Writing Sample One
The first writing sample is from 'Rhys', a grade one student. His writing is an example of an imaginative story about a boy who is lost. Leo’s writing shows examples of all of the things expected from Level 1 of VELS except for the use of full stops, of which he has none. I would say that he is at level 1.25 of VELS as he shows the following Level 1.25 abilities in his story: The story contains two ideas that the boy is lost and that he is hungry. It also is sequenced properly and has supportive drawings. He is also able to use capital letters correctly most of the time in his writing, for example the first word of his writing in capitalised but then on the second line of his writing he has a capital W for the word ‘was’ were it is not needed. His writing also shows that he is able to spell some frequently used one syllable words such as ‘was, and, be’ correctly and is able to make plausible attempts at spelling other words such as ‘way’ which was spelt ‘wae’ using phonetic spelling. As Leo wrote this at the beginning of the year I believe that he is at an appropriate level.
It is a little harder to evaluate writing using the WA First Steps Writing Continuum however I would say that his writing would be at the beginning of the Early Writing phase. Leo demonstrates the following things from phase 3: he is beginning to use some narrative structure and has attempted to use some punctuation i.e. Capital letters. His writing also uses a partial organisation framework; it has a simple orientation and story development.
Writing Sample Two
The second writing sample is from 'Ashlee' a grade three student. Her writing is an example of informative writing as she has written about the trip taken by Jessica Watson. She exhibits the following things that are in Level 2 of VELS: it is a short sequenced text, she uses and appropriate structure, she can accurately spell frequently used words and is able to make use of know spelling patterns to make plausible attempts of unknown words such as ‘approaching’ which she spelt as ‘aprotching’ and ‘parents’ as ‘perents’. She also is able to use some punctuation appropriately and her writing shows evidence of editing as she has added in extra words and crossed out some things. The writing is also legible; the letters are of a consistent size, slope and spacing. However her use of pronouns, conjunctions, adverbial phrase, indicating time and place is one of the criteria of Level 2 of VELS could use some work also it should be noted that she used ‘:’ instead of “talking marks” when a person was speaking in her writing.
Looking at her writing in comparison to WA First Steps Writing Continuum I would say that she like Leo is also in the Early Writing Phrase, though she would be near the end of that phase. She was able to include several items of information about the topic and is able to delete and add words to clarify meaning as well as adding a title to her writing that reflects the content.