Putting the power into Interactive writing

Interactive Writing is one of the most powerful teaching strategies for teaching children how to: Compose; Record; Edit; and publish. But it can also provide the opportunity to teach concepts about print, sentence structure, spelling strategies, punctuation, and even handwriting – all in 10-15 minutes per day. The goal of Interactive writing is to “teachContinue reading “Putting the power into Interactive writing”

Children’s names: important first words to study

  Being able to write their name is a source of pride for all young children. It is this special word that helps children understand that words hold meaning. It is this special word that also helps them to understand the difference between pictures and words. In the drawing below, Ruby, only 2 years andContinue reading “Children’s names: important first words to study”

Learning to ‘look at’ and ‘write’ the letters of the Alphabet

Apologies for the long break between postings. Life has been a bit crazy over the past 12 months but I am planning to get back into doing postings quite regularly This Blog posting is informed by the first part of the following book chapter. The chapter will give you a much richer picture of thisContinue reading “Learning to ‘look at’ and ‘write’ the letters of the Alphabet”

Handwriting, keyboarding or both?

Handwriting, keyboarding or both? This blog posting was written for those people who attended the ALEA Riverina Murray Local Council Launch held at the Albury Town Library on Wednesday 18/10/17 although it may be of interest to others. This is a huge topic and one that I could only briefly touch on in the shortContinue reading “Handwriting, keyboarding or both?”

Understanding and supporting young writers

This topic is one that I am often asked to talk about so I have combined the key messages in this post. I hope it is useful. Message 1: Start with what children know and can do and build on. This means we need to know the children we are with – easy for familiesContinue reading “Understanding and supporting young writers”

A focus on vocabulary

Learning is fundamentally and profoundly dependent on vocabulary knowledge, however it is not until children are reading texts that involve age-appropriate vocabulary that vocabulary becomes a significant predictor of reading comprehension. Decoding, fluency, and comprehension all draw upon students’ known vocabulary. Text participation requires the reader to know the meaning of individual words and howContinue reading “A focus on vocabulary”

How children learn to write

Just recently the university created an impact narrative based upon the research work I have conducted that highlights the relationship between drawing and writing. If you are interested please click on the following link: http://innovate.csu.edu.au/impact/improving-childrens-literacy-through-drawing If this tweaks your curiosity you may like to read: Mackenzie, N.M. (2014). Teaching early writers: Teachers’ responses to aContinue reading “How children learn to write”

Let’s talk about Finland: Lessons learned

In this post I am going to share some observations of my time in Finland in late 2016. For a thorough understanding of the Finnish education system I recommend that you read: Sahlberg, P. (2015). Finnish Lessons 2.0. New York: Teachers College Press 25 years ago, Finland’s education system was not considered to be anythingContinue reading “Let’s talk about Finland: Lessons learned”

More on the vexed topic of handwriting

“Whichever way we look, written language is not going away. It is just becoming more closely intertwined with the other modes” (Cope & Kalantzis, 2009, p.182) I think these researchers are telling us that writing in the past was all about print (ie words and sentences) but now often includes other modes  – for example,Continue reading “More on the vexed topic of handwriting”

Part 3 of the survey findings

Since my last post I have had some further discussions with colleagues about the realities of the here and now and the issues of today’s students having the skills to write efficiently at school. Basically, students are required to write in all disciplines with much of their school day involving writing of some kind. However,Continue reading “Part 3 of the survey findings”