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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2015 12:06 pm
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I hope I can get some advice and guidance here.

DD is in Y5 and last week started letter writing in English - both formal and informal. I saw what she did for the informal letter and I was really shocked at the lack of correct spellings, content of the letter and by that I mean that nothing flowed. It was like she picked some random words and tried to put them together but they didn't even belong together. I was truly shocked.

I was very upset at the level of her work and quite wrongly, I told her I thought her work had gone downhill. I feel awful for it - please don't tell me I was wrong to do so. I already know I was and DD was quite upset. I sat down with her and explained that things need to change.

She didn't read much in the holidays and I think this may have something to do with spellings and general content of her work but she is in the top group and did really well in the exams last year. So I don't understand why this sudden change.

I really don't know what to do - is it too early to speak to the teacher about my concerns? We've barely started school.

Any advice please?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:20 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:42 pm
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I think having a calm chat with the teacher would be a good idea.

As far as creative writing goes, my dd suffers from 'writer's block', or so she believes...to help her, we would do 'ping-pong' stories in the car - i.e. each person has to add one extra sentence to the story to keep it rocketing along. We also played with 10 minute stories - I would write a list of things on a piece of paper (the cat disappeared, my fish can talk, the storm etc etc) and dd had 10 minutes to write as much as possible on one of the topics chosen randomly (in as grammatical a fashion as possible). She loved it and often wanted to continue her stories.

We have started the 10 minute stories, albeit in an oral fashion with my youngest, very reluctant writer and he has enjoyed being as inventive as possible. He doesn't like writing because his spelling and handwriting is poor, but has an extensive vocabulary and this allows him to 'enjoy English' in an unthreatening fashion.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:21 pm 
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You need to show your dd lots and lots of letters; in magazines, newspapers, ones which come through your door....children are finding it harder and harder to grasp what is required of letter writing and also newspaper writing because nowadays everything is online and email. Letter writing is an important means of communication so make sure your child has access to the source.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2015 12:06 pm
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Thank you Piggys and Bunglechips.

you have both given some good practical advice. I will definitely try them both and I like the idea of 10 minute stories. With practice I can imagine this builds up vocab and spellings not forgetting grammar.

Appreciate you taking the time to reply.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 3:33 pm
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I will look this from a slightly different angle (based on the information you have provided).
1. You have seen only one piece of your DD's writing after a long break
2. She has been in the top group in year 4

This says it all. I will share my experience and how I have overcome it; see if it helps.

In Year 4, my DD used to get few spelling words every week to write sentences. Initially when I used to check her sentences, I was getting very upset saying they do not make sense...or so many spelling mistakes etc. That did not improve rather she was scared of doing any sentences and took very long time to do with same mistakes.

I spoke to her teacher who gave me very valuable piece of advice. Writing is the most difficult task they have as children. They need to think, put it in context, learn new words, use their punctuation and construct a sentence. That is too much of a ask from a 9/10 year old. We adults do not realize this.

From that day, I never emphasised her mistakes. I did tell her lightly that this is not correct. But I did put too much emphasize on what she has done correct. e.g.: I can see you have used the word 'Friendship' correctly, you have put a comma, a full-stop, a capital letter at the beginning and you have used speech mark...brilliant. Only a small point...in place of 'Our' you have written 'are'. But don't worry, most children do that etc....I can see the wonders now. I can't thank enough to her class teacher.

Sometimes they are not in a mood to write and hence unusual things do happen...I would ignore one-off issues like this.. Children always look out for our approval and hence slight criticism affects them all (at least it does impact my DD a lot). (My DD is also in Yr 5 now)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:01 pm 
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"writing is the most difficult task they have.....it's too much to ask from a 9/10 year old".

This is simply not true. There are plenty of 9 and 10 year olds who can write really well. It might be your experience but it certainly isn't everyone else's.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2015 12:06 pm
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Thank you Golden_Jubilee. It is definitely a more positive and encouraging way of dealing with the situation.

I am hoping that with time DD will become confident as she returns to reading and writing more and if I try to encourage her with the positives rather than rant on about what she has done wrong, it may give her the confidence and self-belief.

I feel that now she is in Year 5, we only have this year to get it right. This time next year, I want her to be completely confident in her knowledge in English and Maths especially.

Thanks again - I really do appreciate your advice.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:11 am 
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You are welcome LegoFriends.


piggys,
I shared my experience and it worked for my DD. I am pleased with the outcome. I never said it is true for all children as everyone is different. It is ultimately down to the parent. being parents we know what is best for our children.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:22 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
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Location: Essex
piggys wrote:
"writing is the most difficult task they have.....it's too much to ask from a 9/10 year old".

This is simply not true. There are plenty of 9 and 10 year olds who can write really well. It might be your experience but it certainly isn't everyone else's.


I used to be a parent helper in various Reception / year 1 / year 2 classes at our not exactly stellar primary school. From year 1, the children were set 'Can I...?' tasks such as, 'Can I describe our trip to the beach?' - at least three sentences required before they were allowed to do their accompanying drawing. DS2 would happily go on for a couple of pages, but if did have fairly large handwriting :lol: . Seriously, though, I know that children don't all develop skills at the same rate, but I would challenge a year 4 or year 5 teacher who gave the impression of having such low expectations of the pupils in his or her care.

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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.Groucho Marx


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