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ALL Writing Intervention

A background and where to now?

AKO learning together.

The concept of ako describes a teaching and learning
relationship, where the educator is also learning from the
student and where educators practices are informed by the
latest research and are both deliberate and reflective. Ako is
grounded in the principle of reciprocity and also recognises that
the learner and whnau cannot be separated.
Ka Hikitia, 2008, p.20

What have we done in the past?

At Kuranui School over the last 6 years we have adopted and
followed a writing programme that has seen many thrive but
we still have not found a way to raise achievement for some
reluctant writers.
These children, through no fault of their own, have difficulty
with the alphabetic system, using language and words.
We have explicitly taught writing and writing tools, spelling,
punctuation, editing and planning using different styles or
We need to try something different to help this group of
students to raise their levels of achievement.

Time for change!

The MOE granted us funds to
provide an intervention designed
to raise achievement for this
group of learners in the attempt
to assist them to learn strategies
that can be used to promote
acceleration in writing.

What are we attempting to achieve

and how?
We want to try different ways to help your child build a
memory for essential words for fluent writing.
We want to help build your childs memory in order to help
them retain these words to use every time they write.
We want to provide your child with strategies to take back into
the classroom to sustain and build on the gains made in the
We want to determine the best way to help your child and
others to strive to be the best they can!

What we want to achieve with the

Writing intervention
At Kuranui School:

We want all children to write fluently and without struggle.

We want all children to be able to access and use language and

language tools to express their ideas, opinions and knowledge.

We want all children to see themselves as authors, valued for

their contributions to literacy.

We want all children to enjoy writing.

What are we attempting to achieve

and how?
Your child will have a word list from their teacher to take home every
night as usual. At writing time we will have Word Rumble based on the
essential word lists that link to the spelling requirements of the writing
standards. We test these every day and add exercises to build short
term memory, alphabetic knowledge, knowledge of parts of speech
and letter sequences.
We will explicitly teach writing strategies such as planning, editing,
punctuation skills and spelling skills. Some of these will be taught
within the classroom programme in both classes.
We will explicitly teach the different writing structures, identifying the
different or similar features of each structure as well as their purpose (
how and why they are used).
We will explore examples of these structures that we use everyday.

The results!
The growth in spelling achievement based on the Essential Word Lists
Yr 2-3







The results!
The growth in spelling achievement based on the Essential Word Lists
Yr 4-5






List 1

List 2

List 3

List 4

List 5

List 6


List 1




List 5

List 6

Spelling strategies taught during ALL

Fold, write. Fold write.
Finding the little words in the bigger ones

Shape it- playdough, biscuit dough, pipe cleaners

Write and walk away! Memory trainer
Shape it visualise the word in your head- playtime
Chunking it into smaller words
Word building if you can spell take, then make, bake, shake,
flake, cake.

Thank you for being part of the ALL writing



Working together for children to


So why do some children struggle?

Limited oral language structures and vocabulary.

Poor speech patterns or delayed speech patterns leading to

ineffective spelling.

Low self esteem from suffering from hearing deficits, speech

deficits or undetected eyesight difficulties.

Lack of rich personal experiences to write about.

Lack of knowledge about spelling patterns and rhyme, writing

structures and the tools to enrich their writing.

What we know about these children

and how we know this?
Years of observation show that in preschool and junior classes
these reluctant children often go unidentified but difficulties
often arise suddenly at about 6.5 when they move into Year 3 .
Parents often blame a particular teacher, an event or a change in
in teacher for their childs performance when it is often more
likely the result of the change in teaching style or the change in
emphasis in the curriculum as a child moves into a more academic
orientated, higher level class where most recording of learning is
in a written format.
Often their classroom performance is not consistent from day to
day .they forget what they could do easily the day before.
From Reaching Reluctant Learners Laughton King Psychologist


What we know about these children

and how we know this?
Unbeknown to the child, parent or teacher a number of factors can affect
the childs ability to perform in class.
Some teachers may use a lot of structure and be very predictable
this allows the child to feel secure.
Some teachers may use pictorial language which conveys meaning
for the child, while another does not.
Some teachers use reinforcement techniques that suit these children
( practical / visual), while others dont.
Some children will perform under pressure for a short time then be
unable to sustain or retain the performance or learning.
Some or all of these and other pressures may be operating in the class
or at home and lead to unpredictable performance.
From Reaching Reluctant Learners Laughton King Psychologist


What you can do at home to help

your child to succeed?
Maintain predictable routines and procedures. When they go to bed,
how and when they do homework tasks, have a shower, pack up their
gear etc.. Have a weekly timetable hanging in their room. see
handout! Feed their pictorial brain.
Encourage your child to follow routines and have the same structure
around their lives.
When addressing your child use his / her name at the beginning of a
short uncomplicated sentence that includes one idea.

Use words that paint a picture in your childs head like Shut the door.
Ask your child to close their eyes while you give them an instruction
speak slowly. .pause between each sentence so they can process
what you have said. Then say.. Tell me what you are going to do and
get them to start with I am going to.
From Reaching Reluctant Learners Laughton King Psychologist


What you can do at home to help

your child to succeed?
Use visual charts and cues to remind them to do chores or
jobssuch as brush your teeth, wash your hands ... researchers
have found this helps to eliminate constant repetition of
instructions and keeps things calm.

Read picture books with your child and help them link the ideas in
it to their own experiences. We have a list of recommended books
to help you, that are available in our library.
Encourage them to make notes and jot down ideas for writing
now or in the future.
Play memory games in the car with your child we have a list of
ideas for you. Some are quite ridiculous but fun!
Tell us what is working for your childand whats not!
From Reaching Reluctant Learners Laughton King Psychologist


Suggestions from Sharyn and Lyn

The following slides are suggestions form Sharyn Merry RTLB
(Lit) in our Matamata Cluster. We also welcome Lyn Pascoe from
Waikato University , our ALL mentor.
Sharyn has generously supported the ALL Writing Intervention
in the school providing resources of interests , readings and
critiquing the work done.
Now she shares her words of wisdom many of these ideas
you will of heard before but their importance is as relevant now
as then

I have added my own ideas in some places but we share many

of the same philosophies about writing!
The teachers behind the teacher!

The Role of Oral Language

Build a climate of words at home.
Tell stories.
Go places.
Provide experiences.

Talk about what you have seen/ heard, smelled/ tasted/ felt
If children cant say it, they cant write about it.

Let Your Child See You Write

By doing so they will realise that writing happens everywhere
not just at school.
Actions speak louder than words. What you do is as important
as what you say.
Let them see you write notes/ emails to friends & businesses.
Encourage them to be involved in writing. E.g. Grocery list,
birthday cards, invitations, taking phone messages etc.

What Happens When You Let them

Help Write the Grocery List

Provide a Place for Your Child to

Could be a quiet corner or at a desk.
Ensure there is good lighting & a comfortable chair.
Provide pens, pencils, paper, a dictionary (appropriate to the
childs level), they make great christmas and birthday gifts.
Use I pads apps and technology to hook them in !

The Gift of Writing.

Key Ideas
Encourage writing for real purposes.
Encourage and allow your child to draw and talk before
Good writing usually features the ordinary looked at in an
extraordinary way.
Everyone has something worthwhile to write about. Everyone
has experiences.
Writing develops best in a community of writers write in front
of your child.
Writing helps reading and reading helps writing Keep up the
daily reading and record this in the Read It books.
Display writing at home and make sure visitors see it.

Key Ideas
Writing ability is like strength training.
Writing needs to be done daily, just as muscles grow stronger
with exercise, writing skills improve with writing practice

Helping Developing Writers!

Encourage them to regularly write the words they know in a
variety of ways. E.g. With felts, chalk, paint, in sand. Use a variety
of mediums paper, whiteboard, blackboard, concrete etc.
Encourage them to say unfamiliar words slowly and record the
sounds that they can hear.
Value their attempts and display their writing around the home on
the fridge, notice board etc.
Start a family diary/blog/facebook page to record special days,
weekend activities and holidays. Take turns to write in the diary.
Include pictures, photos, cards etc. Read the diary to relatives and
visitors or invite others to respond to the blog or facebook.

Helping Developing Writers!

Have fun writing messages to each other. Try writing reminders,
secret messages and riddles.
Get your child to help write a roster or jobs.
Play word games like Scrabble & Upwords.
Do simple crosswords & wordfinds.
Encourage them to have-a-go at spelling rather than asking

Helping Developing Writers!

When your child has finished a piece of writing encourage them
to read it aloud. Ask questions about what they have written to
help them make the message clearer.
Encourage them to write on areas of specific interest/ expertise.
Teach your child how to use the Spell- Check on the computer
and explore the classroom blog for helpful sites such as Typing
tutor, Studyladder and Oxford Owl.
If you own an i-Pad or tablet, see the classroom teacher for
apps that support writing, spelling and reading fun. Turn the
learning into fun with the help of modern technology

That little , big thing spelling

Ideas are more important than spelling
In Shakespeares time spelling was optional.

ALL children report that they are more confident to write when they can spell the word

That little , big thing spelling

Learning to spell is a gradual & complex process.
Keep positive, notice the good bits and dont try to correct
every mistake.
Respond to the content in a big way. Let them down gently with
the spelling.

Encourage them to take risks.

The Evolution of the English

Anglo-Saxon: (Common everyday words) e.g. dog, cook, rabbit.
Latin/French: (Technical formal words) e.g. nation, boutique,
Greek: (Specialised scientific words) e.g. television,
circumference, physician.

phonics is usually an extremely unreliable guide.

Accuracy is expected in published formats.
Text messages/ facebook etc are having an impact on our
written language and text language is becoming more accepted.

In conclusion:
All children acquire language in a specific order, first speech then
reading then written expression of their thoughts, ideas and opinions.
Therefore writing takes more effort and a longer time for some to
English is a difficult language to acquire as it has borrowed and uses
many words from other languages that dont follow the same spelling
rules and patterns.
The basis of good writing is good talk and good use of precise and
enriching vocabulary. Books are a great source of enriching
vocabulary read together and share ideas.

Ideas are more important then spelling.

Encourage your child to write for a purpose and respond to others

Have FUN !

See your child as an author and celebrate their attempts .

Encourage the author within

Our writing comes from who we are.
Every single thing weve ever seen, felt, heard, known or
tasted lives inside of us.

How you can help at school.

Come in and share your talents for Language Experience
daysAs a cook, as a farmer, as a builder, as a gardener, as a
handyman, a knitter or a parent.
Sit in class and share your childs writing experience- no
appointment necessary!! You might like to check where we will
be though.
Helping by publishing work and presenting it.
Attending workshops on reading and writing- they both are
linked to each other, the more children notice in one helps to link
it to the other.
Sharing pets, experiences , visitors, treasures to write about!

What the school and staff can do for

Share their experience, knowledge and tools with you to
support your child.
Assist your child to access further help if required.
Find new ways to support you and your child to succeed. Best
practice based on current research.

Education is constantly changing and evolving to meet the

challenges our learners present to us.
Future Focused!