So what is Big Writing? You may have been a little confused when your child suddenly started chanting...
"What have we got to remember?
Here is short guide to Big Writing,we hope it helps.
Big Writing is a term used for an approach to writing that was pioneered by Ros Wilson of Andrell Education. A relatively 'new' way of teaching writing, it focuses on 4 main aspects of the writing process and gives the children the skills to improve their own writing through self assessment, sharing of work and fun, learning games throughout the weekly special writing session.
The children are taught to think about their writing in four particular ways Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation. They then use these aspects to help them improve. It must be remembered however that this process is to do with one aspect of their writing. We are also committed to improving the quality of the content and how they use writing to express themselves. The elements below will vary according to the age groupd of the children. For younger children much of what is taught will be less explicit and will use more 'friendly' terms and less grammatical terminoloy.
Vocabulary: Classes have a 'Vocabulary Wow Words' board where new and impressive words that the children have used are shared for everyone. The children are encouraged to use these words where appropriate in their writing.
Connectives: Older clases have a 'Connectives' display, where powerful connectives (joining words) are displayed. Children are encouraged to use these in their writing.
Openers: many classes have an 'Openers' display, with good openers (sentence starters) that the children can choose from. We also teach ways of improving a basic sentence e.g. 'The children climbed the hill slowly' to a better sentence by changing the word order; 'Slowly, the children climbed the hill.'
Punctuation: Key Stage 2 classes have a clearly displayed 'Punctuation Pyramid' showing the levels of punctuation. Children are taught the names of the higher level punctuation from Year One onwards and learn to use them in their writing. These 3-d pyramids sit on the tables in the classrooms and serve as a visual reminder for children. They help them remember what they need to do and then what they need t do to improve.
Big Writing lessons are also characterised by a ‘special’ atmosphere with candles lit in the classroom and quiet music playing while the children write to enhance the special experience. They have special paper, special books and special pens or pencils.
Our youngest children experience Big Writing in a somewhat different way. The children have an early introduction to VCOP through oral activities particulalrly focusing on 'wow' words, openers and connectives. The development of extended speech and encouragement of all children to be confident and articulate talkers perpares them for Big Writing.
Class 3 Wow words
Class 4 Wow words
Class 5 Wow words
The Punctuation Pyramid
One of these is placed on each desk during writing lessons in Key Stage 2
Would you like to know more?
Visit the Andrell education website at http://www.andrelleducation.co.uk/
Download the parents' guide produced by the school from here.
Call in and talk to your child's teacher.