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How do you teach literacy...?(7 Posts)
Talk Primary education
How do you teach literacy?!4
Today 13:42 claire61
I realise you can read the title of this thread in two ways... How do you teach literacy... And how do you teach literacy...! I'm kind of asking both!
I've been a primary school teacher for 8 years (less a year off for each of my 2 children), but I still really struggle with the process of teaching literacy, specifically writing. Currently I'm in y3. Usually, I use a text to hang everything on... something short and accessible with a simple structure (linked to topic if appropriate) then do some word/sentence level work around it. Eventually I build up to children rewriting the text with some details changed (setting, characters, problem etc).
Suddenly I feel myself in a sort of panic about what to do and how to teach! It doesn't help that I only work 2 days at the moment so feel a bit 'out of control' and find it hard to build up to sustained writing.
I suppose what I'm asking is, what are people's experiences of teaching literacy? I find schools give very little support in terms of structure or resources, and I feel like asking for advice at this point in my career is a bit of a no no!
Any input/advice/people feeling the same welcome!x
We as a school follow Ros Wilson's Big Writing programme, it uses VCOP. Does your school have a writing scheme that they follow so you could take inspiration from? I've not read it personally but I have heard Pie Corbetts Talk for Writing is good too.
I usually start with some VCOP warm up games or activities. Then explain learning intention and model good/not so good examples getting them to generate success criteria from then before moving on to the actual writing. Often use video clips, pictures, sounds or decorating my room for stimulus too.
Do you have medium term plans to use? Is there a skills progression or scheme of work? We use Literary Curriculum teaching sequences which we adapt where necessary. Every lesson teaches a skill and the children apply it in a context. For example, children might be learning to use adjectives and then write a character description using them.
No medium term plans... We just have the yearly objectives. It was the same in my old school, I just used to find texts which I thought were age appropriate and linked loosely to topic. As the yearly objectives are quite 'big' it's then quite difficult to break it down into individual lessons. My current school prides itself on giving teachers lots of freedom, but I do worry that things get missed over the years in terms of progression. I know the y6 teacher had a huge job this year getting everyone up to scratch. I think I will speak to literacy coordinator for some advice.
Really appreciate everyone's responses! A bit worrying that there aren't more people that feel like me! Although I suppose in terms of children's education that's a very good thing 🤣
Try the Hamilton Trust. It is very cheap to join for a year and gives you detailed schemes of work. It has grids to show the objectives covered in each unit so you can select carefully to ensure thorough coverage. It also gives you resources for the lessons. It's a fantastic resource- and if you join you will have access to their plans for all their subjects! I loved its Science plans in particular. Good luck.
If you do 2 days, what happens on the other 3 days for literacy?
I teach Y3/Y4 and our school has no scheme except for the yearly objectives. When I started I found a plan of work from somewhere which I have adopted over a 2 year cycle, it covers various types of fiction (myths, stories by the same author, space stories etc) and non fiction (newspaper reports, recipes, instructions, explanations etc). This links, where possible, to our other subjects. Hamilton is a good place to go to for something similar, and many of the resources are very good. I use parts of it, although I tend to only use the text parts, rather than the spilt planning that follows the main teaching activity.
I found that we needed to up the grammar and spelling aspects to achieve the objectives, so have eventually ended up on a plan that looks like this:
Mon- distinct grammar lesson, which covers some of the key objectives, using current text or theme if possible.
Tues- alternate between grammar or a comprehension exercise (which is set for homework, so we go through it and mark it). Due to timetabling, this is a shorter literacy lesson.
Wed- a longer literacy session which is text based, with aspects of reading and opportunity for a longer writing session. Current grammar/spelling/punctuation aspects are covered as well (e.g. spotting adverbs, speech-marks).
Fri- a handwriting/word work session, or a focus on non-fiction covered in topic work. My job share partner does this which means they can plan this independently from the other sessions.
I have found this pattern has worked for the needs of my classes well. It also depends on what resources you have in your school, we have a a class set of Letts sentence books knocking around, and I also use rising stars and resources from schofield and sims to teach grammar. I have used pie corbett resources.
It depends. I take any strengths and weaknesses into consideration.
I use a holistic approach to literacy skills. All aspects of the subject are covered. We do work on grammar rules sentence construction spelling writing reading proofreading features of texts etc during the lesson-time. For example on Monday we might do tasks on comprehension that involve questions.
Do you have any one who can advise you accordingly or not?
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