GUEST BLOG: Teachers developing their writing for pleasure By Matthew Lane

Teachers developing their writing for pleasure.

By Matthew Lane @MrMJLane

Feeling a need to practise the craft of writing. Feeling capable and empowered to engage with the processes of writing including talking about writing.”. The working definition of Writing for Pleasure given in the Writing for Pleasure manifesto: a definition that can be applied as readily to teachers as to the pupils in the charge.

In developing my own writing for pleasure, I have been fortunate to be a member of a Writing Teachers group based at the University of East Anglia (UEA) since 2013. The group meets monthly to write, discuss our writing; discuss writing pedagogy and share the writing of our pupils. Being a member of this group has developed my skills as a writer, my skills as a teacher of writing, and – most importantly – my love for writing and the pleasure I take in the process of writing.

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Give A Class ‘One’ Book To Write Through And You’ve Taught Them For A Day. Teach Them How To Use ‘Any’ Book And You’ve Taught Them For A Lifetime.

The goal of literary work (of literature as work) is to make the reader no longer a consumer, but a producer of text (Barthes 1975, cited by Rosen 1985, p.385)

This article is written with the intention to inform and provide reflection. With the Book Trust’s ‘The Write Book research summary coming out in March – we were excited to see what it concluded.

We have entitled our article after the saying that: you give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day – teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. That is what we have tried to achieve through our own approach to the idea of traditional ‘Book Planning’ or ‘Novel Study’.

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A Functional Grammar Table: CPD Subject Knowledge With A Difference

Before we start, it is important to point out that Functional grammar makes up only a small part of our Real-World Literacy approach. To find out more please click here. Alternatively, you can receive email updates from our blog by clicking the follow button in the top right hand corner of this page.

What Does Functional Grammar Actually Mean?

Functional grammar is about shifting your understanding of grammar and punctuation away from ‘rules to be followed’ to one that looks at its function – why is it there and what is it doing? What can grammar and punctuation do for us as writers and what does it already do for the texts our favourite authors write?

If children can spot grammar and punctuation in texts written by professional authors and if they can be given the opportunity to use these ‘writing tricks’ in their writing, they will not only produce better texts but they will be skilled in the exercise of name-and-identify which is so popular (for some reason) in grammar tests.

It is possible to create pupils who can be their own critics and also be interested and motivated in trying to make their own writing as clear and creative as possible for their readers.

We made the Functional Grammar Table below because we were fed up with texts which simply told you the rules of a piece of grammar. They often didn’t tell children (or indeed adults) why they might want to use it and the effect it can have on their writing. We were also fed up with the concept of ‘grammar deficit’. This is the practice of continually passing judgement on errors children make in grammar-exercises as opposed to talking critically about what value grammar can have for their writing or the effect its absence has on the effectiveness of their piece. This realisation has transformed our practice and got us the academic results we were looking for. We explain how we now approach grammar teaching below:

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Power English: Writing. Download Our Free Sample Pack

Hi all!

This is just a quick post to say that Power English: Writing is coming out soon!

samplepowerenglishwritingPower English: Writing is an exciting new approach to teaching writing. It’s been written by me and my colleague Ross Young.

If you’re curious to see what it’s all about, you can now download a free sample here.

We’ve spent the best part of five years developing this approach and we are really excited to see it finally come out!

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Writing For Pleasure: Primary School Management Interview

Do happy writers make better writers? Lucy Starbuck Braidley talks to two primary educators who believe so, and sees what leaders can learn from their findings…

If you’re looking to refresh, optimise or even radically change the approach to writing pedagogy within your school, the Writing For Pleasure movement can give you an interesting new perspective to consider.

The overall approach aims for children to make progress in their writing, alongside developing a genuine love and sense of satisfaction from the activity of writing itself – thus setting them up to be lifelong writers, as well as learners.

It’s an evidence-based pedagogy that places the child as an autonomous writer at the centre of decision-making about their writing. It enables children to write independently through explicit teaching of authorial skills, and its leading proponents say it’s getting results.

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GUEST BLOG: Am I A Teacher-Writer? By Sadie Phillips

This is a guest blog by Sadie Phillips. You can read more by visiting her blog here.

If reading is the key to learning, then writing is the lock.

Or rather, writing is the medium through which we unlock potential and empower children (and adults). We still depend on writing as the largest indicator of success and progress in learning. Therefore, it should have just as much emphasis as reading in school. For example, if we are Reading for Pleasure daily, should we not also be Writing for Pleasure daily too? If we are explicitly teaching children how to read, are we explicitly modelling the writing process to them too?

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50 Ways Children Can Improve Their Writing

I’ve been wanting to write a post like this for a while.

My understanding of pupil conferencing (the process of talking and giving advice to children whilst they are undertaking their writing) has got much better, sharper and focused since I first wrote about it here. The list below takes in the most common  and valuable advice I give to my apprentice writers. Some of the advice here comes too from Gary Provost’s book 100 Ways To Improve Your Writing.  Like any good writer-teacher, everything below is advice I try and enact for myself too.

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How To Get The Most Out Of ‘Free-Writing Fridays’

Why do we have free-writing Fridays?

I think and worry about this a lot.

Does free-writing Friday mean that for the rest of the week you’re not writing freely?

Some people call these days ‘writing for pleasure’ days but does that mean that on all the other days I have to write with displeasure?

I have no doubt that most of us will think children enjoy these days – at least at first. We will also think it’s a good thing for children to do. I worry, though, because I suspect that many of us will be disappointed in or misunderstand the ‘results’ we get from such days. I worry that many of us will be concerned about the perceived ‘quality’ of what our children produce. ‘Results’ won’t match expectations. I also worry that many of us will ultimately feel guilty because we haven’t put a structure in place for this particular activity, and will fear that free-writing Fridays will end up just being a waste of time.

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Writing For Pleasure CPD Review

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Hi dear Writing For Pleasure friends!

This is just a quick post to share the CPD review from our UKLA Writing For Pleasure conference. It was created by the wonderful writer-teacher Sadie Phillips. You can find Sadie on Twitter @SadiePhillips

Sadie also has a blog at: https://literacywithmissp.wordpress.com/

Click on the image below to download her review as a PDF

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The Diamond Moment: One Of The Most Precious Writing Lessons You Can Teach

This is how I write. I take a moment – an image, a memory, a phrase, an idea – and I hold it in my hands and declare it a treasure – Lucy Calkins.

This was one of the most profound and long-lasting writing lessons I taught last year. It was something both myself and the children in my class would return to and talk about time and time again. By the end of the year, children understood and could articulate themselves when I asked: What is the ‘diamond moment’ here?

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