Nadine loves teaching and English is her favourite subject to teach. Here, she continues her writing series as she looks at editing. This blog will be in 2 parts.
Teaching was always a dream of mine as a youngster. To become a teacher and share those magical lightbulb moments with young minds was something I couldn’t wait to do and now, all these years later I’ve bore witness to so many of those precious moments. There are fantastic subjects to teach but I have to admit that I love teaching English most of all. It is by far one of the best parts of my day.
I’ve blogged previously about how in my class, Key Stage and school, we have a rich text focus, how we begin with a captivating hook, how the Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary filters into each English lesson and how the working walls develop throughout the block but I feel that the end of the writing block is just as important as the start.
Once a fortnight I deep mark their extended written work. I intentionally aim to praise the grammar that the children have used correctly while also managing my own workload so rather than writing everything out in full sentences, I use 2 ticks before giving examples of the child’s writing which are taken from their work. Through pupil voice I’ve ascertained the children they really like this as I notice their efforts rather than just put a tick of acknowledgment.
Throughout each writing block we build up to an extended write which is deep marked and it’s here where I feel things get really exciting. From years of having to search books in order to prove a child can spell the Common Exception Words during local authority moderations, I now make a point of identifying these words throughout the year, in every exercise book via the wonder of ‘Yellow words’. The CEW are highlighted in yellow highlighter pen every time they are used and as a consequence whenever a child’s book is flicked through, the yellow jumps off the page. For the purpose of moderation with other schools or when the local authority visits, there is a lot less rummaging to prove the child can spell ‘steak’ and the other CEW.
To raise the profile of these ‘yellow words’ each week the children and I filter through a pack of them and identify 10-15 that we’ll focus on for the week. They are incorporated into our daily Phonic lessons, sent home in Reading Records for families to practice at home and if they’re spelt correctly during independent writing, not only are they highlighted yellow but they earn Team Points for each one. The children love this! They are not only trying to get more yellow pen then they had in their last written piece but also earn Team Points.