Amy thinks it is unacceptable that students aren’t consistently engaged in relevant, authentic and challenging learning across primary school. Unfortunately, when Amy began the program 38% of students reported being bored at school and 26% of students thought that what they were learning at school was irrelevant for their lives. Amy thinks that educators are lacking knowledge around programs like Bookmaking/Writers Notebook so are going back to old habits of teaching writing, which result in disengagement. She believes in a school where children are engaged and excited about their learning
The key to Amy’s initiative was to support educators to develop a shared philosophy, knowledge and understanding of Bookmaking/Writers Notebook.
Amy started by developing a writing cluster with four colleagues and two staff from other schools. Staff were taken to training and development, enabling them to see Writers Notebook in action in a classroom. Following this, the cluster met and discussed how this pedagogy fits with their students and when they could start implementing it. They used Simon Breakspear Learning Spirit tools to narrow their focus and decided they needed to specifically improve their explicit mini-lessons. They videoed these lessons each week to reflect on their mini-lessons, and had a weekly check-in online to discuss what worked well, what challenges were encountered, and where to next.
Amy’s initiative is ongoing. At the end of the five week sprint writing work samples from the beginning and end of the sprint were compared and further goals were identified, importantly using consistent language in mini-lessons. Watch this space to see what impact this has long-term!
Like the idea?
Amy would love your support for Writer’s Notebook, or for you to start a similar program in your school, and she’d love to hear about any ideas you have or lend a hand where she can. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get in touch with Amy and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer her on in the comments below as well.
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