A modelled write or write aloud session lets students observe a teacher write a piece, usually on a whiteboard, interactive whiteboard or large sheet of paper. Teachers build or construct a piece of writing and literally 'think out aloud' and model a written piece, before the students go and write one themselves.
Although I'm not doing it as regularly, I'm glad I'm able to continue this in London, as I see great value in it. Students learn the structure of a recount or what is expected. As one of my five-year-old students would regularly ask me 'that's the one where I write about what I did on the weekend yeah?' Students get into a routine and know what to expect when recounting their experiences. This is especially important as they learn how to write and experiment with words.
A modelled writing session is similar in Australia or in England. It is of course, dependent on the specific needs of the students or curriculum focus.
For the input (hook, introduction or start of the lesson) I often have a speaking and listening focus and encourage students to share what they did on the weekend or holidays, with a friend. Then, I would get that friend to share with the class what the other person did.
Think aloud: Following this I would verbalise what I did and jot down a plan using simple words and quick drawings. This could be scribbled to the side of a page or on a spare piece of paper.
Then I would rereading my plan to the class and think out aloud in full sentences. Sometimes I start with 'On the holidays I...' but then go back and edit it with the class to discuss ways we can make our work sound more exciting.
Write and create: Then, I'd continue to write and create a simple recount, always referring to my plan. When students write their own plan it acts as a guide for them to refer to, especially when I hear 'I don't know what to write!'
Once my modelled piece is written up, students have the opportunity to write their own recount.
Make it better: The plenary (or otherwise conclusion, share time etc) is at the very end of the lesson. This is usually the time to share student work, discuss common misconceptions noted throughout the lesson or do a further edit. On this occasion as seen in the picture above, I added some errors and reread the work at the end of the lesson during the shared editing. Using a green colour, we made some spelling changes of sight words, added some words to make it more exciting and made sure the capitals were in the right spots.
There are so many complex task for students to complete a writing piece. Students think about their weekend or holidays, speak and listen to their classmates as they share stories, verbalise it, write about it and edit it, then draw a picture to match.
The end products are often varied. When students are beginning to learn sight words, sentence structure and phonetical spelling combinations an attempt may be as simple as 'I wnt to hte parc' for 'I went to the park'. By the end of the year they may be able to extended their skills to write detailed pieces with capitals, full stops, sight words, adjectives, prefixes, suffixes and paragraphs. The list goes on!