So we said “au revoir” to controlled assessment and we are welcoming back the writing exam. Our approach to writing has to change to accommodate the new exam style and to prepare our students to perform in exam conditions and ensure they show off their learning in those 90 and 150 words.
At the beginning of the year, I felt rather lost and my ideas were tangled in a whirlwind. How can I help my students to do their very best? How can I help them in ensuring they include the right structures they learnt in class? How can I help them in developing their ideas?
Luckily Twitter, Facebook and sharing of ideas came to the rescue and since then we have been working on some techniques which hopefully will guide the students while sitting their Writing Paper.
Firstly, we ‘ve worked and discussed what structures/tenses we have to include in the paper. An amazing teacher came up with the idea of creating the acronym of CROISSANT and shared it on a social media. I have created a booklet (one for foundation and one for higher students croissant F croissant H) and now every time we tackle a 90 or 150 word task, I ask the students to write CROISSANT at the top of the paper and tick the structure as they use it in their passage. Kids are enjoying using it and the variety of structures used in their passages has improved immediately. In our everyday lessons, we use a variety of ways of revisiting the right structures and memorising those “wow” phrases (dice of Destiny, translations to and from TL, rearranging words to make sentences, spotting them in reading passages, and more).
Last week, Dr Gianfranco Conti published a task which he has called “connectigram”. What a gem! Year 11 were straight on It!!! Such a brilliant task to gently guide the students in going into more detail and develop their ideas. Here’s the one we used in class so far: je suis allé en ville connectigram
Students responded incredibly well to this task and we had the hoped outcome of transforming a simple sentence into a detailed narrative passage.
The preparation for the writing paper is still work in progress but I feel we are on the right path!