- Foster an environment where each person is valued and respected.
Teach children to listen to each other, to be tolerant, to problem solve.
- Foster a spirit of inquiry
- Foster a spirit of collaboration
- Foster a classroom where teacher and pupils are equals, where
no one person is seen as the fountain of all knowledge.
- Become a ‘kid watcher’ a facilitator, a person who observes
children as they read and write and a person who scaffolds instruction accordingly.
- Integrate listening, speaking, reading and writing. Immerse
children in a reading and writing environment everyday. Provide opportunities
for purposeful reading and writing and eliminate time spent on workbooks and
- Begin with silent reading time. Allow children to choose
their own reading material and follow up with a share session where children
can express their reactions to their reading. Read with the children. Let
them see you value reading. Ensure a wide selection of up-to-date fiction,
non-fiction, poetry, drama, reference material, magazines and material
authored by children are available for children to browse, read and borrow.
Display books with the cover facing out. Furnish the area with accessible
shelves and large cushions and allow children to take turns sitting there.
- Start the writing workshop with a whole class mini-lesson focusing on the
craft of writing. Use examples from children’s literature. Let children see
that published authors use these techniques. Be prepared to demonstrate the
steps of the writing process by modelling the steps on an overhead transparency
or on the blackboard.
- Allow children to choose their own topics for writing.
- Conference with children as they write. Discuss their writing with them
and try to nudge details from the children. Let the child do most of the talking.
- Teach children techniques for reading their writing and revising it. Encourage
collaboration and peer conferencing.
- Conduct small-group skills’ lessons as children demonstrate a readiness
for the skill. Avoid workbook activities to teach the skill. Allocate a space
in the room where you can take small groups of children
- Teach children to self-correct their work. Teach them strategies that they
can apply to their own writing.
- Provide a share session at the end where the children listen and respond
to each other’s writing.
- Show children you respect and value their contributions by responding to
their writing every day. Place a comment on their writing daily.
Shape of the Writing
- 10 minutes: silent reading: individualised
- 5 minutes: response to reading
- 5-10 minutes: whole class mini-lesson (2/3 times a week)
- demonstrate the steps of the writing process
- 15-20 minutes: sustained writing time (everyday: 25 minutes if there
is no mini-lesson)
- conduct conferences as children write
- conduct small group mini-lessons 2/3 days a week
- 5-10 minutes: share time (every day)
Suggestions for further
Graves, Donald. A Fresh Look at Writing.