Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

English Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Learning task 4: Application activities

Producing quality writing

Allow and plan enough time for students to be able to produce quality work. This means times to talk, collaborate, reflect, share, as well as time for shared, guided and independent writing and times for conversing and times for quiet uninterrupted writing.

  •  Shared Writing
     This is where the teacher does most of the work. She helps the children to work out what they want to say and then writes it for them either on a whiteboard, chart, book or whatever is appropriate. During this opportunities are taken for teaching points to be made.
  •  Guided Writing
     Here the children are doing a lot of the work and have far more control, the teacher being there to guide and help. In 1 to 1 situations the child is writing. In group situations the teacher can record for the children what they say or the teacher can dictate the text to the children for them to write into their books while they are in a group. As above the teacher steps in where appropriate for teaching points and to help children solve problems.
  •  Independent Writing
     This is where the children write by themselves and the teacher acts as the editor to check their work and do what they are unable to do.

 A piece of quality writing is rarely produced in one session and within strict time limits. Use your professional judgement when setting time allowances, if the children are younger or are new to this genre, take time to get control of the structure of the genre, and its language features. Time taken now is well spent building a solid foundation for future writing, and allows students to achieve success and get satisfaction from their writing.

 Aim to have all students complete a minimum of one personal recount, from planning to publishing

 Follow this sequence, making use of one or several throughout the process:


Students select one significant camp activity to write about. For many it will be the activity they have told an anecdote on and made a wordbank about, but do not restrict them to this, they may have changed their mind as their knowledge and ideas have developed.

Individually brainstorm ideas for their writing, listing as many ideas and vocabulary as they can in a free flow mind map in their draft writing books.

Share their ideas with a partner, and then give an opportunity to make additions or alterations to their brainstorm.

Composing and drafting

  1. Next organise these ideas ready for writing. This could be done in note form on a planner or on a flow chart or cluster diagram. Model how to use the planner or flowchart or cluster diagram, organising ideas into sequential order, thinking carefully how you will start and end the recount, and what events will come in the middle. Model how to select the best and most relevant ideas from their brainstorm, not trying to use everything. Constantly refer to text features discussed during the close reading of writing models in your "teacher talk" as you model the planning process. Ask students for ideas, encouraging them to participate in the modelling process as well as observe. Talk about the audience for their writing. Who will read it? How will this affect your planning? Planning may take one or two sessions.
  2. Display an A3 size copy of the self-assessment form near the teaching centre. This can then be referred to during the modelling, shared writing, conferencing and sharing times with the students throughout the writing unit, so that all students are familiar with the criteria and writing language before they begin independent writing of their own personal recount.
    • Give each student his or her own copy of the , at the beginning of the independent writing time. This needs to be glued into their draft writing books alongside their writing, eg. the form is on the left page and they write on the right page.
    • Talk explicitly about the criteria, "thinking out aloud" throughout the unit, eg. "I can see why Jack has ticked ... on his checklist, as he put this ... in his writing. Well done Jack"
    • Encourage and praise students for checking their self-assessment form as they go.
    • Some days have a class session "checking our progress" at the end of the writing time, where all students bring their writing books to the mat area and share their progress with reference to their checklists.
    • Monitor their progress, with roving observations as they write and by taking in student books to check later, noting individual children's progress, and establishing an overview of the class' progress. Taking in books allows for quiet uninterrupted teacher reflection and during this time the teacher can use a sticky note pad to record future teaching points for the whole class and/or individuals. These notes can then be stuck to the teacher's workplan or on the teaching station as a reminder for the next day's writing session.
    • Begin each day by modelling a part of the recount, eg. the introduction or opening. Refer to a writing model, including features that have already been discussed in close reading, and write an opening on the whiteboard with the students in a shared writing session. Students now go and draft their own opening in their draft writing books writing on every second line. Set a predetermined time for quiet independent writing, where students have an opportunity to write uninterrupted.

Conferencing and reflecting

  1. As they complete their opening or that day's task, let them conference with each other. One way to do this without interrupting those still writing is to allow them to quietly come to the mat or some designated area where they partner up with someone else who has finished. Expect them to comment on and question each other's writing, modelling himself or herself on the teacher's example. They may conference with more than one partner in this time. Allow students to return to their desks to make alterations and additions to their writing after teacher or peer conferences. At the same time roam as a teacher, conferencing with individual students at the writing stage or small groups gathering on the mat. When most students have completed that day's task (eg. writing the opening) gather together for a sharing time, calling on some children to share their day's writing and ask for comments, eg. I like the part when ... because ... I didn't really understand where you were when... This is a good time to model conferencing questions.

     When most students are well on the way with writing their personal recounts, spend a writing session reworking their recounts with the teacher as a class. Follow this Guided Self-Assessment procedure:

    • Students bring their writing books, a highlighter and a pen to record on the activity form, to the mat or have these ready at their desk.
    • Give each student a copy of the form reworking (RTF 30KB) .
    • Together the teacher and students work their way through this form, taking time to discuss, locate, record on the form and share some aspects of their writing. You may decide to only to do selected parts of the form with this recount, and other parts with the next one, depending on their progress and needs.
    • This activity is designed to help students focus more on the deeper features of their own writing, guiding and scaffolding them in the editing process, before finishing with a brief proof reading check.
    • It will help them to reflect on ways that they may improve their own writing.
    • After the form is completed it can be glued into their books, and used in the next writing session to edit their own work independently.
  2.  Set aside a time for editing and proof-reading at the end of the day's writing session or at the beginning of the next day's writing time, when students are fresh. For younger students this becomes an onerous task if it is all left to the end.

Editing and proof reading

Editing can involve:

  • rewriting
  • leaving out or adding bits to your early draft
  • changing the order of material, words or sentences
  • keeping your reader in mind
  • reading aloud to listen for errors or things that could be improved
  •  trying to make improvements to your writing so that it conveys your ideas as clearly and accurately as possible.

This means that you'll need to write on your draft, cross out bits, add bits, move bits. Don't worry if your draft looks messy. Your teacher needs to see the changes you have decided to make. If you need to, write a second draft before writing the final draft. If you are working on computer, you should still include your early draft with your editing changes marked on it, even though you can make the changes on the computer.

The final stage of the writing process is proof reading. Before completing your writing for assessment, it will need to be proof-read. This will ensure that your writing is accurate and free of small careless errors such as letters, words or punctuation accidentally left out. Use the proofreading (RTF 33KB) to help you check that your final draft is free from errors.

These processes will need to be modelled many times by the teacher. Praise students who are editing as they write, eg. crossing out and changing words or phrases, stopping to reread it at times, and students who are self-monitoring spelling as they write by underlining those they are not sure of for later checking. Neatness is not a priority at this stage; a well reworked text is the sign of a budding writer!

At the completion of the drafting of their personal recount do the peer_assessment_editing (RTF 96KB) . This is the final self-check when the student has finished draft writing their recount. Partner students (with teacher guidance), as they finish their draft writing. Share their recounts, first reading them aloud to each other, to entertain and inform. Next they focus closely on one of the written recounts at a time, together completing the peer assessment form, checking for editing and proofreading. This will guide focused peer discussion about their writing and highlight any areas that still need editing or correcting before publication of their work on the computer. A final check will need to be made by the teacher before publishing begins.

Published on: 06 Apr 2009