Tuesday, 5 May 2015

No full stops? ... call the police!

Getting children to use full stops in their writing is something that pretty much every teacher struggles with. Using them correctly seems to be an educational utopia!

I've never heard, or managed to come up with, a sensible 'child friendly' explanation of how to use them. 

"Check that you've used full stops at the end of your sentences!" We all say.

I don't have any magic answer or explanation, but things have definitely improved since I involved the Police. Allow me to introduce the 3 officers that patrol our Year 1 classrooms ...

They reside on the classroom wall to reinforce the link with the children's targets ...

The majority of children really enjoy wearing a helmet and patrolling round the classroom looking for evidence in everyone's writing book. The first thing this did was raise the profile and importance of these targets. We then gave the officers highlighter pens, which when used sensibly, made the process more interactive.

Next came the evidence sheets ...

These combine the new officers with the well established traffic light system for self and peer assessment. Here are two examples of them in use (the children use green pen for making improvements) ... 

Child A - Autumn Term
Child B - Autumn Term
Once this process was established, we took the concept and applied it to success criteria. The children soon took ownership, playing their part in creating a list for a given writing task. Highlighter pens are very popular and really support the children in identifying improvements ...

Child A - Spring Term
Child B - Spring Term
The Police don't patrol on a regular basis anymore. Crime has reduced significantly. A quick response team remains on call-out though, for those occasional lessons when the introduction of a new skill results in an inexplicable absence of full stops!

The resources we developed are available here ... free download

Please take a look at my new project ... Edgazette | The Eye on Education

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