As I mentioned a few posts ago, I am having a bit of a focus on writing interesting sentences with my class. They are mixed Year 3/4 and of varying abilities as you would expect. I have been working on whiteboard work as a whole class looking at connectives and sentence starters to remove the short, simple sentences and the repetitive ways they start sentences…I did this…I did that and so on.
I heard @learningspy talk about Slow Writing and I looked through his blog post on it and had an idea. The premise of slow writing is that the children think about each sentence in greater detail before they write. For example, the first sentence might have to contain an adverb, the second a simile and the third has to be a question. Using Triptico, there is a random generator of these sentence types, but although this was a great resource, I wanted more freedom for my children.
So using the wonderful Random name generator from Primaryt, I set about creating one for my literacy groups. I have a whole class one containing all the sorts of things I would hope my aspiring Level 4 writers will be using but when I work with my level 2 writers, there is a simplified version. It’s not because I don’t want to expose them to complicated sentences, it’s just that for where they are, they don’t need complex sentences just yet! (A video showing how to make this is here
The best bit about the random generator is that you can save and embed the lists you make, so I have these on my favourites at school and once I have refined them further, I will embed them on my blog for the children to use more often.
When it comes to improving their independent writing, I am hoping that by remembering the various types of sentences, vocabulary and punctuation we have used together, they will be able to use this in various situations.