter

    You need a purpose for your book scrutiny.
    Are you looking at
    • progression in quality and content of children's work across the whole school?
    • evidence of differentiation?
    • proof of a range of different activities, including narrative, non-fiction, making notes, storyboards, etc etc?
    • quality/consistency of marking?
    Having a focus not only makes the task of scrutinising easier, it also helps teachers feel more comfortable and less pressured. It enables you to make more helpful and specific positive points and targets for improvement.
    Good luck!
     
  6. upsadaisy

    upsadaisy New commenter

    Already it sounds to me like you are looking for quantity and not quality. Of course in Key Stage 2 I'd expect to see more writing, but in Key Stage 1, especially Year 1 I'd expect to see days where they did no writing, but lots of speaking and listening, drama, practical work e.g. went on learning walks, looked at non-fiction books. I'd expect to see small part that lead up to a bigger piece of writing. In poetry I'd expect to see the teacher looking at rhyming, and brainstorming ideas before they wrote a piece of poetry.

    In Key Stage 2 I'd expect to see text analysis, sentence level work, brainstorming, planning, editing.

    And before you burden a teacher with printing, sticking and annotating photos for 30 children, I'd cross reference the teachers plans or medium term plans.

    If you want to see the quality of writing, I'd ask to see the end of unit work.
     
  7. I don't think you can have a set expected amount of work in books. We do some written work in books, some on sheets, some as leaflets etc etc. I think it would be an odd thing to set a target for an amount of writing. Surely progress is more important than the quantity? The monitoring we have looks at whether the children are progressing and is the marking moving them on, does the work show the differentiation, are we scaffolding for the less able etc etc. Some of my children write loads, but it isn't great, whereas others write less, but it is great.
     
  8. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I wouldn't have thought so. It depends on the topics being taught and how much literacy is in cross curricular lessons. Some terms we have almost nothing in literacy books. Other terms we have lots.

    What would you do if your target was ten pages a half term and one class only had 7? Would that mean you were concerned about the quality of teaching and learning?

    If it was me, I'd be more worried about the quality of work in the book and clear progression through the year groups.
     

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