Our New Writing Journals

You might have heard about our new Writing Journals which we keep in our drawers in the classroom. If not ask your child about theirs and have a look in their drawer. Now we’re into the Summer term and starting to get ready for Year One we are practicing our writing more. Every week we have to write in our book at least once, although we can write in it every day if we want to. We can choose to write about anything we want. Every time we write in our book we get a special ‘writing journal’ ticket and it goes in the special box. On Friday we pull out a winner and they get a prize to take home. The more times you’ve written the better your chances of winning!

As you can see we have lots of things to help us when we write. Miss Parker and the other teachers don’t just expect us to have everything saved in our heads just yet!

  • We use a phoneme strip to help us remember our letters and sounds, especially the digraphs we have learnt. Digraphs are sounds with 2 letters such as ai, ee, ow, ar and or. We also learn trigraphs with 3 letters such as igh, ear and air.
  • We use tricky word books marks to help us remember the tricky words we have been practising in our reading such as I, go, no, the, into, she, be, me and my. If we’ve learnt to read them already then our reading can help us to write.
  • We use a sentence hand to help us remember fingers spaces and full stops. These can be hard to remember at first so the hand means we can use it make the space for us, this can be particularly helpful if you are left handed.
  • Finally, we use a sound button which means we can record our sentence before we try and write it. There is so much to remember when were trying to write out ideas down that it helps if the sound button can read our sentence back to us.

If you would like copies of any of these please ask in school and we’ll be able to get you copies of them all apart from the sound button. You could use the voice record function on your smart phone instead though.

At first the writing you see from your child might not look as you expect. This does not mean it is not ‘good’ writing. At first your child may just write letters they know and tell you the words they have written. To you they might not seem to have any links at all. Encourage them to read their writing back to you and praise them for mark making with meaning.

As writing skills develop, children will start to listen to the sounds in words and write the corresponding letters they know. They may miss a lot out to begin with but again this is developing their skills  in the correct direction. They may copy some words they know, such as their friends names.

As the children’s writing skills develop further you will be able to see how they are using some of the tricky words they know and beginning to use finger spaces in their writing. They will still be relying on their phonics skills to sound out (segment) and spell. They may know some other words which they are able to use.

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By the end of the year the age related expectation (ARE) is that FS2 children are writing sentences which can be read back by others. They will still be reliant on phonics to spell but will be showing a better use of tricky words and using more digraphs/trigraphs more accurately. Children will be using finger spaces more and in the correct place. Their sentences will relate to the same subject and continue the story or information. Every child is different though and although these are examples of what children might be writing they are not the only way of doing it. 

If you would like to know more please ask the teachers in school and we can show you more examples and also some of the statements we use to asses writing in Foundation Stage.

What have we been learning? 

  • To write with more independence. 
  • To use our phonics skills to write. 
  • To use the other resources we have in the classroom to write. 

How can you help at home? 

  • Encourage your child to write. If your child is a reluctant writer try to make it relevant, such as them helping you to write the shopping list or writing a letter to the Tooth Fairy or other favourite character. 
  • Allow your child to write independently and then ask them what it says instead of asking them to copy write what you have written. 
  • Use the different resources there are available to help your child write. There is a lot to remember when writing, especially when you’re first starting out! 
  • Bring any writing your child does at home to school and display it on a WOW moment. We’d love to see how well they’re doing. 
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