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“If a child can’t say it, they can’t write it”

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1 “If a child can’t say it, they can’t write it”
BIG write “If a child can’t say it, they can’t write it” Mawnan School March 2011

2 Background It is a philosophy about writing which was originally devised by Ros Wilson. It is based on the premise that talk is essential to writing. If they can’t say it, they can’t write it! Provide children with the confidence to ‘have a go’ with a positive ethos for writing. Raising standards in writing through 4 generic targets.

3 Encouragement to… Talk about their writing.
Find exciting words and use these in their writing. ‘Borrow’ exciting words and phrases from other authors. ‘WOW’ words. Have a go at using interesting examples of punctuation. Once a week in their classrooms, write for an extended period of time. Re-read their own writing and find ways to make it better. Understand what they need to do next to improve. Use self assessment (2 s and a !) to develop awareness of their writing and targets.

4 The Key Features ‘VCOP’
Vocabulary Connectives Openers Punctuation Every week the children concentrate on the 4 elements of Big Writing

5 Victoria Visualiser and her Wow words!
Victoria’s Super Powers Victoria has the power to help people really see how things look. She holds the secret of how characters and places really feel. Although, words for sights and sounds are her favourite weapons she knows the importance of taste, touch and smell too. Victoria knows how to pick just the right nouns or verbs to give writing real power over a reader. She uses adjectives and adverbs to hypnotise people in to really seeing and feeling a piece of writing.

6 Captain Connective The Captain’s Super Powers.
The Captain holds the team together and without him writing can be repetitive and boring holding no power over the reader at all. His greatest power is to link ideas together providing a net to catch any reader.

7 The Incredible Opener’s Super Powers.
The Incredible Opener is a master of disguise. Sometimes, he jumps up and tells the reader when something is happening. Suddenly, he is adverb. Although, can be a link between ideas just like Captain Connective. Alternatively, he can express an opposite idea. On dark, windy nights, when even the wolves stay in their dens, he can be a whole phrase! He may seem like a bit of a Joker, but don’t be fooled he helps add structure. It’s his job to hook the reader in and keep him reading.

8 Dr. Punctuation Dr Punctuation’s Super Powers
The Doctors basic weapon is the power to stop and start a sentence. If capital letters and full stops are missing, or in the wrong place writing is weak. It will not have the power to grab a reader. His control over the reader is reinforced by the use of commas to separate ideas. They work well when combined with connectives and openers. He reveals what characters actually say with speech marks. Does he ask questions? Of course, that’s a great weapon for hooking a reader. He does not use his best weapons too often or their effects weaken. But, wow! An exclamation mark makes a reader think. An ellipsis makes a reader wonder…

9 Capital Letter: hands above heads, palms together, silently.
Kung Fu Punctuation! Capital Letter: hands above heads, palms together, silently. Full stop: throw a short, right-handed punch at the air in front of you. Make the noise, Ha! Comma: with your right arm bent so that your hand is in front of your face, make a short twisting motion at the wrist to signify the comma shape. Make the noise, Shi!

10 Impact on lessons ‘VCOP’ will be built into daily lessons:
Use as a starter/ warm up activity Prompts for writing As a plenary ‘Levelling Up’ work as a class using VCOP EXAMPLE TIME!!!!

11 The Learning Environment
‘Working Wall’ display boards clearly showing VCOP. VCOP triangles on learning mats Examples of recent work that has effectively used VCOP. The wall will not be a ‘perfect’ and finished looking masterpiece! It should be a ‘work in progress’.





16 How it works Big Writing will take place once a week.
The whole school do Big Writing at the same time (there may be a few occasions when it is not possible due to excursions!). The children write in a special Big Writing book which has their targets in the front. When the children have written their work they will complete a self-assessment before their teacher marks it. The marking will ensure that each child in school will know what they need to do to improve and reach the next level.

17 Extended writing opportunities with Big Writing
Reception ‘talk’ about their writing and start putting down words in the Summer term. Year 1 write for 20 minutes. Year 2 write for between 20 – 30 minutes. Year 3 write for 30 minutes. Year 4 write for 30 minutes. Year 5 write for 30 – 40 minutes. Year 6 write for 40 minutes.

18 The Method…on the day of the BIG write
Focus & text type will have been introduced the day before in class and as ‘Talking Homework’ with parents. First 30 minutes of fast, fun, lively oral activities linked to what’s expected in their writing. Followed by 10 minutes of planning time Planning time used to refocus the pupils’ thoughts on the stimulus & text type for writing. BRAIN BREAK TIME Second minutes is for writing To finish…Children are to read what they have written and complete self assessment marking ladder before handing their work in to the teacher for marking. s and a !

19 How can you help as a parent?
Talking Homework Each class will be set a ‘talking homework’ the night before the Big Writing task each week. The concept is that they talk about what they might write and share ideas as a family. They DO NOT write a draft or even notes at this stage. They will be given planning time in class the following day. Other ways to provide support at home: Encourage your children to READ. Encourage your children to TALK. Encourage your children to spot WOW words and perhaps write them down in a book at home or on a piece of paper. Encourage your children to borrow words or phrases which they like from books, magazines, television programmes. Encourage your children to WRITE ASK your child what target they have to improve their writing this half-term.

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