Practically Primary

Articles from Vol. 15, No. 1, February

A Story from Three Educators ... a Story of Teaching, Writing and Engagement
Jo Padgham, the Principal's story ... I am immensely proud of my school, our teachers and our students. At Ainslie School we have developed a set of beliefs and practices to guide our teaching and learning. Included are the following statements...
Child-Generated Text for Beginning Readers and Writers
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Child-generated text is a significant and effective component of early years' literacy programs. It is important because it engages children in reading that is meaningful to them and children readily 'connect' to texts and...
Children Write about Items of Interest-Holidays or Not
After attending the ALEA conference in July 2009 and hearing the words, Please don't ask me to write or draw what I did in the holidays, I decided to look closely at what my children did write about on the first day back at school in third term. ...
Coming to Grips with Planning for Literacy Learning: A Template for Designing Open-Ended Tasks
Open-ended tasks Open-ended tasks have the potential to provide a framework that allows literacy learners to learn and apply skills in contexts that reflect the contemporary world in which they live. Children learn better when classrooms are connected...
Editorial Comment
Dear Readers: Welcome to the first of your Practically Primary journals for 2010. Our February theme, Please don't ask me to write or draw what I did in the holidays has certainly struck a chord with our contributors and we thank them for their...
How I Set about Writing a Mystery for Young Readers
I have only to visit bookstores and libraries to know how popular a crime story is. I think there are several reasons for this; firstly the structure of any crime story, much like those folktales read to us when we were young, is ultimately satisfying....
More Than Words-Literature as a Springboard to Inquiry Learning
On planning day the goals are clear: prepare, document and organise an outline and the resources required for the upcoming term. The list of tasks can be ominous and time is precious. Ideally, a rich, authentic and integrated inquiry is the end...
Real Texts, Real Writing, Real Learning: (Teaching beyond What You Did in the Holidays)
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In a world where most children spend their days trapped within the four walls of a classroom, swamped with technology it seems as if their whole brains are not being utilised. Surely one of the main functions of our minds...
The Stopwatch Series: A Note from the Authors
Stopwatch began when we were all sitting down to dinner one evening, and Blaze kept annoying everybody by playing with a stopwatch he'd found in the kitchen drawer. He clicked it on and off. He timed how long it took to dish out the meat and potatoes,...
What Do You Mean I Teach Writing to Prompts?
You can teach biology and origami and how to skin a rabbit but I don't think you can teach creative writing. You can hint and nudge and inspire and encourage. You can help aspiring writers in their search for their material, their style ... What I...
What Happens When You Decide on Authentic, Purposeful Writing?
Not long ago I was driving to a school and heard a radio interview with Nadeem Aslam about his book The Wasteful Vigil. His book is about Afghanistan and the lives of six people living around the Tora Bora Mountains. He talked about preparing to write...
Writing and Viewing: Please Don't Ask Me to Write or Draw What I Did in the Holidays
My heart sank when I read the topic for this edition of Practically Primary writing competition, as I realised instantly that I ask my students to write and draw about not only their holidays but about their life five days a week! In my classroom and...