Bearing in mind our topic for this term is mini-beasts, can you guess which little creature we have been learning about this week? Yes it is indeed the small but mighty bee! The children have been fascinated with the wonderful variety of bee’s, how to tell them apart and learning all the different jobs they do within a hive. I am sure we have a few budding entomologists in Reception! Not only have they loved trying to spot them in our outside area they have also bee, crafting, counting, sorting and reading about our striped little friends.
This ‘buzz’ of excitement lead to some brilliant examples of the children’s independent writing as they created fact books about bees, bee themed stories and posters galore. Which leads me on to a question parents often ask, “How do I encourage my child to write?”
I know I have spoken top many of you at parents evening about ‘writing for a purpose ‘ as this is something I am passionate about. I believe this is the key to inspiring a love of writing from a young age, making writing real and worthwhile for children. Of course, every now and then a little bit of writing practise doesn’t do any harm, but to nurture that desire to write is crucial. Thinking about those real life situations when writing is useful if not essential. Menus, sign posts, shopping lists, cards, letters, recipes, anything you can think of! Especially if it is related to your children’s interests. For example I often “forget” things in the classroom, and the children then love to write me note or list to help me remember! Writing signs or labels for large and small scale models is another great example of when previously reluctant writers will happily spend time writing. Whether it be to say, ‘Please don’t touch’ or ‘Tom’s dinosaur cage’ it is a real reason for them to write! Here are a couple of lovely examples of signs children wrote in child initiated time this term to warn others about mini-beasts (one was a real spider the other was for some fantasy dangerous bugs, just in case you were worried!)
The first sign reads “Stop, web, spider!” and the second “deadly, do not touch!”
These are both great examples of children seeing an opportunity to write for a purpose that meant something to them and whatever activity they were engaged in. It came from their own interests therefore half the battle of encouragement is already won. Then the technical side of writing comes into play, however I often find where there is a will they find a way to access all that they have learnt so far. So maybe see if your children can surprise you with their independent writing? What will give them the urge to pick up a pencil?