A Framework that seems to work

20th March 2015

A whole month since the last blog : sorry.  School’s been a bit “interesting”, but enough of that.

I have been mulling over a new (to me) framework for learners. I was talking to wonderful Simon Wrigley at a Teachers As Writers meeting a fortnight ago and he shared his theory on the writing process:

You need:

confidence > participation> practice or experimentation >reflection>
to succeed on a writing task

So what does this mean in practice?

- all we have said so far about welcoming, supporting, valuing.

- Maslow’s triangle, having a go, joining in.

- knowing what to do, having some models you can work on, building your command of sentence structures, adding to your vocabulary, using substitution tables

- the moment we strive for, adding the bits you know together, possibly from your first language framework, building your own attempt at meaningful communication.

You know these moments, they are ones to lighten your darkest hour, make you smile, and you remember the first one of these for every new arrival you ever worked with.

- a somewhat advanced state, where you are able to compare your language to the models around you. So when children read their writing, then listen to you say the words from the model, and realize they have forgottent the ‘s’. Many adult bi-linguals don’t reach this state.

Clearly our learners will keep going through this cycle. It won’t be a one off. But I do think seeing where they are the first time round will be helpful in articulating those very early stages. (PS, S1,S2)

And of course, remember context is all, this only works in the science lesson on frogs, where you joined in with everyone else.  Not with words you are learning because they are next on someone’s list.

When you teach the months of the year do you start with January, because it’s first, or March (or whatever) because it’s the one you are in and will be writing, or seeing written, four times a day for the next two weeks?

The more I mull over this framework, the more I like it. I am currently playing with a snazzy artwork version to create as a PDF – when its done I will pop it in the filing cabinet. If you like it, print it out and blu-tack to your wall, or leave it in the staffroom, or put it on a power-point and use it as part of an inset.

You can even claim it as your own. Though that’s not very fair to Simon!

P.S. Do think about joining a writing group!