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Reluctant writers

Discussion in 'Primary' started by delma, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. delma

    delma New commenter

    Morning.

    I'm having difficulty with the children in my Year 2 class who don't seem to be writing at length. We have done quite a few pieces of written work and even the children who are high ability are very reluctant to write more than a few paragraphs. They are great when we discuss and share ideas, but when they go off to write independently, they just don't seem to get it down on paper! A few children will come back to me after writing only a couple of sentences and tell me that they have finished. Am I being too harsh with my expectations? I had Year 2 last year and in comparison, they seemed to be able to write more at this point in the year!

    Have anyone got any advice?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    It sounds to me as though the children don't really know what you expect. Do you have a success criteria? If the children tell you they have finished after a couple of sentences, when they check against the success criteria is it easy for them to see what they still need to do?

    If they are great when sharing ideas on the carpet, set them the challenge of choosing at least three of these ideas (or however many you choose) to include in their writing. Set a timer and ask them to write until the timer finishes. Ask them to write at least five sentences/two paragraphs/one page in their book. Praise and/or reward children for exceeding the minimum required (as long as the writing is good quality and not just words to fill up space! Make that clear to them, too).
     
  3. princess77

    princess77 New commenter

    Hi Delma

    I agree with Kartoshka's ideas. Timers, success criteria and praise work wonders!

    A while ago I used some Pie Corbett ideas for a KS2 class who wrote very little, have a look on-line. My class particularly enjoyed writing lists for things found in a fridge for example. The activities made them think quicker and they had a certain amount of time to make a list and could see how much they could write when they tried their best. This transferred into their writing in English lessons.
     
  4. SanaRashid70

    SanaRashid70 New commenter

    I think it is useful to provide some guided write opportunities so children know what good quality sentences look like.
    Often when introducing a new genre children take time to implement a similar writing style. Now your last year class could have had a better understanding of different genres. So I would say you are doing the right thing when discussing ideas on the carpet. Try and embed that element and use their ideas by recording them on the IWB (great opportunity for a guided write). Remind chn how to user their success criteria as a result of the guided write. Another lesson, move on to more independent writing but provide a prompt sheet- maybe questions to get them thinking about what to write about or even different sentence starters to showcase variety.

    I have had lessons when children nod their heads in agreement (showing that they understand). There contribution on the carpet is amazing but when they go to their seats some have no idea what kind work they need to produce. Again after tried and tested activities a useful thing to do is to show a good example to chn so they have a clear idea of their expectation when you are covering that genre.

    Is there a particular genre you are doing at the moment. I may have prompt sheets to help you out.

    Sana
     
  5. MannyDog

    MannyDog New commenter

    Great ideas all.

    I would add to make sure the stimulus - that about which you are writing - is exciting and something with which these reluctant writers have physically and emotionally engaged with. In Year 1 I used to spend most Monday literacys making or doing - ideally outside - and drawing the writing from it as the week wore on.
     
  6. delma

    delma New commenter

    Thanks for all your replies and advice. I guess you are right, if I don't set out a particular success criteria, they won't know what I expect. I do actually find myself writing 'I'd expect more work from you!' when marking the writing books.
    Princess77- thank you. I had totally forgotten about Pie Corbett!

    Sana, I have used prompt sheets before, but the children are quick to make short responses (if that makes sense).

    Manny, I totally agree that the stimulus is important.
     

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