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Classroom discourse transcript

By Geraldine Hutcheson

The class is a Primary 5 class (average age - 9 years).

T: Teacher

P: Pupil

T: OK. Now. Yellow Group. You are starting a new story today in your Reading 2000. So, just now, you are going to start reading your new story quietly. You are going to look at it quietly while I go over spelling with the big group. That is after I have gone over your spelling words. So, you can quietly read your story ... your handwriting from yesterday. A(P1), this is the second day of your handwriting. B(P2), what have you to remember on every letter?

P: Capital letters

T: Well, capital letters, yes, what about capital letters?

P: Make them bigger

T: Just make them bigger, what's special about them?

P: The shape

T: The shape. The shape and the size of your capital letters. What about all the small letters, what have they all to have since you're not joining?


T: C(P3)

P: Entries and Exits

T: Exits. Entries and exits. Then, your spelling ... your task is up for today


T: No, it's .... Oh it is. Your task is question sentences. There, up there. Now. The bottom task has fallen down A(P1), the task you've put up has fallen down.


P: I'd like to do this

T: OK. Because that's the other spelling task. After that I am coming to go over the story with you and I've got a worksheet for you. OK ...So, you're going to need your reading book. Put it on your desk. If it's not on your desk, get it out now. Put all the pencils down. OK, Blue Group. Blue Group you're going to start with your handwriting, what we did yesterday. This is your second day on that.


T: Spelling and task then I am coming to go over your Castles Topic Reader. So, if you're ready, get out you're Castles Topic Reader until I come. Now you don't need it right at the moment D(P4), you don't need it right at the moment cos we're going to do spelling first. Reds. After we have gone over spelling Red Group you are going to go over your Artwork. Now before you take your pictures out, we're going to discuss what the next step is on your picture. Some children might be printing out your poems of the prairie on the computer, then when you come in when you've done that, you've got handwriting and spelling and tasks there to do so you've got plenty to keep you going.

P: What'll I do because ... will I be writing it out cos I didn't, that I don't think

T: You didn't do your poem on the prairie?

P: No

T: I think, well, E(P5) I think you're just worrying. I think you should check your jotter first and if you finish your painting, check your prairie poem. If it's not finished, finish it then. OK. Now. What page are we at in spelling? We're on page 17. The big group spelling please take out your book, page 17 and Yellows you can start your quiet reading now. Page 17. Now we're going to look at the words at the top of page 17 . We finished 16 yesterday. Are we all ready? E(P5) you have a pencil in your hand thankyou. If you're listening you don't need a pencil because you don't use a pencil to listen. You use your ears. Now. Some of these words here we may have done this week and this is an extra going-over of the spelling of these words now just look at them carefully. The first word. What is the first word, at the top, what is it?


P: Address

T: It's ... what's the first word written F(P6) that's not the first word at the top, F(P6)?

P: Dress

T: Dress. Dress is the first word. What kind of word is dress very quickly?


P: Noun

T: It's a noun. It's a noun, it's the name of something that we wear. OK. Now we're going ... it says [ TEACHER READS ALOUD FROM BOOK ] "Fit the short words on the left into the spaces on the right to make longer words". What is the longer word we're going to make there, E(P5)?

P: Eh ... I've not got my book

T: Is that why I've to speak to you because you're not looking at a book, perhaps

G(P7) could share just now. I did ask a minute ago did everybody have their spelling book on their desk and you didn't say no. What's the word going to be E(P5)?

P: Message

T: No. We're not at that one

P: Oh, address

T: Address. Address. What kind of word is address? E(P5) what kind of word is address?

P: Noun

T: It can be a noun. It can be a noun. We would normally use that word as a noun. OK? What spelling problems might we have with address? What do we have to look for, [ CHILDREN BID BY PUTTING UP HANDS ] H(P8)?

P: Two d's and two s's

T: We have to look for the two d's and the two s's, the rest of the word we spell as we say it. If we say the word properly we shouldn't have a problem. Next word ... what's the first word, I(P9)?

P: Mess

T: Mess. Mess. The first word there is mess. What kind of word is mess? [TEACHER POINTS TO PUPIL ]

P: Noun

T: It can be a noun. You can see a mess. You can see a mess. What word are we going to make using that word?


P: Message

T: Message. We're going to make the word message, now look at the word message. What spelling problems might we have if we don't SACAWAC properly? [ CHILDREN BID BY PUTTING HANDS UP ] G(P7)?

P: You have to look out for the double s

T: The double s. Another one? [ POINTS TO BIDDING PUPIL ]

P: The e at the end

T: The e at the end. What is that e at the end doing,


P: Making it silent

P: Well it is. but why is it there? It's there for a purpose.[ CHILDREN BID ]K(P11)?

P: It's making the 'a' say 'ay'

T: It's making the 'a' say 'ay' ... message. It's making the 'a' say 'ay'. OK


P: Mrs X, they're both compound words cos add and dress and mess and age

T: Well one thing about that ... if we were writing the word address, how many d's would it have?

P: Aw, it's got two d's

T: Yes, uh-huh, so that's not really. Mess and age is a compound word, you're correct, it is. OK. Next word, what are we looking at? Oh... did we say what kind of word message was? D(P4), what kind of word is message?

P: A noun

T: It's a noun. And it's something we can see, something we can get. OK. Next word, what's the first small word? What's the small word there? [ NODS AT PUPIL ]

P: Rub

T: Rub. What kind of word is rub? Rub? [ AGAIN, NODS TO PUPIL TO ANSWER ]

P: Verb

T: It's a verb. Can we do the verb family for rub. Altogether.

Ps: Rub, Rubbing, Rubbed, Will Rub

T: Rub, Rubbing, Rubbed, Will Rub. Now look at that word rub. I've just remembered a problem that some people had with a word we did this week that was very similar to that. Do you remember?

P: It was me * I done scrub*

T: * It was you. *Scrub, what did you do with scrub?

P: I done double d* .. double b*

T: *Uh-huh *You had a double b on just scrub, the verb to scrub, because I think, that ... what was the word we were given? Scrubbing?

P: Scrubbing

T: Scrubbing and you thought it should've had a double b and it shouldn't, it's single. OK? Right? So we've got rub, what kind of word are we making from rub? What word are we making from rub? Look at it. L(P12)?

P: Rubbing

T: Rubbing. Rubbing, we said that rubbing was part of the verb, but we actually discussed this the other day. What else can rubbing be? [ SEVERAL PUPILS EAGERLY PUT HANDS UP ] E(P5).

P: A verb

T: We've said it...we've said it was a verb. Another one.

P: A noun

T: We said it ... it was a noun sometimes and some people went out and they did rubbings for me, didn't they, they did rubbings and we've got them up on the wall there. What spelling problems might we have with rubbing? Rubbing, F(P6)

P: You ... eh instead of doing two b's you might only do one

T: Well you might. The double b there. Anything else we really need to look for in that word? [ CHILDREN SHAKE HEADS ] I don't think so. I don't think so. OK. Next word. What's the small word we're using first? [ POINTS TO PUPIL ]

P: Eat

T: Eat. What kind of word is eat? [ NODS HEAD AT PUPIL ]

P: A noun

T: Eat. Is eat * a noun?

P: *Verb

T: It's a verb. It's something that we do. It's something we do. OK. What word are we making from it? [ POINTS TO PUPIL]

P: Wheat

T: Wheat. Wheat. What kind of word is wheat? Wheat

P: Noun

T: It's a noun. It's the name of something, we all know what wheat is don't we? Yes. Where would we see wheat? M(P13)?

P: On a farm

T: In a farm. Where in a farm?

P: Field

T: In a field, we see it growing in a field. Right. What spelling problem do we have to look for in wheat?

P: The 'e, a'

T: 'ea' ... 'e' and 'a' together saying 'ea'. [ POINTS TO PUPIL ]

P: The 'h'

T: The 'h'. The 'w,h' ... wheat. It's not just a 'w'. Next one. What is it? First word, what is it? [ TEACHER NODS AT PUPIL ]

P: Less

T: Less and what word are we going to make using less? N(P14) what word are we making here?

P: Lesson

T: Lesson. We're making the word lesson. What kind of word is lesson? Lesson.



P: Noun

T: Noun, it's a noun. What spelling problems might we ave with lesson?

P: Some people might say lessin

T: Lessin - they might well, maybe if they don't say it properly [ POINTS TO PUPIL ]

P: The double s

T: The double s, the double s, and H(P8) thinks you've got to watch for the 'on' at the end if you say lessin OK next one. What word are we using



P: Eh ... room

T: We're using the word room. What word are we making with it P(P16) ?

P: Broom

T: Broom. What kind of word is broom? Broom

P: Noun

T: It's a noun. It's a noun. It's the name of something. Looking at that word any spelling problems? to look for? [POINTS TO BIDDING PUPIL]

P: Double o

T: The double o but I think probably in primary five that that's an easy word for us because it's a word we just spell as we say and we all know the double o sound. Next one. What word are we using first K(P11)?

P: Eye

T: We're using the word eye. What word are we making? [ CHILDREN PUT HANDS UP ] Q(P17)

P: Eyesight

T: Eyesight. What kind of word is eyesight? [ PAUSE AS HANDS GO UP ]


P: Compound word

T: It's a compound word. We're using eye and sight and we're making one big word eyesight. What kind of word is eyesight? Think about it in a sentence - M(P13)

P: A noun

T: It's a noun. It's a noun. You could go to have your eyesight checked. We're talking about how well you can see there. OK. What spelling problems might we have with eyesight. [ HANDS GO UP ] R(P18), can you see one?

P: You might eh ... You might eh ... miss out the eh ... the ... the 'g' and 'h' and make it eyesit. [ PRONOUNCED 'EYESIGHT' ]

T: Oh, you mean another spelling for sight at the end, what other spelling for sight? What other one? You've forgotten. E(P5)?

P: 'gt'?

T: No, no, I'm thinking of one, I think R(P18), think R(P18)'s thinking of one and she can't quite describe what she means. Now, what kind of sight are you talking about...a place?

P: Eh.. it might em might spell it... some silly people might spell it 'e, y, e, s, i, t'

T: 's, i, t' like eyesit with an.. but do you not think it would have an 'e' on the end it would be the other spelling for sight* Like this R(P18) look.

P: *Yes

T: [ WRITES ON BOARD ] I thought you were meaning this.

P: Oh right

T: That spelling of site yes that's like a campsite. I thought you were meaning the other spelling but it's this sight here meaning being able to see. OK. So we rub that one out [ ON BOARD ] because it's not that one. It's not that one. So we've got to remember it's the one with the 'i, g, h' Anything else, S(P19)?

P: You might miss, you might put an 'i' instead of 'e' and miss out the 'y'. The first 'e'

T: Yes well that 'eye', some people have difficulty spelling 'eye' it can be quite hard for some people and we've got to SACAWAC that very carefully, we've got to get that imprinted in our brain, we've got to get the picture of that in our brain because it's a difficult word to spell. OK. Last word for today. [ POINTS TO CHILD ]

P: Right

T: Right. We're using the word 'right' and what word are we making? I(P9)

P: Brightly

T: Brightly. Brightly. Now look at that word carefully. What kind of word is brightly? [ PAUSE ] The clue is in the 'ly'. At the end. [ A FEW HANDS GO UP, TEACHER NODS ] P: Noun T: No. Think about it in a sentence. Have you ever seen a brightly? Something's a noun we can always see it's something we can see. [ NODS AGAIN ] P: Is it an adjective? T: Well it's not an adjective it's a type of describing word but it's not an adjective ... well I suppose it could be an adjective P: Is it an adverb? T: It's an adverb. It's an adverb. It talks about what the verb is doing. You're thinking ... you'd be thinking about the sun shining brightly were you? Thinking about it being an adjective but it's not the sun that's brightly, it's the sun shining brightly so it's telling us how it was shining, it's telling us more about the verb so it's an adverb. OK. Your task for today is going to be dictionary definition, remember if you're doing dictionary definition we do not define a number. What must we write before the definition? U(21). P: The word that you're going to find the dictionary defin*ition for T: *The word that we are defining. We must write the word first. I do not want to see one, dash, and then a dictionary definition because then you are defining the number one and that's not the definition for number one. [ CHILD PUTS HAND UP ] Yes J(P10)? P: May I leave the room? T: You may leave the room on you go. I'll be with Yellow Group in one minute. Now. OK. Blues. Now Blue Group you know that you are doing handwriting, spelling and task and by that time I will be back to you. Blue Monitors stand. Blue Monitors please give out language jotters.Red Monitors Stand. Red Monitors give out Reading 2000 jotters. P: Are we giving out the tickets? T: Oh yes, tickets E(P5). How many children for cafeteria today? You're not Y(P25)? Four


T: He doesn't need one. Four for...[ PUPIL PUTS HAND UP ] Yes, W(P23)? P: Can you close the door miss? T: Can you close the door, are you cold? I thought we were too warm. OK. Close the door [ TEACHER CLOSES DOOR ] Now D(P4) perhaps you could get the Topic Readers and give them out to your group so that everyone's got one on their desk


T: If you read it before I come back to you. Now remember in your Reading 2000's jotter I've got worksheets to give you, please put a margin on the page so we've already got a margin for starting [ GENERAL NOISE ] C'mon T(P20) hurry up just get them all out. That's A's(P1) is it not? No that's C(P3)'s. C(P3)'s sitting there. Do you have a problem C(P3)? P: Sore tummy T: You've got a sore tummy? Go to the toilet just now.


T: OK. Well hurry up please we haven't got all morning [ MORE BACKGROUND NOISE ] Yellows. Could you please open up your language jotters. Oh, Yellow Monitors you didn't give out handwrit ... I didn't ask you. Handwriting booklets to everyone Yellow Monitors sorry. Yellows start with your handwriting just now. [ GENERAL BACKGROUND NOISE ] Could Red Group come over here please. All of Red over here. 'T' for talkative? [ CHILDREN STOP TALKING ] Thankyou. Now you have your work to do. Start now. Have you got a problem with those books D(P4), is that mine? Well just leave it down there and I'll get it when I come down. Thankyou, now get started, settle down. M(P13), why are you standing? P: I'm going to sharpen my pencil T: Right OK. [ PAUSE, MORE BACKGROUND NOISE ] Right OK Reds. We need to look at these paintings. Put your hand up and take your painting when I hold it up, quickly. Just stand with it here.


T: Well I'm just going to tell you about that E(P5). Whose's this one? This one? R(P18). Who drew this black line round the house that I said to colour over remember you don't see a house with a black line all the way round it. This one? U(21). OK. Now. Apart form E(P5) everyone has finished their background. Just sit down if you've got a seat, you sit on the floor just now. I'll see it in a wee minute. [ INAUDIBLE ] Handwriting Yellow Group. But you still know you still have a book X(P24) and you know what handwriting you did yesterday so you should be able to just go ahead with that now.


T: OK. The picture, 'The Prairie'. We're looking at the prairie. Now it's dusk there's not much light in our pictures well there shouldn't be much light in our pictures but now we've to add something to the picture. Could you sit down E(P5) please, thankyou. Now we've to add something to the picture, what have we to add to the picture that's going to throw light on our picture , U(21)?

P: The fire

T: The fire, what kind of fire is it?

P: A campfire

T: A campfire, is it going to be very big?

P: No

T: No it's not going to be very big. What colours are we going to use in our campfire?

P: You could use red, orange, yellow

T: Red, orange, yellow for the flames, yes?

P: Brown, grey and black for smoke and *logs

T: *Brown...pardon?

P: Smoke and logs

T: Smoke and a log, sorry O(P15), I'm speaking to a group do you need to interrupt me just now?

P: About the handwriting, do you put it in your booklet or your jotter?

T: Well could we discuss are we doing it in our booklet or our jotter today?


P: Jotter

T: Our jotter. Tomorrow's the booklet, thankyou, I thought we had already said that

O(P15). Now. You're going to do the campfire, the light from the campfire over your picture. Perhaps you'll have to brighten up some of the bits round your picture. It's going to cast a shadow, you're going to think about that, now, think about the size of the campfire ... in comparison to the size of the prairie. Now we wrote poems about the prairie and we discussed the size of the prairie. Is the campfire going to fill this picture?

P: No

T: No, it's certainly not. If you have a house in your picture and the campfire's just short ... a small distance away from the house, you'll have to look at size, that's really important. Now you're going to be using the paint on to dark colours that are there already, make sure the paint's not watery because it'll just fade in. You're going to have to try to use the bright paint I'm just wondering Mrs Higgins if the already-mixed-up paint might be better for this if you could maybe*

MRS H: *The stuff in the big bottles?

T: Uh-huh. If you could maybe put out red, yellow and orange for that and they could use the paint trays for anything else that they're doing but just even if you get an empty paint tray and just put a little* amount in each

MRS H: *Will I go and do that just now?

T: Uh-huh

MRS H: On the bottom shelves?

T: That's right. Well that would be great if you could because R(P18)'s just going to come out with you just now to do that anyway. OK. Now, R(P18) could help you, take your picture. [ R(P18) STANDS UP ] R(P18) could help you with that, em...Push your chair in R(P18) in case someone trips over it. H1(P26) could you please go and put four water pots on the table. F(P6)...Z(P27), could you get out a brush, the brush, our brush-pot there and just take, excuse me, oh, E(P5)'s being very kind he's opening the door for you, oh he's even getting it for you. Very kind, thankyou.You take those out and everyone could take one brush if at some point you want a finer brush and it's in our pot, change it but make sure all those brushes go back in our pot because if we leave them out there they'll get lost and we've been given those for our class and we don't want them lost. OK? So take your picture, would you please stand in the positions that I put you in. Now we want two reading books...

P: I'll take mine

T: Right U(21) take hers

P: I'll take mine

T: [ NODS ] and you sit one at the end of each table and prop it up so they can be seen.


T: We're doing the handwriting booklet V(P22) . That's their spelling words they're doing.

P: Yeh, but you said we'd to do handwriting in handwriting jotter.

T: Yes you do the handwriting in your jotter


T: The ones you did yesterday, what words did you do yesterday, open your jotter for me V(P22). Yes A(P1)? You can whisper something in my ear in five minutes.

P: Mrs X..


H: Mrs X can I see B(P2) just for two minutes please?


P: Mrs X did you say we'd to start on the task or our handwriting?

T: That doesn't matter really does it? As long as the tasks are done. Now.


T: No you haven't yet, you're doing them tomorrow in your book C(P3) that's for today. Twice in the jotter, once in the booklet, somebody's left a picture here. Now I think that's H1(P26)'s.

P: It is

T: It is isn't it? W(P23) take that..those out to H1(P26). I think when I sent him out to get the water pots he's left that sitting. Right V(P22).


T: Well it was the jotter, come on, let me see


T: No, did you not get round to do your handwriting yesterday?

P: No

T: No, oh that's why you're asking me right. OK. The words we were doing yesterday were 'bought' to 'right' now we had them on the board re...yesterday remember we were doing the entries and exits I wrote them on the board. All the entries and exits and you were to do them in your jotter, one row for each word. OK?

P: Can't find it

T: [ INAUDIBLE ] ...why you were going on there. You hadn't finished that, you went down one side instead of that side the last time so I think that you should complete that down to there just now. OK?


T: And since you're doing that in your jo ... in your book today... then tomorrow when we come to do our handwriting you'll be doing it in your jotter A1(P28). Right?



T: Wee minute please. Well I'm looking at that word there ... I'm looking carefully at that word there C(P3), now you haven't looked carefully at that word. Now you go... rub that out so we can't see it, and look at it carefully again because that's not correct. [ TEACHER NOW TURNS HER ATTENTION TO THE CHILD WHO HAD HER HAND UP]

Right V(P22) I'm coming again, what is it?

P: Do you think I've got enough space?

T: I think you've got colossal space there yes I think you have. Now...right put it there. Oh! I left this note in your jotter the other day and what have I written there?

P: Please put this into the correct order

T: And you haven't done it. Now if I leave a note like that in your jotter you're supposed to do that. That's a correction. Please put this into the correct order. You haven't written alphabetical and I don't know what you were doing, why did you put it in that order? Now I've underlined the first letter of each word for you to put those into alphabetical order. Do that now, do it now.


T: Yes, I'm coming to hear you ... reading in two minutes, once I get my book.

P: Can I whisper something in your ear?

T: Could we wait until after reading and you can whisper it in my ear Lynsey and ..or do you want me to go outside just now and whisper it?

P: I'll just wait till later

T: Are you sure? Is it not really that important that I have to hear it right away just now?

P: No

T: No that's fine, good. Right Yellows whose chair can I have? No is there any Doff there, no, where is the staple?

Ps: You can have mine Mrs X.. etc..

T: No I'll take this one

P: Do you want mine Mrs X?

T: No I'm just looking for one, M(P13) you're going to need yours over here. Right, bring your books over children. Yellow Group, c'mon. [PAUSE] Do you know what you're doing V(P22)? What would the first word there be? Look at it carefully. [CHILD LOOKS CONFUSED ] Can you say the alphabet for meV(P22).


T: Oh the paint trays [ INAUDIBLE ] Could you do five and six please

E(P5)? Sorry that was my fault I apologise.


T: Well, you know your alphabet, what letter are we looking at if we're putting it in alphabetical order? [ PAUSE AS CHILD LOOKS ] What letter do we look at in the word? In alphabetic order, could somebody tell V(P22)

P: The first

T: The first. Look I've actually underlined the first...letter of every word there that you had to put into alphabetical order. Which one of those letters would come first in the alphabet? Would it be s, w, t, n, or k? [ ANOTHER PAUSE - CHILD STILL DOESN'T UNDERSTAND ]

T: Could I have a dictionary please? Give me a dictionary. Thankyou B(P2). Is...well? [ AS TEACHER TURNS THE PAGES ] No in fact could I have a dictionary workbook. A workbook because I think that would be the best list now for V(P22) to maybe look at it just now. Thankyou. A(P1) I think that you're talking and you shouldn't be just now when I'm speaking cos that's rude. OK? There's the alphabet there. Now. Which one of those words should come first? Look at them there. [ ANOTHER PAUSE - CHILD STILL CONFUSED ] Look along the alphabet. Which letters are you looking for? [ ANOTHER PAUSE ] Well have you got a letter beginning with a?

P: No

T: Have you got one beginning with b?

P: No

T: Have you got one beginning with c?

P: No

T: Have you got one beginning with d?

P: No

T: e?

P: No

T: f?

P: No

T: g?

P: No

T: h?

P: No

T: i?

P: No

T: j?

P: No

T: k? [ PUPIL NODS ] Yes you have so that's your first word. Right just write that one down that I'm ... I'm going to just go through this with you I'm not going to make you write them all into order just now, just look at me just now. Right. L?

P: No

T: m?

P: No

T: n?

P: Yes

T: Yes you have so that's going to be your second don't write them just now

V(P22), you can do it in a minute on your own. o?

P: No

T: p?

P: No

T: q?

P: No

T: r?

P: No

T: s?

P: Yes

T: Yes, t?

P: Yes

T: u?

P: No

T: v?

P: No

T: w?

P: Yes

T: Yes you have. Have you got any other words left?

P: No

T: No, so you know what order they're going to be in now. Any time that you're stuck with alphabetical order would you please go and get a dictionary workbook with the alphabet and sit it in front of you? OK, if you're not sure how to do that V(P22). Right we're going to look at "A Gift From[INAUDIBLE]" now please. I don't have any ...could you bring a chair over boys, or sit on the carpet why don't you just, you going to kneel? I don't know if you'd be..kneeling X(P24) would be comfortable ! Co..come and sit on the carpet here, or bring a chair, just bring one of the Red chairs over cos they're..they don't need them just now.

P: Mrs X