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writing sentences for children to copy. opinions please.

Discussion in 'Primary' started by dancinginthecity, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. dancinginthecity

    dancinginthecity New commenter

    It is fairly common practice for TAs in my school and previous school to 'support' SEN or early writers by writing out a sentence (usually on a small whiteboard) that a child says and then child copies it. The children often 'have a go' at independent writing in literacy lessons but not in other lessons. I prefer to either ask the child to tell me what they've written and then write it myself or write what the child says and then give them a different activity or let them have a go at writing another sentence.
    Is there any value in children copying sentences? Am I missing something? i just think if someone is going to write the sentence they may aswell just do it in child's book in quotation marks and let the child get on with something more useful than copying.
     
  2. dancinginthecity

    dancinginthecity New commenter

    It is fairly common practice for TAs in my school and previous school to 'support' SEN or early writers by writing out a sentence (usually on a small whiteboard) that a child says and then child copies it. The children often 'have a go' at independent writing in literacy lessons but not in other lessons. I prefer to either ask the child to tell me what they've written and then write it myself or write what the child says and then give them a different activity or let them have a go at writing another sentence.
    Is there any value in children copying sentences? Am I missing something? i just think if someone is going to write the sentence they may aswell just do it in child's book in quotation marks and let the child get on with something more useful than copying.
     
  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    It's a nice pencil control exercise [​IMG] demonstrates they have visual perception ...as a writing activity none whatsoever.

     
  4. BoldAsBrass

    BoldAsBrass New commenter

    If you don't agree with the 'copy' method, why not take their spoken sentence, put each word onto separate word cards - then ask the child to rearrange them into a sentence (including a full stop card) to replicate their oral sentence. This way they not only learn read words but they understand the construction of a basic sentence.
    Once the words have been ordered they can then copy it.
    In my opinion copy writing is a waste of time, unless you add the step I am suggesting.
    The reason why most children are reluctant to write is that they don't understand the relationship between letters / words and word / sentences
    Hope this helps [​IMG]
     
  5. upsadaisy

    upsadaisy New commenter

    I do a cut up sentence for some of my SEN children. Where they tell me the sentence and then I write it and cut it up, mix it up and they re-order it. But I do other things, like give the sentence to write that they have already read. We read it, say it and then have a go.

    But it's important to assess why they cannot write. Do they have poor phonic knowledge? Poor fine motor skills? Lack of key words? Poor speaking skills? Not enough story or sentence knowledge?
     
  6. dancinginthecity

    dancinginthecity New commenter

    Thanks for that idea. It is an activity I use in literacy but have never thought of transferring it to other lessons. Will definitely be directing TAs to do this now.
     
  7. dancinginthecity

    dancinginthecity New commenter

    Thanks for reply. I'd address these issues through literacy or intervention. My difficulty is that in say Pshe or History, I ask Tas to work with a small group and get their ideas and say to TAs that they can record for those who are a low writing level and the TAs do the 'write/copy thing'. I'd rather they spent the time doing more talking in these subjects. I cover PPA and do sometimes get the reply 'this is what we do for x' when I tell them not to write for child to copy.
     
  8. Writing for the child is a good way of recording whether the child can actually say a sentence.
    Copying - I agree about pencil control, but it doesn't help letter formation if they are not supervised. Children enjoy being able to read something back that they have 'written' which they can't always do with emergent writing.
    I have always expected the children to have a go at writing independently. The main problem with hat is that prolific 'emergent' writers do an awful lot of reinforcing bad practice, which someone teacher or child has to unpick later, so alongside that, we do have activities where the children actually copy writing.
    If you know why you are asking them to do it, then go ahead. If you don't like it or can't see a reason for it then don't be pushed into doing it.
     

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