Reluctant writers are children who struggle to get their ideas onto paper. There are many reasons why children are reluctant writers- writing takes too long and the child has to think of so many different things just to write one sentence (they need to form the sentence correctly, start with a capital, form each letter properly add interesting vocabulary and adjectives and finish with a full stop). Some children are perfectionists and can’t handle not being able to spell a word properly. Some children struggle to come up with good ideas or forget their sentence before they have a chance to write it down.
Some tips which I have used to help reluctant writers;
Writing every day
Every morning, I let the children answer a question on their whiteboards. This could be – write about your weekend, what you did yesterday evening, your favourite toy, adjectives to describe a picture etc.
The children loved writing on whiteboards- mistakes could be fixed easily and they got to write about things they were really interested in! 4/5 children then shared their writing with the rest of the class.
Magpie book (Pie Corbett)
This idea is based around pie Corbett and talk for writing. Children use a new copy.
Give the children a topic e.g. Setting, characters, adjectives to describe things/people, similes etc. And 5 mins to write as many as they can think of. Children then share their ideas with the rest of the class. Others can ‘magpie’ their ideas. Within a few days children have built up their own writing resource.
If you notice a child who is not writing enough. Set them a challenge. Praise the child for what he/she has achieved and then;
Use a timer – I think you could do 3 more sentences by the time the sand has run out!
When I come back I want to see…
Count the words/sentences- wow you have written 6 today- I wonder could you do 8 tomorrow?
Children of all ages need to see writing modelled. This shows them how to form sentences- with a capital letter at the start and a full stop at the end. It also teaches them other grammar points like speech marks and paragraphs. By modelling what you want the children to do they know what is expected and have a good example to start from. (Shared writing pieces can be written into copies as an example before children work on their own.)