Parent Workshop - Engaging Students in the Writing… | Ormiston College

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Parent Workshop - Engaging Students in the Writing Process

On Tuesday 26 March we held an “Engaging Students in the Writing Process” workshop for our parents in Prep to Year 9. Our main aim for this workshop was to equip our parents with an understanding of how we approach writing in the classroom. By sharing the language and techniques we use, we hope to open a powerful dialogue between home and school that encourages our families be on the lookout for texts that inspire the imagination, provoke passion through persuasion and entice the senses.

Over the last couple of years, the College has consistently implemented the Seven Steps to Writing Success throughout the Junior and Middle School in a wide range of curriculum areas. As a result, we have seen an increased engagement and participation with writing tasks in all year levels. This resource has also allowed us to continuously make the reading-writing connection, and now, as we discuss our books with others, we speak like authors and have a way of sharing, analysing and evaluating our reading through a common language.

The workshop dared our parents to become writers themselves and experience the learning that our students enjoy on a day to day basis. They also realised how challenging writing can be and felt the pressure of time constraints and the frustrations of coming up with an initial idea. By exploring the steps of Sizzling Starts, Planning for Success, Show, Don’t Tell and Tightening Tension in more detail, we were able to explain how we support our young writers to develop their authorial skills; bringing their writing to life and producing quality work that engages a range of audiences.

Here is some of the great work created by our group:

‘Sweat beads gather across my brow, the ‘Bare Minerals Stay-put All Day’ make-up was not staying put. Armpits drenched. I felt like I was melting right there on the spot.’ – Channie Duhn

‘Driving up the driveway there were bottles on the lawn and overflowing from the garbage bin. What was that awful noise thumping that I could hear through the closed car window. Suddenly my car rocked. I screamed and jumped in fright. Did I just hit a person?’ – Helena Milne

Finally, our session ended with an opportunity to have trial the Oculus Go and the ways in which we are using virtual reality to engage our writers. A small group enjoyed riding on a roller-coaster to see how the VR encourages the use of the senses in our writing through lived experiences.

Amanda Bowker
Dean of Teaching and Learning