Week 4 Term 3

I am at home - sick - suffering from a rather nasty cold.

Of late I have been talking with a colleague about the value of videoing the children as they use the oral planner. I see so many benefits in having these video clips available to the class as a whole as together we unpick and celebrate the text organisation we hear in the oral planner. It also provides a chance to highlight the language features we are teaching for and a chance to focus on and talk about what we are looking for in their written work.

We have talked about how the videoing of the children and downloading of these videos could be managed for teachers who don't want to buy into downloading 25+ videos (25+ given that some children do retakes) every second day.

I suggested that if the children were paired up and two cameras were available - 2 pairs could video their oral language planners and these would then be used in the next day to reflect upon.
The next time the oral planners were used another 2 pairs would be chosen until everyone in the class had a turn - a turn to video and be videoed , a turn to have their work celebrated by their fellow class members.

Far from feeling 100% I am back at work !!!
I took the oral language activity today related to the three pictures - this time of a little puppy having his bone stolen from a rather nasty dog. We did a word dump ie the children gave me all the vocabulary related to the pictures and then I demonstrated how I would work through making the language choices for my own story. I am always fascinated in how this totally engages the children - and how after I have gone through the process of articulating what my main character was going to look like, where he is was etc etc I modeled using the oral planner to tell my story.

Those 25 pairs of eyes looked so intently as I told them my version of events some even offered a few ideas when they thought I was stuck!!!! Afterwards some told me that the story was great! They went off with their literacy buddy to record their oral planner.


Today we shared four oral planners - celebrating their choice of language and identifying the text organisation within it. It is interesting to note that a lot of the children who are producing interesting oral planners and go on to write interesting narratives are the children using visual planners. I'm beginning to think the fact that these children are presented with the story line via the pictures enables them to focus on the vocabulary which enables them to shine in ways they haven't before.

An e learning fellowship day
I have been thinking a lot today about the use of the oral planners. If one thinks about when you travel to a new city - you refer to the sign posts to give you an idea on how far you have to travel and the distances you have covered. The second and third time you travel to the same city the sign posts become less important and you can focus on and enjoy more of your surroundings. I see oral and written planners in the same light. You see when writing, the oral planners followed by the written planners are the sign posts the children refer to to assist them on the way to their destination ie completion of a narrative or personal recount or information report. As the children write a number of narratives or personal recounts or information reports they focus less on the sign posts as the text organisation has become embedded in their understanding and are able to focus more on their surroundings such as the use of adjectives, passing of time words,
Together the sign posts and surroundings help to lift the student's achievement.


As the week draws to a close – I ponder and acknowledge the following
• The benefits of viewing the video clips of the children using the oral planner are two fold - to celebrate and unpick the text
organisation evident in their oral planners as well as a chance to highlight what we are teaching for and ultimately what we want to
see in their written work.
• Downloading 25+ oral planners is not going to appeal to all teachers - so finding a way to make this manageable will be important if
teachers are to embrace the idea of using these as a reflective tool for their children.
• The use of the oral and written planners are helping the children to lift student achievement in writing.
• The less able writers are writing interesting narratives .