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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:48 am 
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Yr 5 DC, on target to achieve 5A in Reading and Maths at the end of Yr5.
Reading age - Physical age + 4 years.
Spelling age - Physical age + 4 years.
Handwriting - Very neat and pretty (nicely joined up).
Fantastic, fertile imagination - wows readers. Shows thorough understanding of context while answering comprehension questions ( teacher comments).
Writing is a completely different scenario. Would probably go to 4c by end of this year (with the average two sub level progress per year rule).

Found level 5 SPAG paper too easy. Tried last years level 6 Grammar, Punctuation and spelling paper, just got 2 sub-questions wrong (1/3 of a mark each) - using the correct verb form -
The brother and sister ( attend / attends ) different clubs.
Everybody ( has / have ) the same opinion about uniform
.
( IMO getting this wrong is understandable. )

Example of sentences -
As the glowing moon loomed over the giant mansion, an icy finger pressed a switch and instantly the rooms were filled with a yellow light probably the same colour as rotten teeth. Suddenly, the clock made a loud bang to say it was midnight.The sky darkened. Soundlessly, the shadowed trees waved their branches in the strong breeze that had them in control yet the biggest did not budge.The wind was very strong. No one thought the building could survive so they ran out into the street still in pyjamas.
(opening paragraph of one of her stories)

When asked about what holds back writing level, the feedback was - First paragraph is excellent, second one is good and by third dc runs out of stamina.

What I need to know is -
1) How is writing assessed ? This is not to fault the teacher but for me to understand as what counts most in writing.
2) Are spelling and SPAG parts of writing assessment. If so, how much is the weightage of each.
3) Length of writing, are they supposed to write one/two A4 size papers ? How many words/lines ?
4) I am tempted to think it may be a question of time and/or practice to put everything together
i.e handwriting + SPAG + Imagination + Sentence structures (connective, adverbs, adjectives and vocabulary) + Length of writing piece .
Am i missing anything ?

Please respond.
Thanks, berks_mum.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:01 am 
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Sounds like everything is in place except planning, which clearly is not.

This is very normal for year 5, and our year 6 teacher focuses on plans and mind maps above all else with story telling.

Expect the in story spag to go completely out of the window while she is learning g to plan and build up the story. This is ok, she will learn to put it in again later.

Her story introduction suggests she is using lots of tools, such as similies and personification, but has not really thought of a story framework, so maybe get back to basics. Who, when, where and why. Then slot the flannel in as she writes up from the plan she has executed.

Hope this helps :D


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:13 am 
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Thank you for your prompt answer SB3(much appreciated).
Unfortunately, me and dp have no idea about UK education system and the way we learnt, we never had to do any story/structure planning. We just wrote free style about any given subject matter with some SPAG in place (my language doesn't even have spellings WYSIWYG).
DC said the story was based on the following structure and by planning do you also mean the same structure -
1) Set the scene
2) Build it up
3) Dilemma
4) Resolution
5) Ending
First part was completed this morning. The next four parts will follow this evening.
Where (in the above structure) do the five Ws fit in? Or is there a completely different structure that I am not aware of ?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:23 am 
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Set the scene is the where, the scenes change, so set all of them on plan
Who ...the character profiles, sort them all out before introducing them to the story
When...past, present, future,
What...the essence of the story, e.g.. winning a big race

These work in conjunction with the structure she has listed, but the whole plan should be written down first, so you can work it all out.

May I strongly recommend "write stuff" for girls or boys, which is a fun interactive book. This costs about £6 from Amazon, also Google mind mapping for writing stories.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:56 am 
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Thanks SB3 ! I will order the 'write stuff' book from amazon.

Agree with the in story SPAG going out of window especially after 8-10 lines :-)

So, creative writing ( plus elements) is the sole assessment criteria for writing levels?

Elements = in story SPAG +connectives + adverbs + adjectives + sentence structure covering the 5 Ws. Anything else ?

Do the five Ws have to be in a specific order ? DC once said, in some stories the characters can be introduced at the end ? Don't know why ?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:48 pm 
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There is on going teacher assessment on creative writing, and teacher assessed spag tests. I think you should arrange for a meeting with your dd teacher, so she can explain it professionally to you.

The write stuff book will help your daughter get her head round it in a fun way, in the mean time look at this link, for inspiration:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00rfvk1


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:06 pm 
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I second that recommendation for 'Write Stuff'. I think I bought it from the book people at work


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:07 pm 
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Berksmum

Are level5/6 SPAG tests or spelling, grammar, punctuation tests available in the shops/online?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:29 pm 
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WW, I downloaded last years SPAG test from past sats website. I am sure some publications are probably selling similar ones.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:45 pm 
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SB3, this post is to give you a big thanks ! Your advice on returning to basics was spot on.
I made DD do a piece of writing and observed that she gets stuck into very imaginative ideas and absence of planning lacks the required grounding. She tried to use all devices/wow words... in all sentences so obviously runs out of stamina by the end of first paragraph. She probably took the teachers advice of using catchy phrases, adjectives… etc too far. We did some strategy change and came up with the following for a descriptive writing task -

1) She will first work out a structure e.g.. 5 boxes for 5 senses.
2) She will then put min 1 idea, max 3 ideas in each sense drawers (as she calls it).
3) That way she will do min 1 sentence, max 3 sentences each thus totalling to 5 - 15 sentences.
4) She will do a variety of sentences, ideally one simple, one complex and one medium.

She found the idea of all icing and no sponge very amusing and quickly understood where she was going wrong. Told her a story that gave examples of various writings and the instance reaction was one can't have just imaginary piece or just obvious there needs to be a balance and purpose.

In the next piece I will ask her to work on fiction and make sure see sticks to the structure and the five Ws.

I will now see the teacher's comments.

Once again, thank you for your advice. I think, you will make a great teacher with your sense of humour, experience and talent. You may want to consider 11+ tutoring :-) ?

ps. Apologies for the delay as I am battling another potential disruption coming our way.


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