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Yr1 Writing - How to support

(30 Posts)
StarsAtNight Tue 12-Feb-13 21:13:44

I went to parent's evening tonight. DD is in Year 1 and one of the youngest, born in August. The teacher said that her reading and numeracy is coming on well but that she is not progressing as well as the teacher feels that she could with her writing. She has just been assessed at 2B for reading and numeracy and 1A for writing.

Apparently the problem is not spelling or phonics as she seems to be able to spell all the key words when asked and passed last years phonics check when it was given to her to try. She can also recount stories well verbally. However somehow these skills are not coming together in her writing. The teacher described her as a reluctant writer and suggested that perhaps she finds reading and numeracy quite easy but needs to learn to make more effort with her writing.

Anyway I was just wondering if anyone had any ideas how I could support her writing at home. I actually have a feeling that a lot of the disparity the teacher mentioned is down to the fact that I have been consistently listening to her read nearly every night since reception and sporadically over holidays doing some maths worksheets with her (personally I quite like maths) but I have never actually done any writing with her at all, bar the odd thank you or birthday card.

However I am not quite sure how to get started. Are there any books out there with suggestions for writing tasks that children can try? The assessment I was shown tonight had a series of pictures that she was supposed to write underneath to tell a story.

numbum Wed 13-Feb-13 21:31:57

You sound lovely starsatnight. It's nice to see parents who realise where their child needs stretching and then 'leaving to it'. I think if you're too on top of her then it'll put her off.

I've seen friends telling their children off for not doing lovely handwriting and tearing pages out of books because it isn't right.

Your DD will find her pace and, with your encouragement, she'll soon be writing like a pro grin

LittlePushka Wed 13-Feb-13 22:15:29

Hi, My DS same stage as your DD had similar levels and his writing was shocking (I felt!). I did speak to the teacer asd she did not recommend specific taks or books but did say, any practice little and often is good and to concentrate on letter formation rather than the content. Getting him to do a page or two from a "workbook" 3 or 4 times a week has really helped.

There are loads to chose but I did like the "At Home With..." series by Oxford University Press. The do a set which I got from Red House books very cheaply about a tenner for all eight titles. The books are eg "At home with English" (great) "At home with Handwriting 1" (if you are buying separately dont get Handwriting 2 yet, it is cursive writing). Others are:Maths, Phonics, Spelling 1 Spelling 2 and Times Tables

I like this series because each page is quite repetitive (spelling?) of the letter forms/sounds without the really dull task of writing out rows and rows of each letter at one time. The exercises are three or four to a page so it is quite flexible and fits into how much time you have got, or he could still "complete" one and get his sticker even if he was starting to lose interest. And it is so easy to reward completion of each little task.

When we started I put a date on each little box he completed and he(and I) can clearly see how much he has improved. I think that at this stage, expecting your DD to think up a story, spell her words correctly and write neatly is a big ask! I personally would rather concentrate one one objective at a time at home. Her reading is good so as she continues to read she will find writing much easier as time goes on because she will not have to think about the spelling so much. I have found that to be the case anyway.

I also told him if he wanted to send Christmas cards to his mates, he had to write them himself (mean?yes! effective? oh yes, he wrote loads).

I think she is doing really well grin...and I think the issue is really very common, and therefore normal!

Good luck to you and DD

StarsAtNight Fri 15-Feb-13 11:30:09

Thanks LittlePushka. I think the teacher comments were about DD putting her writing together. Apparently when tested in isolation spelling and phonics and verbal story recounting are all good. So I think the main thing is to get her writing more.

Tried the writing practice collins book yesterday. She had to write some questions about what a little boy in a picture was doing then a list of what he was packing in a suitcase. Probably more manageable for her than an open ended story at this stage.

That said her handwriting is pretty poor which can't be helping her want to write lots if physically writing is a big effort so I am going to look at the handwriting book you suggested.

isthatallyouvegot Fri 15-Feb-13 12:03:11

A bit of advice from experience...Don't try to support her (I know that sounds really bad!...but hear me out!) children mature into their writing at different rates...fine motor skills lag behind peers sometimes without any causes for concern, although boys tend to mature into it a lot later. Just continue to help her with any homework she needs assistance with (praising..which you probably already do smile any written work she does) and leave it be. She will either just click on day, job done, or the teacher will (in theory) try alternative ways to encourage your Dd to progress with her writing (just keep an eye on HOW the teacher tries to encourage her...hopefully if she has a good teacher it will not involve any kind of punishment). If your Dd isn't ready for writing just yet try not to push it otherwise it could have the adverse affect and result in her not wanting to do it at all. Just be mindful that you are not her teacher, they are trained to do this job. She will probably start having more attention placed on her writing at school as it is, so if she is reluctant and this is happening then I do not think she would be grateful if she then came home and had to do it again IYSWIM. Just give the school a few months and see what happens. Can I ask is she producing any written work at all? or is it in certain lessons which she isn't producing enough?

Gumps Fri 15-Feb-13 12:21:30

Sorry only scrolled through quickly but write from the start is meant to be good. My son struggles with the size of his writing and pressing too hard with the pencil although his content is good. I'm going to give it a go.

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