Improving writing through collaboration

Checking and improving writing is an area I have been trying to develop in my classroom with my lower ability year 5 children. They find checking their work really difficult. After giving them a couple of chances to make improvements and redraft on their netbooks, I trialled partnering them up with a higher ability pupil from the same year group. The children then addressed any targets with a green pen, using their peers for support. Some even re-wrote out parts of their writing to make it even better. We have four sets in our year group so it was quite a change for my set 4 to be working with set 1, spread out across the floor in the hall!

It was a successful session and I will be repeating it periodically as the opportunity presents itself.


iPods in reading comprehension

I have been using the iPods (or any computer device) to support the development of ‘skimming and scanning’ texts to find answers. I set up a multiple choice quiz on Socrative, then let the children read a text before answering the questions using the iPod app. This could have also been accessed via the website if no iPods available.

Children’s scores are available live on the whiteboard at the front to give a ‘competitive’ nature to the activity. As they scored low on their first try, I let them have multiple tries – choosing to work with a partner if they wanted to.

I am constantly trying to think of ways to engage lower ability reluctant readers in comprehension activities. I used ‘The Enchanced Wood’ as the text as they really enjoy this!