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

Writing Video Clip 3

 Watch the video and think about these questions.

Deliberate acts of teaching, especially prompting
Consider the wait time and scaffolding. At one point, Amanda supplies what Eliesa needs. What is involved in making professional judgments such as this?  

From this interaction (and the two previous interactions), how would you describe this teacher's expectations of her students both as people and as literacy learners?

Engaging learners with texts
How might this interaction have contributed to Eliesa's understanding of the comprehension strategy of visualising? What links to the reading programme could be made?

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.

I scheduled conferences to explore each student's language choices as they created images of their special place.

Eliesa, the student in the following interaction, brings many strengths to his writing, having a good grasp of structure and a sense of audience. He uses descriptive language and has rich ideas and images. In fact, he was trying to fit too much descriptive language into his writing, which lessened its impact. Eliesa's home language is Tongan.

My purpose in this interaction was to build Eliesa's understanding of the need to be precise in language choices to convey images, and also to be selective in deciding what to include, keeping in mind the impact on the reader. I planned to focus on one idea in his writing, to encourage him to think about each word or phrase.

Published on: 22 Mar 2016