The BIG WRITE is a chance for children to make up their own story. We give a stimulus, and they can take it anywhere they want. Some weeks it will be a drawing or photograph (like ‘Electric Minion’), others a short video clip to retell, extend or simply take inspiration from.
Inside each week’s BIG WRITE documents, you will find suggested 'wow words' (exciting vocabulary) that the children might like to use; they can of course include anything else of their own. Please remember, this is intended as an entirely independent session and, in class, children would receive no support whatsoever. Gently remind them of the timer, make encouraging noises, grin and stick your thumbs up! Spellings should also be independent, using phonics skills to sound out loud and write the letters they hear. Particularly for younger learners, this may well mean they leave out letters or mis-spell sounds – THIS IS OK (I promise!), let it happen.
In class, this session is completely silent except for a track of relaxation music playing quietly in the background - I will post a few links below of suggested tracks if you'd like to try them. Children choose their own 'secret space for learning' - this could be at a desk, on the tummies on the floor, or standing at a work surface; wherever they feel comfortable and inspired to write. In Aspen class we have steadily built our stamina for writing up over the last two terms and now write for 30 minutes without stopping. As the environment at home is less familiar as a working space, perhaps aim for 20 minutes and build up from there. Some children may want to write on for longer and that is totally fine, let them go where motivation takes them.
Please be aware that BIG WRITE is a session undertaken by Year 1 and 2 at school, Reception would usually engage in a different session at this point - unfortunately the nature of this is rather harder to recreate at home. We have created a storyboard page with opportunity for key word writing and are suggesting younger children perhaps film a storytelling session instead. This is entirely optional for Reception; if they want to get involved and challenge their mini-buddies then FAB but if not, that is fine. Why not explore some phonics games and Alphablocks videos instead - links at the bottom of the page.