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Discussion in 'Early Years' started by caz2690, Jul 8, 2010.
Does anyone else use Write Dance in Reception?
We use "Write Dance for the Nursery" in nursery and reception and they continue with Write Dance in Year 1. The children like it although I find the singing in the nursery version quite twee and a bit grating.
How often do you do Write dance and with how many children?
we use it in nursery once a week for 26 children; read the story start of the week, revist the story the day we go into hall and dance then at the end of the session we do the scrimbling outside on the floor or wall boards with chalk, they love it. its a fantasic way to build motor skills. we dont stick to it rigidly as it would take up too much time if you followed the book to the T
We are hoping to start using this next year, just need a meeting with the literacy co-ordinators in KS1 to talk through how they could continue it
we would like to start using this in the new term, wish we had this year witha particular group of boys!
I'm a TA in a mixed YR R & YR 1 class, and have been using Write Dance for both year groups for the past year (from Sep--Dec I also took Yr 2's). It's been built into our weekly timetable, once a week for each year group. Would love to do it twice a week, but this is all we can fit in!
The children absolutely love it (and so do I!). I don't follow it 'to the letter' either (yes, the nursery-style rhymes are rather cheesy), but the beauty of it is that it can be interpreted and flexible. My school is extremely supportive and believes it has made an impact.
I introduce each theme/story, and we then do about 10-15 mins dance in either the hall or the classroom. This is followed by writing movement on paper. This I alternate between sitting/lying on the floor in the hall, sat/standing at tables in the classroom, or outside with chalks on the playground or on our outside chalkboards.
Something I found particularly helpful is wallpaper, obviously using the reverse side (advertised locally for donations & ended up with about 50 rolls!). I spread rolls across tables & fix with masking tape - this means the children can enjoy the writing movements without the restriction of a prescribed area of paper to work on. Needless to say, this is what FS children need!
The writing movement tests (taken at the beginning, middle and end of the programme) have been very interesting in order to look at the progression, although some of it will have been naturally developmental anyway.
One of my colleagues has said she thinks some of her YR 5/6 children would also benefit from Write Dance, and personally I think the earlier the children are introduced to it, the better.
Sometimes I just like to put some of the themed music on in the classroom, and it's quite funny watching all the kids just automatically do all the appropriate dance movements!
Can't recommend it highly enough - we're ordering "More Write Dance" as I speak.
Are "The writing movement tests" in the write dance book? Can't believe I've neer heard of this before!
Yes, the writing movement test starts at page 17 of the Write Dance book. For reception children, I found it better to enlarge and photocopy the pro forma lined page to A3 for the first test, as I felt it made sense to allow them more space for their larger writing movements. For the following tests (weeks 5/6) and after week 9, I just photocopied onto A4, but that was just something to try out.
As the programme is only 9 weeks (and allowing for the odd weeks where "other things happen" I've re-visited the themes on a regular basis, sometimes only doing the dance movements, or only the writing movements to music. There's lots you can cover in the book, and you can easily adapt it with your own ideas/music once you get into it all.
With the yr 1's, "A Walk in the Country" and "Silver Wings over the Sea", where the children can lie down in a darkened classroom or hall and imagine the settings, can lead to great writing from imagination etc.
Hope that's of some help!
Thanks I will look up p17 tomorrow.
another thing I found really fun when doing the dancing, is to use ribbon streamers - the kids can form the writing movements of circles & eights, cascades & garlands etc in the air, or downwards on the hall floor. It helps make it all a bit more 'visual', but still incorporates the big movements.
If you can fit this into your timetable I hope you enjoy it as much as we do - good luck!
We have introduced Write Dance into our Nursery - the children and adults really enjoy it so far which is great!
Today I was observed and the feedback was very positive as the children used ribbons initially and then moved to the floor with thick pens .... However she wasn't very keen that the children had pens in both hands as she felt they should just have used one (though was OK with ribbons in both hands) I explained that it was part of the Write Dance ethos and the children were very early, which she appreciated, but she still felt that I should be modelling correct pencil grip and also just the one hand .... Just wondering what others do - one or two hands?!
We do both hands because children may not have a dominant hand so allows them to feel the movement with both. You can sometimes tell which hand is dominant by the picture they produce. I find it is a great way to build up strength and muscles both sides which is important for gross and fine motor skills. I wouldn't say write dance is about pencil grip that can be taught in addition when you are focusing on mark making/writing. I view it as a fun way to get children confident at making marks and building up the skills needed when the time is ready for letter formation. Really good for concentration, mine get so absorbed in their pictures and love doing a walking art gallery at the end of a session to show off their pictures!!
Thank you! Those were my thoughts - I planned it as a mark making activity, using large circular movements that were then transferred to paper; I also used those arguments and specifically said that I would probably do pencil grip in a more one to one scenario - think she might have just meant to draw their attention to the way I was holding the pen, but not push iit!
And yes, the children all LOVED it! They are so proud of their finished artwork - and it is now hanging proudly on the wall.
Is anyone using write dance for nursery with 3 and 4 year olds? We have just introduced this term, Sandy hill. When scrimbling have found some children start at top of paper and then dont have any room to add their high hills!!!! Also some children draw hill shapes not downward lines/ upward lines as in illustrations. Any hints most welcome.Thank you.
I went on training day led by Raughnhild (the lady who wrote write dance) and she said you should never tell a child "No that's wrong , do it like this" when dancing or scrimbling. Its all about movement and development of muscles - it's pre handwriting, not handwriting.
Thanks, have not told any child that what they have done is wrong , of course not. Just wondered if anyone had observed the same . I find it fascinating. Have only just started out, read story and first verse of song (sandy hill) with actions followed by scrimbling. Did you get any other info on your training day that you are willing to share?
Sorry, wasn't suggesting that you had told a child that what they were doing was wrong. I think the point was that she was actively promoting individualism, and it didn't matter if they were all doing different things.
It was a few years ago so don't remember much of it. Except she was all for doing write dance every day! And really getting to know a song and the movements off by heart before moving on.
And she loved going through the dried pieces of paper that contained the scrimblings, and asking the child to look for images/patterns in the paint (or spaces around the paint), and asking them to tell a story with these images.
I would have liked to have her as a teacher when I was 4.
Initially we are doing write dance 3/ 4 times a week so all children become familiar with story etc Our difficulty is our children dont come every day and come in all different combinations, Our Children have picked up dance movements well and seem to enjoy it, a few children are finding the movements more challenging but are participating. They are all used to dance like moves as i usually do a wake up time on other days. Are you still doing write dance if so with what age? Hope we can keep it up as a particular child has really taken to it and is so proud and pleased to shine.