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Writing for fun...

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Grandsire, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. Grandsire

    Grandsire Senior commenter

    The National Literacy Trust suggests that 'children who write for pleasure achieve significantly better results in the subject in the classroom'... Link here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-40339860

    Two things: first, if this is the case, why do our Literacy co-ordinator and the whole-school assessment system both go on about fronted adverbials and correct use of the plural possessive apostrophe, but never mention fun, pleasure or creativity?

    Secondly (fronted adverbial - see what I did there?), is it Middlemarch who has the famous foot-of-staircase for use in gob-smacking cases of astounding research like this?
  2. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    Children who enjoy writing are better at it?


    Children who are better at writing are more likely to enjoy it and do it at home?
  3. Grandsire

    Grandsire Senior commenter

    Children who are told to check their writing includes at least three powerful adverbs, two co-ordinating conjunctions and an example of an explanatory sentence including a verb ("What a load of tosh this is!"), in order to reach National Standard, probably don't want to write much when they get home.
  4. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Because you get marks in a test for the former, and you can't test the latter.
  5. That`s known fact. Children sometimes writing for fun, but adults do not. Some adults write to relax. Yes, writing is a quite popular type of therapy. Check the Wikipedia`s article to learn more https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Writing_therapy. To be honest I did not try to write just to overcome stress, but even when I write my blog, I get calmer, do not think about problems. As i think, it`s all about concentration. We starting to pay attention only at text and thoughts. How do you think why writing is becoming quite a big part of our lives?

    Steve Maloy from math homework help service.
  6. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    Do anything for pleasure and you will aim to do it well.
    Anonymity likes this.
  7. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    Because they are following the new National Curriculum- and if the National Curriculum says that this or that has to be taught then we must jump to it.
    There ought to be an outcry, really. If there is any sure way to kill children's enthusiasm for writing, it must be a narrow focus on such ridiculous aspects of grammar. People who've done 'A' level English have never encountered some of these terms. Of course basic spelling and grammatical knowledge should be a goal for all, but let the creativity and imagination flow!
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  8. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Suddenly...a bear pooped in the woods....
  9. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Oh quite agree. Tutoring a lovely bright chap this afternoon. Nine years old and full of imagination which his primary is slowly stamping out. I am ultra old school and use the Blackie books. Those old books are brilliant as they gave kids a whole page of new vocabulary AND suggested phrase combinations for each topic. This inspires kids to generate more of their own. My student came out with a classic line:" I love writing stories with you, because you always give me lots of new words and ideas. We get to talk about different things. I try to use your words in my lessons at school, but I still hard, cause they tell us what words to use and what to write. " says it all, doesn't it? It's not all clicky-pretty whiteboard twaddle! I'm not averse to ipads and new resources, but there should be a mix. These days, reading a book is becoming more like an archivist searching the Dead Sea Scrolls!
    Jamvic likes this.
  10. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    @Mrsmumbles what are these Blackie books and how do I get one? Thanks
  11. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Ello ello
    They are out of print so it is case of ebaying. I got loads at a car boot. Blooming amazing, they are. I'm actually updating them for the 21st century and making the lists bigger, then will plonk them into my TES shop. Stunned at the improvement kids make after just one sheet of them. In fact, virtually any sixties or seventies English text book gets my vote. They rock!
    Landofla likes this.
  12. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Quite agree. And excessive adverb-fronting leads to plus-poor compositions. 'Suddenly' this. 'Carefully' that. There's a bit more to creativity than that, you need magic and the mechanical. I think fronted adverbials are another hackneyed edu phrase, like 'resilient' (teacher/student shuts up and takes it) and 'academy' (pretty rubbish non-academic school run by cretins)
    Jamvic likes this.
  13. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Here's some writing therapy I made earlier:
    Gove is vile Gove is vile Gove sucks Gove smells Gove should evaporate Vaporise Gove Godawful Gove...
  14. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

  15. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    Absolutely. The magic is a vital ingredient.
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  16. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I have worked with teachers who enabled children to 'just write for fun' and those children had an absolute ball for half an hour writing several pages of complete and utter tosh. The writing was incredibly difficult to decipher due to a total lack of spelling, punctuation and grammar, as well as current favourite words used incorrectly. While this may be a lovely creative activity for occasional use, there is definitely a place for teaching the mechanics of good writing.

    Learning can't always be 'fun'.

    I agree that it is naff research though.
    People who enjoy playing football are better at it. (But they still have to attend 'boring' training sessions each day.)
    People who enjoy cooking are better at it. (But they might still attend classes in order to improve, some of which might not be quite to their taste...pun intended!)
    People who enjoy writing are better writers. (But they still have to do the boring mechanical, check for spelling and punctuation, and all that jazz.)
  17. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Just to say...I recently helped judge the fabulous ‘500 Words’ competition. It’s a great one to enter and the prizes were nice, plus the creativity in many pieces was really strong. A lot of the work could have benefitted from better proofing, but a fair percentage fused creative flair with technical accuracy. There is hope!
    Jamvic likes this.
  18. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    I have always maintained that having books read to children, and then their reading books - real books - that are well-written and well-proofed, and with enough unusual or new words to widen the vocabulary, is the one 'leg' of being able to write well. The other 'leg' is living in an environment where frequent and intelligent conversation takes place. Children learn to speak by hearing language spoken, and they learn to write by reading. When enriched by the written word in all its forms - non-fiction, fiction, poetry - and by engaging in conversation, they absorb the rules of grammar and spelling; they learn about language structure, tone, cadence, rhythm etc., and they will then be able to draw on a wealth of word knowledge in order to write creatively and for pleasure.

    Being able to label things like fronted adverbials (whatever they are) is not the same as being able to use them effectively... or should I say effectively use them...

    Unless of course they are born-engineers, in which case they will be off building rockets and radios etc.
  19. Sally006

    Sally006 Occasional commenter

    It’s not just the children’s enjoyment that has been stifled by this ridiculous system and even more stupid way of assessing, it's the teacher’s creativity too! I have almost reached complete meltdown on where to go with writing with my Y6 pupils. One group of Literacy consultants tell you “you SHOULD do this....” another tells you something different. “Don’t teach newspapers - what you need is lots of past tense narrative to get them to EXS,” was my latest. Here I am with “boys writing” as a school issue doing my best to enthuse and engage with genres that will appeal and thought non-fiction was more likely to do the job but apparently not. I used to love finding all those cross-curricular links but now that is frowned upon. I’m doing the Greeks next term and normally relish it as all that fighting with monsters is usually right up the kids street. I was advised to avoid Myths and Legends and go for the latest trend in “inspiring” picture books as the historical context to the myths would only add more confusion for the kids. Has the world gone barking mad? Our whole literary and dramatic culture is rooted in Ancient Greece and yet here we have an “English” adviser telling me to avoid it. Sorry, I can’t work like that as if I’m not interested in what I teach, I too will make a very bad job of it. Theseus and the Minotaur here I come!!
    Jamvic likes this.

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