Over the past 2 weeks l have been testing my students to confirm what I think they already know, and to decide future teaching directions before these students finish Reading Recovery. (Anyone would think it was report writing time.)
The area that needed the most attention for all of the students was Writing Vocabulary, i.e. being able to recall and write the many, many words that they have previously written independently. The students were given 10 minutes to write as many words as they could.
Some students could not recall the words they did know. (These students would have been able to write more words if l told them which words to write from their individual lists.) Other students wrote some words with spelling errors, e.g. tow (two). One boy was determined to write big words (incorrectly) to impress me and did not write the many smaller words that he did know. This meant that all of the scores (number of words written in 10 minutes) was well below the number of words that l had recorded for each student as being known.
Why is this an issue? Students need to know what they know. If l know l can write day, then l know it will probably help me to write stayed.
If l can write many most-used words quickly without thinking much about it, l will have more time and energy to spend on new and more interesting words.