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DD is in year 3 and is 7 (8 next month). Throughout year 2 her teacher told us several times that she wasn't writing enough - only 2-3 sentences when at least 6 were expected. She couldn't think of any way to address this other than telling her repeatedly that it wasn't enough. This year we had the same feedback at the October parents evening and one of her teachers (part time, job share (mon-wed) said that she was trying to address this by giving dd smaller targets e.g. 2 sentences in 10 minutes. I don't know if this was shared with other other teacher (thurs/fri). The first teacher went on maternity leave in December and the cover teacher took over in January. A few weeks into this term she said to me that dd doesn't write enough and she was not aware of the plan the previous teacher had to give her smaller targets. Dd has been getting more and more anxious about this recently and says that the thurs/fri teacher just gets cross with her when she sees that she hasn't written enough. She was in tears about it last night and she now dreads the Big Write session because she knows she will be told off.
She is now expected to write at least half a page and it is only going to get worse as she gets older so I feel that they should be doing something to help her. DD says that she has ideas but just can't get them onto paper. This is becoming a real issue. In last year's report her teacher said that she had an excellent understanding of sentence structure and a very good vocabulary but she doesn't provide enough evidence of it.
DD said that only children on the bottom table for English get help with their work so I suggested that maybe she should be put on the bottom table (she is currently on the middle table - out of 5) but she didn't like that idea and it may just demotivate her even more.
I've made an appointment to see the thurs/fri teacher on Friday so that we can talk about this. Am I right in thinking that the teacher should be doing something to help her?
Do you think that I should tell the teacher that dd is scared of her getting cross with her or leave that bit out and just tell her that she dreads the Big Write sessions and finds it difficult and then ask what she can do to help? I've never spoken to this teacher before so I can't guage how she would react. I don't want to make things worse for DD but on the other hand I want her to know how DD feels.
Sorry this is so long, I didn't want to leave anything out.
Does your DD have trouble getting started with a piece of writing? When I've had pupils like this, I've allocated an adult (either myself or an LSA) to sit with them for a few minutes at the beginning of a task and get their thought processes sorted out and the first couple of sentences written. This might give her confidence to continue with the rest of the task. It does depend on adult availability but doesn't have to be every writing session. Even if she gets support some of the time it should help her to grow in confidence with the writing process. All children have the right to be supported with their writing, not just the least able. Teachers should spend at least one session a week guiding each group.
Would it help if she drew a tiny sketch or picture or something to remind her of what she was going to write next? So instead of written bullet points, tell the story in pictures and then write about it?
You could ask the teacher if they use mind mapping - I've found that to e really useful with some Holden. There's a website (kidspiration?) which allows you to put things down in mind map format and it formulates it as prose.