Thursday, 12 November 2015

Guided Writing

This year has been a big learning curve for me in terms of teaching. The school I'm at has had a big focus on 'guided groups', which has changed the way I teach.

I've been experimenting with Guided Writing Groups. I'm no expert on the subject but so far, I have seen a big growth in my students writing. Here's how I run guided writing in my classroom.

#1 - Plot students on the 'Aspects of Writing' section of the Literacy Continuum
In NSW, we have a Literacy Continuum. We use this to track student progress and see the 'where to next'. This helps us plan and develop activities which target specific needs.

#2 - Group students according to where they sit on the continuum.
Once students have been plotted, I form my groups based on what 'cluster' they're at.

#3 - Develop a goal
I then look at the 'where to next' and choose a point to focus on. For Kindergarten the goals for the year are;

I can leave spaces between the words (cluster 2)
I can use capital letters and full stops (cluster 3)
I can sound out words that I don't know to help me write them (cluster 3 & 4)
I can correctly spell sight words (cluster 4)
I can write more than one sentence (cluster 4)
I can add detail to my sentence by using adjectives (cluster 5)

I have these on display as a step chart. Student names are on a pencil and the pencils are moved according to what goal they are working on.

#4 - The Session - No more than 4 students
What we write about depends on what we are learning about at the time.

I use a log book to take notes and keep track of what we have covered.

The log book has a space at the top for the group goal and space for anecdotal notes on what writing behaviours each student displays. At the end of the week, once all sessions have been complete, I look back over the notes and make any necessary adjustments to groups or goals.

In the session I provide each student with targeted support. Having a small group means that I am able to provide individualised support for each student.

Once students have completed their writing, I mark their work with them. I have a rubric that relates to each goal;

I refer to this rubric when marking and giving feedback. Usually the number of ticks or stamps refers to how well they've achieved their goal ("working towards", "almost there" and "I've got it"). I've also developed a tracking sheet (right image) to use for next year to help keep my student portfolios neater.

That's pretty much it. If you're interested in the pack, you can find it by clicking here or on the picture below :)

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