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The new school year is almost upon us. And thanks to NAPLAN jumping ahead to March, it’s going to be a busy start to Term 1.
We know that for many students writing is the trickiest of the NAPLAN tests. And for many teachers, it’s also a challenging one to prepare students for. Often this leads to lots of time spent drilling and skilling students, which turns them off rather than setting them up for success and affects their personal enjoyment of writing.
There are two genres of writing to cover, 10 marking criteria to address, timed conditions to simulate, online and paper versions to prepare for – the list goes on!
So, are you wondering how you’ll manage to:
- get to know your students and set up routines?
- prepare your students in time for NAPLAN?
- kick off the new school year with a bit of fun?
- all of the above?
If you answered ‘d’, don’t panic – we’ve got your back!
Take the express lane to NAPLAN success
Here are some helpful pointers to make the most of the time you’ve got and get your students NAPLAN fit!
Keep it simple
Focus on revising how texts are structured: introduction, middle and ending. For Seven Steps teachers, this means revising the four structural Steps (Steps 1, 2, 3 and 7) for both the Narrative and Persuasive text genres. These techniques address 8 of the 10 NAPLAN marking criteria, so they will gain the most marks in the writing test.
Focus on key areas
Consider spending more time generating great ideas quickly (Step 1: Plan for Success) and grabbing the audience’s attention immediately (Step 2: Sizzling Starts). These are two key areas where time is well spent to boost student performance.
Conduct targeted practice
Use NAPLAN-style writing prompts to practise the techniques in short, sharp writing activities, which gives students vital timed practice. Start with short texts focusing on one Step and then build up to complete texts in preparation for the big day.
Use a needs-based approach
Try using a ‘cold write’ at the start of the year to identify gaps so that you can prioritise the Steps and skills that address student need. For inspiration for cold writes, see our writing prompts for narrative and persuasive topics. Placing students into needs-based groups will allow you to target your teaching and encourage peer support.
Seven Steps teachers
Be sure to tap into your students’ prior knowledge of the Seven Steps at all times. Remember, they’re not coming to the Seven Steps concepts cold (just a bit lukewarm post-summer holidays!).
Set yourself up for NAPLAN success
Need some help putting these tips into practice in your Seven Steps classroom? Look no further than our amazing new resource NAPLAN Writing Success, your gateway to effortless NAPLAN prep.
We’ll show you how to:
- Use the Seven Steps approach to give NAPLAN markers what they want.
- Make the most of limited prep time with top-notch ready-to-go classroom resources.
- Turbo-charge engagement with fun revision activities students will love!
There’s a Resource Pack to help you revise each structural Step. Take a sneak peek at what’s on offer for Narrative Step 1: Plan for Success by downloading these free lesson notes.
The start of term is always a bit of a shock to the system – for everyone! But NAPLAN Writing Success takes some of the sting out of it.
Ahhhh … That feels better!