I am a class teacher for Year Four and five students and a team leader for the middle school. My class and I are a part of the Manaiakalani Google ClassOnAir.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Monitoring students for Writing - Reflection on my Inquiry

This Term I have been focussing on writing of my students. I have closely monitored my target students and other students to make shifts happen in their learning. Below is a weekly recount of the teaching strategies I tried with them.

Week 1 and 3
What did I notice?

Most students are not focussing on using powerful words. This is because they do not have the vocabulary to explain specifically what they want to say in their writing.

What will I do to fix this?
I will be focussing on clines where students will explore how they can use powerful words instead of simple words in their writing


Making clines and brainstorming words for everyday words made students think about how they could use these in their writing. We brainstormed words and made a word wall.
My next step is to constantly encourage students to use the word wall when writing.
Week 3 and 4
Narrative Writing
This week we focussed on writing narratives. This was done as a whole class. I purposely grouped my target students with other students. They learnt to write a scene for their narratives. I gave them Prior to teaching this lesson, I had noticed that students were writing very short introductions for their stories. These introductions lacked detail mainly because I had not taken them through each step on how to include detail to capture the reader’s interest. Breaking down the narrative structure into little comprehensible bits was good. This lesson shows how to write an orientation for a narrative. I mainly focussed on teaching how to set the scene. Using sense words to describe the scene was the best way I could ask them add detail.

 Later I used an exemplar, that the students analysed to see what good description of a scene looks like. I am happy with the outcome, but my students need to practice writing to embed this newly learnt skill.

Next Step
In order to write detail for their stories, students need the words that they can use in their description. I would focus on front loading vocabulary for them to write with greater ease.
The example that I used was from a junior journal-

Click on the link below to view on setting scenes for narrative writing.

Week 5
We made links with reading to writing. When reading journals, I constantly drew their attention to the way the author has introduced the characters for his story. we noticed that most of the narratives started with a dialogue. So we tried using dialogue in our stories. One of the exemplars used was from 'New Boots' by Tim Jones.

Week 6 and 7

We wrote our narratives and then analysed them against a rubric.
The lesson mainly captures their understanding of how to use the rubric and be able to analyse and give feedback to their buddies and themselves. To begin with, students have used three elements of the rubric. These are:

  • captivating audience interest
  • Punctuation
  • Character and setting

    Click on the link below to view a complete lesson.
Using the rubric themselves made students aware of how they needed to write in order to capture the interest of their audience. They talked about how punctuation helped the reader and how dialogue could be captivating for the audience.

Week 8 and 9
We integrated our topic studies to different areas of the curriculum. This helped improve their vocabulary.
Students had to prepare for the Ako evening where they would be presenting their learning to their whanau. Knowing the words to explain their learning has motivated them to confidently speak in front of their audience. I am happy with the outcome. I had a conference session where I asked them how learning vocabulary has helped them. They all agreed that they now knew lots of words on the topic and could speak and write about it. Link to the plan for integrated studies for different group are listed below.

Detailed plan and lessons can be found on the website below.
Lessons on integrated topic studies - Part 1 ( Class OnAir)

Lessons on integrated topic studies - Part 2 (Class onAir)