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Pie Corbett teaching

Discussion in 'Primary' started by sarahjlees8, Oct 31, 2019.

  1. sarahjlees8

    sarahjlees8 New commenter

    I am training to be a teacher and I am planning literacy using the talk for writing, I keep being met with, first start with a cold task, as I never taught this way before I am little nervous about teaching this and how to teach it. I am looking for some advice about how to begin with the cold task or any advice about teaching this way please
    Any advice would be gratefully received
  2. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    My understanding of the ‘cold task’ is that, whatever your ultimate objective is (for example, writing a poem) you get the children to do it without any input or discussion or teaching at all and you see what they come up with. This is supposed to show you what they understand about poetry writing at that point in time.
    You then embark upon your series of lessons to take them on further from the points they are at - reading and discussing poems etc. teaching them and encouraging their creativity.
    Finally, you do a ‘hot task’ inspired by everything you have worked on, which is supposed to show how well they have come on and what they have learnt.
    It’s another angle on Assessment for Learning, if you ever heard of that one:
    find out what the children know/can do already and then take them on to the next stage.
  3. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    When we've done a cold task, we do have minimal input … otherwise we'd get absolutely nothing from quite a few! This could include possibly reading one example and brainstorming ideas, or maybe giving them a starter sentence … "As I walked along the sand, feeling the warm sun on my back, I saw a bright blue pebble at the edge of the sea" ...
    OP, you will find lots more information on the Talk for Writing website.
  4. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Established commenter

    I have never done the full talk for writing thing but when I was at a school which adopted the cold task - teaching - hot task model, I found that the cold task worked best when the genre or text type was one they were already familiar with and they had relevant knowledge for the content necessary already. Most children are very familiar with the structure of a story and often quite enjoy writing them, so mine were often quite confident to just get started. With poetry (which we did quite a lot of work on over the year), most of them were quite happy if the theme was given and they could choose the style, but some would struggle if the style was specified, even in quite general terms. Non-fiction was always the hardest, as they were less likely to have encountered the text type already. Even if they are familiar with the text type (and especially if they are younger or have only written in that style once or twice before, they may have forgotten everything) there is still the issue of what you write about, as either they need some 'facts' provided or they need to be writing about something they already know about (which can be tricky if you are supposed to link your English with your history/geography/science). If it is something like a newspaper report, then writing about a school event like a trip, special visitor, sports day etc can work well (providing they were all there!). If it is a non-chronological report, then one option would be to give a general topic - possibly linked to the curriculum (e.g. animals), ask them to choose one and then give them research time to find out five facts or whatever before there's even any mention of the cold write. If it is autobiography, you could set a homework task where the children discuss with their families some key details and memories but just need to be a little careful especially with any particularly vulnerable children e.g. looked after children, bereavements etc.

    Not sure that necessarily helps you mind! Is your unit based around a particular genre/text type or book?
    ViolaClef likes this.
  5. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Established commenter

    P.S. it got to the point that we didn't always bother with the cold task for completely new teaching material as it just didn't tell us anything useful as we either had to do so much input it became more of a lukewarm task or we would effectively have blank paper and unhappy children! That's not really an option for you though!
    ViolaClef likes this.
  6. TheIrishTeacher

    TheIrishTeacher New commenter

  7. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    I think this is a very valid point. I would be interested to know if anyone has ever encountered a situation where the ‘cold’ work was every bit as good as the ‘hot’ work. It could be argued that the ‘cold’ work is done principally so the teacher has concrete evidence of what the pupil could do before the topic was taught - evidence, I suspect, not for themselves, but for someone else. Actually teaching the pupils something would be a better use of the time rather than spending it doing ‘cold’ work for scrutiny and evidence-gathering purposes.
    hhhh likes this.
  8. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Sure, but that sounds like the old-fashioned teacher's idea that she is there to teach the children, rather than to serve the data masters. I saw too many (older) students walk out because they felt upset by this method, when staff were forced to use it in a very specific manner.

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