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Writing in Reception

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by hotandbothered, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. I thought we were ticking along nicely, but I hear rumours that Year 1 are not happy with the writing from Reception. Hmmm, keeping calm and trying to find out what they are not happy with or it could just be a rumour and they are happy.
    I've only been in Reception a couple of years and readily admit I am not an expert. What writing are you doing? How often? How do you manage it? Any offerings greatly appreciated?
    Thank you, going to try & chill. [​IMG]
  2. I also have just heard that the Y1 teacher has commented on how the standard of the children's writing when leaving Rec has dropped since we started the Foundation Phase (ie when I started in Reception...argh!)
  3. And I heard that through the Head by the way. Cow, why couldn't she have raised any concerns that she had with me first?
  4. WE do writing nearly everyday in reception weve been sounding out words and towards the end of the year they write sentances!!!!Its Independent and adult led
  5. Our Y1 staff haven't been shy about complaining re handwriting, phonics and writing even tho our profile results are good. FS practice seems to be getting blame even tho we can list the endless things we do (and have always done) - the general assumption seems to be that they just play so they dont teach all the things we used to in Rec! If staff haven't approached you directly, ignore it. Have a quiet word with your FS coordinator and then carry on with what you're doing - maybe Y1 have unrealistic expectations of what children should be doing and need to change their practice!!
  6. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    We do quite a lot of writing in my Reception class, probably because, as an inexperienced teacher, this is an area I feel confident with! We do two or three adult-led writing activities each week, in our daily circle I often model writing and get them to help me write the some of the words by calling out the sounds, and they have free reading or writing time every morning (they usually choose reading and practise writing letters on little whiteboards - they love these!). In the adult-led sessions one thing we do often is ask the children to draw a picture (linked to whatever topic we've been doing that day) and then write a sentence about it, sounding the words out phonetically. They are competent doing this with an adult's guidance, so now we are beginning to practise working independently.

  7. We have dramatically improved our writing in Reception Class by following the Letters and Sounds scheme. We do at least 20 minutes of this every day in small, differentiated groups. This teaches the children to write letters, cvc words and then short captions even at the earliest stage. They do not have to think about the content of their writing but just focus on the sounds they need to make given words and soon become confident as long as what you ask them to do uses the sounds they have been taught. They also learn to write some high-frequency "tricky" words. We also have a free writing time (diary writing) and soon begin to see the children using their sounds to write there too.
    We had comments from the next class teachers about the lack of literacy in our planning and we do not spend much time on, for example, text types. However we have found this works for us and once the children are confident in writing words they soon pick up the conventions of different types of writing at a later stage.

    I think you need to be confident about using your own judgment to decide what suits the children in your class best. It won't be the same every year! Hope this helps.
  8. Miss Piggywig

    Miss Piggywig New commenter

    I agree I think we spend to much time worrying about text types and stuff when the children can't write their name or read simple words. Much better to share stories with them in story time and talk about it then. How can they write in sentences when they can't talk in sentences? .
  9. I seem to be on the right lines.
    Thank you.
  10. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    I would say this is true for some children right through KS1.
    alexanderosman likes this.
  11. I remember doing my second placement for my PGCE and wondering why I was teaching chn to use bullet points when some couldn't read or write a simple sentence yet!!!!
  12. I agree with these posts and especially with the idea that children need to be competent talkers before they can be expected to write in sentences. In my opinion they need to have experience, excitement and interest in the subject matter to be motivated to write and hopefully in the foundation stage we are giving them opportunities to write linked with the experiences we provide so they are writing for a purpose. They also need the physical skills towrite and we should be giving them opportunities to develop gross and fine motor skills. If the physical act of writing is difficult and frustrating children won't want to do it. Teachers in KS1 don't always know enough about child development to appreciate these aspects- maybe an invitation to observe through the foundation stage from nursery would be in order- give the Y1 teacher chances to see the progress that's made during the two foundation stage years!
    By the way- I've been asked to put in writing targets for children in nursery - does anyone else do this? Any thoughts?
  13. we've also been asked to set targets for writing in the nursery this term - i have mixed feelings but I think it is a good idea as it says what happens in nursery is just as important as other year groups. we have a particular problem at my school tho as nursery is left out of everything and the work the staff do is not recognised at all so I like to make a special effort to let everyone know what we do! Anyway our targets are as follows
    High Ability - I can write my name / use letters from my name or letter shapes when I write during play
    Mid Ability - I make different marks when I draw and write
    Low Ability - I am happy to make marks during play
    All our evidence comes from observational assessments made as the children play with some adult initiated activities eg writing a shopping list in our Toy shop / making patterns in the sand / using chalks on the ground / writing in the snow with sticks...
  14. This is an interesting thread.
    We too try to have writing experiences every day and use letters and sounds, but as a result I feel that we are not covering all six areas equally. How do you ensure you are giving enough teacher time to other areas of learning plus all the reading and writing?
    We have begun to set targets but not just for writing. We set one target in any area per child.

  15. Just to play devil's advocate I attended an excellent presentation by a highly qulaified speech therapist to EY teachers at the end of last year. Her belief is that NO children of reception age should be WRITING. They should be speaking well, pronouncing words correctly and comprehending and building stories orally - using frameworks for quality and extension. Writing is complex and somewhat overwhelming for young children - how to form letters, which letters to use, etc before they have even given thought to composition. We teachers have so much to learn. Sometimes we get pushed into things too soon and then pass these onto our children unwittingly. Our area coordinator was not impressed by this assertion from the speech therapist but having been in teaching for many years I do see the merit in what she says. Maybe we are expecting too much too soon of 5 year olds and not giving enough time towhat seems intangible but pays off in the long run?
    And yes Ido know that targets have to be met, but perhaps that what your colleagues mean when they observe that literacy levels are dropping in favour of meeting targets?
  16. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    we have used our own version of Big Talk in reception for a couple of years and have just introduced the new Ros Wilson version into nursery/reception/Y1. It works on the premise of
    If children can't say it they can't write it...
    ~If anyone has the opportunity to go on the training day I'd highly recommend it - great fun very entertaining and highly informative.
    the book is very readable with lots of ideas for immediate classroom use.
    Suggests daily practise of grammar - speaking correctly
    handwriting - learning correct formation
    spelling - phonics
    punctuation - capital letters and fullstops
    engaging children's immagination lots of quality opportunities for hearing vocabulary they may not hear at home - stories - conversations with adults - songs - rhymes etc
    Encouraging children to "steal" good words and phrases - (I especially loved the suggestion of ...along came a ... )
  17. Can you tell me more about this please? I have got some children in my class who choose to write every day and some that never ever choose to even pick up a pencil! If I could make it more personal to them - which sounds like what you are suggesting! - then that would be brill :)

    This sounds brill! Are there any resources available anywhere?

  18. I know this is along time ago but I just stumbled upon your discussion. I was wondering if you could help me.
    I am in a reception class and I also do writing lessons on the carpet for them to write words on their whiteboards. I have been trained to write what the children hear and not the correct spelling on the whiteboards. But i have now been told I am doing it wrong. For example the word 'saw' they heard 'sor' and 'lion, heard 'liyn' so this is how i wrote it. Would you think that is the correct method or not?
    Would appreciate your advice, thanks.
  19. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    If the children write it I don't correct it but if I write it I spell it correctly and explain why ... so if they suggested "sor" I would explain /or/ can be written "aw" in some words and give other examples.
  20. Betsy - I would recommend that if you are writing words that the children are seeing then they need to be spelt correctly. For example, if a child in my class wrote.
    "At v weeknd mI mum tuc mee to v prc"
    then I would write underneath "x told me that 'At the weekend my mum took me to the park', they tried very hard to listen to the sounds and worte phonetically" children need to be encouraged to listen to the sounds, but also taught correct spelling especially HFW that are so often spelt wrong. Having said that I always praise the children no matter what they end up writing, and try to encourage them to use the classroom to help them with key vocabulary.

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