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Literacy Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Writing Video Clip 1

 Watch the video and think about these questions.

Deliberate acts of teaching
Identify and discuss examples of where the teacher's use of deliberate acts of teaching enables Eric to articulate and extend his thinking.

Engaging learners with texts

  1. Taking this kind of time for detailed thinking is a challenge. How might it be, in fact, a worthwhile investment?
  2. The teacher values Eric's initial response (that he was feeling happy) but challenges him to develop his ideas further. What is the value of this kind of challenge, especially for target students?

Expert comments and transcript

Instructional focus
Analysis of asTTle data revealed that the students needed to develop in a number of areas, especially structure and awareness of audience. Surface features also needed attention, but at this time I wanted to focus on ideas.

Using this information, I decided to focus on reporting, the topic being reporting on the school day for their parents. I chose parents as a familiar audience and the topic of reporting on the school day to enable us to explore the features of a well-structured report.
From the students' writing it became apparent that, while they attended to structure and writing for an audience, the language used in their writing was mundane.

I shared with the class my evaluation of their writing and that as a result our goal over the next two or three weeks would be: to make language choices in descriptive writing to create a vivid image for the reader.

I chose the topic 'My Special Place' (within the syndicate-wide topic of 'New Zealand: A unique place', to help students understand how to make language choices to write descriptively in a meaningful and personal context. I used published authors' work as models, and made links in our reading programme to explore how a writer makes language choices to have an impact on the audience. I also used the shared writing approach for whole-class modelling during which we jointly discussed and selected language to make a piece of my own writing have more impact.

Students wrote their descriptions of their special place, and now the focus (reflected in these interactions) was on effective language to describe their feelings about their place.

Focus students
I reinforced the whole-class work during intensive sessions with a group of focus students. The above data, and subsequent focus on structure and audience in writing a report showed that, while these students had lots of ideas, they were experiencing difficulty in expressing these in a meaningful written form. On the previous day we'd begun jointly constructing the ideas of one student, Eric, from his description of his special place (his Grandmother's house) and the sounds he hears there. The shared learning intention for the lesson from which the following interaction is taken was:

  • to develop spoken ideas into written language

I planned to meet our learning intention in two steps in order to make the learning manageable and to model the process of making language choices and composing written text.

Published on: 22 Mar 2016