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Outstanding Formative Assessment

Chapter 7
Developing excellencefor all
subjects, and beyond the success for
Writing
Developing excellence in all subjects requires MODELLING! This is a highlight
of Chapter 7. Clarke talks about the importance of children seeing what the
expectations are. Equally important with the modelling is comparing a good with
a not so good example of work. Clarke also emphasises that more than one
example of excellence needs to be seen and discussed before children get it.
Using Exemplars is a way to show children models that are tried and true.

Developing excellent writing can be an issue and has seen much controversy with
many thinking that success criteria can stifle creativity. Clarke shares 3
success-criteria related components of good writing:
1. The included success criteria for that particular writing form (e.g.
newspaper article has headline, sub-title and so on)
2. The everyday secretarial features of spelling, handwriting, grammar and
punctuation; and
3. The almost intangible elements of excellent writing that make you enjoy
reading it and make you wat to read on incorporating technical features
such as short sentences, adjectives and so on, and being clear about the
impact on the reader and the suitability for the genre or writing type.
Having a toolbox of words or phrases to help can be a key to good writing.
Page 99, gives an overview of the structure of a biography and the genre
features. I think we cover these things well in our Writing at Roslyn folder.
Using highlighters is effective practice (so be proud). Be careful not to overuse
the same old adjectives adjectives need to earn their place! Just chucking
them in for the sake of using an adjective can lead to poor writing. In young
writers though, overusing adjectives is a strong part of their development. As

they become more proficient writers, we need to model how to use adjectives
more effectively.
Children need to read widely to write well. We need to ensure we are exposing
our children to a range of genre so that they can experience what that is like.
Good and not so examples of writing can be highlighted across similar elements
so that specific comparisons can be made. Questioning the children is also
important. (ensures understanding) E.g. Torah woke with a start. He hadnt
meant to fall asleep. Torah woke with a jolt from a sleep he never meant to
have. Questions Why is jolt better than start? What image does it give you?
What is the difference between hadnt meant to fall asleep and sleep he never
meant to have?
Enough cant be said for moderation. This is an important strategy for teachers
to use when levelling writing samples. Sometimes the difference between two
pieces of writing may not be immediately obvious. It can come down to personal
preference. This is when good versus not so good can prove even more
effective. Each piece needs to be looked at carefully.
Dont be scared to ask your children/students whether they think they are a
good writer and why.