How do we teach writing at Living Faith?

Friday 28 Aug 2020

As with all subject areas at Living Faith, we aim to embed a love of learning into our writing program.

Through Daily 5, students regularly participate in five main literacy areas; read to self, read to someone, listen to reading, word work and work on writing.

Word Work

In word work students undertake an individualised spelling program that has been tailored to meet individual needs and progress. Rather than focusing on learning a set-list of words, students work on understanding a spelling rule or pattern that can then be applied to a wider range of words. Students then transfer this understanding of spelling concepts to their writing.

Conferencing

As a part of our literacy program teachers regularly conference with individual students about their reading and writing. During these conferences, individualised goals are developed which are then practised during work on writing time.

There are three main components of writing that students focus on developing at Living Faith.

  • Design
  • Purpose
  • Readability

These form the basis of our writing menu and are where teachers draw student writing goals from, when conferencing with students.

Writing and Creating- Menu

Design

Purpose

Readability

  • Plan for the purpose and the audience
  • Use structures such as titles and paragraphing
  • Work on writing goals
  • Select and create images and graphics
  • Draft writing based on plan
  • Revise draft for Design, Purpose and Readability (grammar, sentences, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation)
  • Edit draft based on feedforward on Design, Purpose and Readability (grammar, sentences, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation)
  • Publish Writing to communicate ideas

Write narratives using the structure of:

  • Orientation- events -Complication -Resolution

Using narrative vocabulary, characters and settings to entertain

Write persuasive texts using the structure of:

  • Opinion - Reason - Example - Opinion

Using persuasive vocabulary and topics to persuade

Write information texts using the patterns of:

  • Description - Sequence and Order - Compare and Contrast
  • Cause and Effect - Problem and Solution

Using information text vocabulary, topics and structures (headings, index, table of contents) to inform

Write poetic texts to entertain

  • Use grammar rules to decide how to use words in writing
  • Use sentence structures to communicate ideas for the writing purpose and audience
  • Use vocabulary to communicate ideas for the writing purpose and audience
  • Use spelling rules to spell words correctly in writing
  • Use punctuation rules to show how writing should be read (or said)
  • Use handwriting conventions or digital hardware and software to communicate ideas in writing

Work on Writing

During work on writing time, students can let their creativity and imagination run wild. Students can freely choose what and how to write while practising new spelling and grammar concepts. This allows students to practice some essential writing skills in a relaxed way which encourages them to take risks and experiment with different writing styles. Students are encouraged to brainstorm, plan and edit their work and apply their individual writing goals to their work.

Writers Workshop

Writers workshop takes place once a week and is a session where students gain the skills to write in specific genres. This includes explicit teaching on how to create information reports, recounts, procedural texts, persuasive texts and narratives. Students learn the features of different texts and learn how to apply language to suit a specific writing purpose.

During writers workshop, students also participate in mini grammar lessons where they get to practice important grammatical elements and apply them to their writing.

How do students know how to improve their writing?

Students are in regular conferences with their teachers about their writing progress, which means their writing goals are continuously being reviewed and updated. For writing assessments, students use a Success Criteria to help them know exactly what they need to include in their work. Students also receive feedforward related to the success criteria before their final submission.

- Bianca Ravi, Director of Learning