What Makes A Good Writer?
I have always been intrigued and amazed at the way children can learn from one other. I can recall teaching a Polish child in my Year 3 class. He had very little English but all the children in the class communicated well with him and they understood each other.
One day we were doing a writing activity that involved lots of discussion. What I observed will always stay with me and was a lesson to me in how capable and insightful children are.
Two other boys chose to sit either side of him explaining and recording. They showed such enthusiasm and genuine interest and knew how to explain and demonstrate. If one way of explaining didn’t work...they found another. As he sat there he began to record his own ideas through words and pictures. What amazed me most was that these two boys found writing challenging. Yet in this task they were proactive, motivated and showed a high level of confidence.
Why did it work?
I think because in this situation, when their focus was on someone else, they showed me what they were capable of and made a genuine difference to this other child’s understanding. They didn’t feel pressurised and demonstrated the confidence to show what they knew.
I had organised the environment but allowed the children the space to be themselves and to do things in their way.
Children can be ingenious in the way they communicate...particularly with one another.
And being a writer is all about being a confident communicator. It is based on listening, speaking and applying our understanding.
How do we nurture the skill of listening? By allowing children the opportunity to...
- Find out what other people think so they learn to be interested in others
- Learn new things and enjoy being challenged
Children need to have opportunity to think of ideas and be able to say them aloud.
How do we nurture the skill of speaking? By allowing children an opportunity to...
- Ask questions to develop critical thinking
- Answer questions to develop comprehension and vocabulary
- Talk about what they know to develop self confidence
- Find out about things they don’t know to develop confidence in learning new things
- Tell others about their ideas to develop confidence sharing ideas
We want children to be confident recalling and applying what they know independently, giving children opportunity to...
- Recall learning with confidence
- Talk with confidence and speak clearly and audibly
- Speak in sentences so that they making sense to others
- Retell so they can recall stories in order
- Change and edit ideas so they can continually improve their writing
- Write when they are ready so they are confident to put their ideas on paper
Mighty Writer provides a rounded experience. It appeals to all types of learners, giving them access to all they need in order to understand how to be a writer.
We need to give children the space to be thinkers and to practise and explore the art of communication.
This accelerates their progress and helps them evolve individually as writers.
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