FIVE

Interaction

The process approach is an ideal vehicle for individualized teaching. Children are encouraged to follow their interests through a relatively open framework. The recording of these interests reveals much about their strengths and weaknesses as a writer. The teacher is then able to pitch their interaction appropriately for the individual. It is an opportunity for child centred learning and for differentiation clearly based on the children's needs.

Teachers who use the process approach can develop sophisticated interaction skills.- They become perceptive observers, with the behaviour that they observe serving to develop their own understanding of the teaching and learning process. By being good at 'kid watching' they learn to teach better. The range of writing that will be taking place during writing workshop or through emergent writing will mean that the teacher needs to be flexible and adept at responding to a range of compositional and transcriptional demands.

In order to examine the nature of interaction, this chapter describes some research that I carried out. The research focused on the work of three teachers; all three were working in primary schools, Carol and Keith in mainstream schooling and Sarah supporting deaf children in a mainstream primary school. The research focused on the teachers' reflections on their teaching of writing. Each teacher chose one child and wrote their reflections concerning their interaction with the child. The interaction took place during writing conference. For the purpose of the research, writing conference referred to oneto-one interaction between teacher and child where the child's writing was the focus. This definition of writing conference was broader than the one I specify in Chapter 1 of this book.

The first part of the chapter gives a general description of the contexts that the individual teachers were working in. This section includes an outline of the kinds of task that they chose to reflect on and the main focus of their interaction at that time. The next section identifies six significant areas of the teachers' interaction; this is concluded with a diagram that illustrates the links between the categories and the issues that these links raise.

-73-

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Primary Writing
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vi
  • Introduction vii
  • One - Writing Workshop 1
  • Two - Emergent Writing 21
  • Three - The Development of Composition 36
  • Four - Transcription 52
  • Five - Interaction 73
  • Six - Recording Language Development 88
  • Seven - The Links with Reading 104
  • Eight - Developing the Process Approach Throughout the School 118
  • Nine - The Process Approach and the National Curriculum 134
  • Ten - The Wider Picture 142
  • Appendix I - Modifications to Plr Writing Sample 152
  • Appendix II - Language Policy Contents List 154
  • Appendix III - Snapshot of Writing Workshop Pieces 157
  • References 159
  • Index 163
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