Author Archives: Ann D'Arcy

Workshop number 9 – thoughts

First of all, thank you to Pedagoo and Feargal for arranging Saturday’s teachmeet.
When I first signed up to host a workshop I was really unsure of what it would be like. Would I feel like a “blue group” child among all of these intelligent people? Would anyone want to listen to what I had to say? Would they think I was merely telling them what hey already know? I need not have worried. The lovely people who were there made me feel so welcome and it was great to see Tweeters I had been conversing with for a while.
My workshop was on Reading Workshops in which I have great faith. Giving children a choice of what to read and what activities to do as follow up work seems such an obvious way to engage hem in their learning. I feel it removes the competitive element of ability grouping both for the child and the parents and encourages reading for pleasure.
The teachers who attended the workshops were very supportive and encouraging when I got flummoxed and nervous! (Supplying chocolate may have helped!). The feedback on the day and through twitter was positive. I was given food for thought about how the concept would work in P1 and 2 and together we discussed and found ways to adapt for the early stages. I hope I have encouraged some to try out the idea.
Thank you all.
Ann / misiesd.

One Minute Writing

There are times when I have felt very demoralized when I read the children’s writing.  I teach Primary 4  in the north of Glasgow.  No matter how much input I give there are some children who simply do not like writing.

Recently I have started doing One Minute Writing.  It is a great way of using the odd 10minutes before breaks that can happen for a variety of reasons.

The first time I used this was after a fire drill and there was 10 minutes between getting back to class and the morning break.  The children were noisy and restless.

As their literacy jotters were on their desks I asked them to put the heading One Minute Writing and the date.  They were a bit bemused at starting what they thought was a writing lesson with so little time available.

When they had done this I explained that I would write a single word on the board and they would write about that word for exactly one minute.  A timer was set and I wrote the word “fire”.

They all looked wvery industrious. I was impressed. When the timer rang they out down their pencils and every child was keen to read what they had written.  I chose the ones who were usually reluctant to write and also reluctant to share their work with the class.

The results were like list poems.

One example:

Fire is dangerous

Fire can kill

Fire spreads quickly

Fire is hot

Fire can burn you

Keep safe from fire.


I honestly think that they write as much in the given minute as many of them would write in 30 minutes.

Now they ask when they can do One Minute Writing.

Why don’t you give it a try. Let me know how it works for you and your class.