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Big Write

(16 Posts)
CheckpointCharlie Tue 11-Nov-14 18:51:12

Has anyone done this? Can you tell me about it? I don't know anything about it and wondered if any MNetter teachers did!

Maidupmum Tue 11-Nov-14 19:18:48

In our LA we used to do it but now everyone has stopped doing it because it didn't have any impact on writing results

Tanaqui Tue 11-Nov-14 19:21:54

Iirc (maybe 10 years ago!), you play music and light a candle and write (stuff they have already planned), and if you get stuck just keep writing (even rewrite the same sentence). Was pie Corbett or ros Wilson I think?

bronya Tue 11-Nov-14 19:25:27

Ros Wilson. You are supposed to do the VCOP short exercises during the week, and use it in your everyday teaching. Then the 'Big Write' is essentially time for extended writing, so they learn to write (and structure) a whole text. There's a book on it, and lots of resources if you google. The VCOP pyramids are quite good - you can put them on each table and the children can see what level they're at for punctuation etc and can aspire to the next one up. Though I guess they need a little editing now 'levels' have gone.

Asleeponasunbeam Tue 11-Nov-14 19:49:07

Our SMT thinks it has had a tremendous impact on writing.

I'm only in my second year at the school and am yet to be convinced this is the reason. I think it is the quality of teaching that has had the impact, regardless of what format that has taken .

WombatStewForTea Tue 11-Nov-14 20:33:36

I think many schools have stopped doing it over the last few years as it had very little impact on writing. That, and the kids hated it. No better way to turn them off writing than forcing them to sit down and just write for an hour. Can't say I miss it!

CheckpointCharlie Tue 11-Nov-14 22:25:48

Ooh thanks, all very interesting ideas..... Wow, candles and stuff?

wombat I am not convinced that my class would be able to sit and write for an hour..... Will investigate further and probably ignore... Thanks!!

I always thought that the VCOP stuff was excellent, but didn't do Big Writing.

CheckpointCharlie Wed 12-Nov-14 20:55:21

Hmm Ta remus might see what that bit is all about then....

Out of interest, how are you assessing writing this year?

toomuchicecream Sat 15-Nov-14 18:45:58

What year group do you have Charlie? I've typed a huge post about how I'm teaching extended writing in years 1 & 2 on the level 3 writers thread.

I'm a big believer that if children aren't asked to regularly write independently and at length (age appropriate of course), they don't develop the writing stamina to be able to do it. But what's made the biggest difference to the quality of writing in my class is using Talk for Writing. The improvement is incredible.

echt Sun 16-Nov-14 04:34:16

I do writing journals in Years 7 and 8. Students have to write a minimum of 100 words five times a week. It's important it's not all done on the same day, as an aspect of it is like jogging daily, not sprinting. Part of it is to get them writing by hand and improving on technical accuracy and expression. Complete freedom of topics, within bounds of school-appropriate subjects.

I make comments in black/blue ink only.

None of it is assessed, except as a task done/not done. It's writing to learn.
All students have improved in terms of accuracy.

pea84 Sun 16-Nov-14 13:12:00

I started doing it last year with my Year 1s so yet to see the impact on end of KS results. Didn't realise there was a set format (candles etc). We just give the children a stimulus for a writing task (eg. description/story/letter) and they write independently. It's great for encouraging children to 'have a go' and increases their stamina and quantity. I like it anyway and the children love it for some reason. That said I don't make them write for an hour, just however long it takes them to produce a piece of writing as some tasks are shorter than others.

CatKisser Sun 16-Nov-14 13:15:33

I found it gave inaccurate and misleading results. Haven't used it for years. Now I teach most of my English through novel study, which has had the biggest impact on writing I've seen. Every half term we assess one piece against the county writing grid.

CheckpointCharlie Sun 16-Nov-14 22:39:04

Thanks pea I like the sound of your method!

Thanks too cat although I think mine are a bit tiddlier than yours! But I think we work in similar ways, teaching through a book. Albeit a picture book grin

MidniteScribbler Mon 17-Nov-14 01:38:04

I use it in my classroom and the students love it. The ones who at the start of the year I had to struggle to get to write a couple of sentences are now writing a page or two, and it's hard to get them to stop, they will often voluntarily go in to lunchtime to continue. If I tried to stop using it in my classroom, there would be a riot. It's the one part of the week we can't miss or the students wouldn't let me hear the end of it.

Asleeponasunbeam Mon 17-Nov-14 06:20:07

Assessing once a half term? Bliss! We have to do once a fortnight. Full assessment against Big Writing criteria.

Please don't think I am condoning this! It's what we are required to do in our academy.

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