Wednesday, 2 May 2018

In My Classroom | Writing Targets

Literacy has always been one of my favourite subjects to teach, I find you can be so creative and build the most exciting lessons. Sometimes though, lessons are less exciting, such as weekly writing. Along with excitement, I'm also a big fan of routine with children and although out weekly writing may not be the most exciting time of day, they enjoy it because they know exactly what to expect and they always ask about it if we miss a week.

I'm a big fan of the use of images and actions to enhance children's understanding and when I created this writing system for our young learners, that is exactly what I had in mind. This writing poster is so incredibly simple but has proved to be very successful for our kids. Seeing how our Reception children can write leaves me gobsmacked every single time, and so very very proud of them!

This poster was originally created for a Year 1 class which was a little more complex and included more targets, but I simplified it for our EYFS students.

How Does It Work?

Part 1 - Before Writing

❤  Recap the meaning of each image.
❤  Do the actions and build up excitement and challenge using the images.
❤  Model writing to the children using images.

Part 2 - During Writing

❤  Look back at previous targets to identify the image to work on. 
❤  Support and extend learning as they write. 
❤  Draw attention to the images regularly as reminders.

Part 3 - After Writing

❤  Look at each image and identify whether the child has achieved it.
❤  Colour symbol one colour if achieved and a different colour if not (we use Tickled Pink and Green for Growth)
❤  Set target for next writing session based on colours.


Bonus

❤  All kids love stickers. We have a sticker system that allows children to wear a sticker for each of the images they have achieved. This means as they walk around school people comment on the work they have achieved. We often hear them telling adults what each sticker means or passing adults make comments like "I can see you have used an adjective and a full stop in your writing today." This really helps to reinforce what they have achieved. 
It's insane to me that Reception children are writing at the level they are and it is largely down to the introduction of this writing poster and them having a clear understanding of the expectations for their writing. As you can see from the images, many of our kids are achieving way beyond expectations in their writing. 
Of course, we do still have those who struggle as well, but at the end of each session, all children will achieve some of the targets on the writing poster so they all get to come away with a feeling of success (and a sticker). 
You would think that I would get used to their abilities and achievements but every single week they leave me gobsmacked by how good they are! 


What are your top tips to teach writing to young learners?
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