Primary Writing

Primary Writing

Primary Writing

Primary Writing

Synopsis

This book focuses on an approach to teaching writing in the primary school called the 'process approach'. The approach has been recognized internationally as an important method for the teaching of primary writing. In the UK it has become a focus particularly through the National Writing Project, the LINC project and more recently in the National Curriculum.

At a time of increasing traditionalism in primary education Primary Writing portrays an in-depth account of an innovative approach to the teaching of writing. Primary Writing is the first book length examination of the process approach in the UK and convincingly demonstrates its strengths and benefits. For any teacher who uses a 'mixture of methods' the process approach cannot be ignored.

The author has eight years experience as a primary teacher at KS1 and KS2 and as a Language Coordinator in inner-city and suburban schools. His experience of using the process approach in the classroom and sharing the approach with colleagues has resulted in a text that gives detailed and vibrant examples of practice alongside relevant research.

Excerpt

During the early years of education the process approach is encouraged through the practices and philosophies of emergent writing. Teaching through emergent writing builds on the language and literacy experience that the child has gained prior to coming to school. Many studies have shown that most children learn a large amount about language and literacy before they enter the nursery or reception class. It would be illogical to start them all from the same baseline, and so the approach attempts to give the opportunity for children to demonstrate what they have learned, and for teaching to take that learning as a starting point.

If teachers are to find out what children have learned about writing, an approach needs to be taken that encourages the children to write from day one. Nursery and reception children are often keen to show what they can do, and their attempts at writing give a clear indication to the teacher of their stage of development. Having observed the children's writing behaviour, the teacher is in a better position to decide the kind of experiences and activities that the children will need to extend their development.

In the course of this chapter I first look at the classroom organization that supports emergent writing; this section identifies some of the main practical features of the approach. This is followed by reflections on some of the theories that underpin emergent literacy. the links between emergent writing and writing workshop are briefly examined in order to show that emergent writing can be a natural starting point for the development of writing workshop. the chapter concludes by identifying possible ways forward for the practice of emergent writing, and these points are linked with comments from two teachers who have significant experience of this kind of teaching.

Classroom organization

The 'writing area' is designed to motivate the children to write in an area where all the possible resources that they may need are ready to hand. the . . .

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