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Writing at Coorparoo


Last week, I shared some information about the ‘Seven Steps to Writing Success’ program that we implemented as a whole school last year. Recently, while visiting 5/6A, students were engrossed in quick writes (5-10 minutes of focussed writing) with the learning intention being to use ‘Tightening Tension’ about a real-life situation (laptops in the classroom) in their writing. They were also encouraged to use some exaggeration. Have a read and see what you think:

Tightening tension (Leila)

1st time on laptops in 5/6A

As the inexperienced laptops filed into the room in their sophisticated boxes the class chatter died down and the centre of attention focused on the technology in their wake. The anticipation climaxed as Mrs A explained the preliminary cautions of cyber safety. Groans of disappointment filled the room as the system issued ‘access denied’ warnings, when finally a slither of children successfully in logged on. Many raised hands were dismissed as a distressed Mrs A  bustled around the room calling out tips of advice while clusters of kids turned in shock to find a home page waiting for them eager to start typing. Success!

Tightening Tension (Madi)

First Time on Laptops in 5/6 A

Screams, squeals and raised voices cut through the air as stress erupted from my distressed teacher.  Slowly and steadily I tried again.  Then again.  Stern demands echoed around my ears as step by step I continued to activate the laptop. Just like a robot. One thing after another.  My heart pounded with excitement as I struggled to keep my temptation from pressing another button without permission. Repeating a process that had been done one million times couldn’t get any worse. If it wasn’t for the enthusiasm in the air, I would be snoring. Click. Click. The blurred noise of fierce typing racked my brain as I strained to remember my password from last year. Yes that’s it.  Monkey’s undies 1998. 

As the relief rushed through my bones, I felt the pulsing in my body slow. No. Try again. The devastating news caused tears to well in my dry eyes as my blood penetrated my body as if trying to comfort me in these hard times.  This session would be the longest one yet. Muttering enraged words of frustration under my breath, I continued to slam the keys hard.  That is, until my teacher waltzed past, hair in the simple, usual plait trailing behind with large sunnies placed carefully above her head.  Caught out for careless motions. “Hmppphhhh!”. Then a piercing sound riccocheted the room, as I was sat out for the 57th time. ‘Mathletics now!’ boomed the teacher that powered over such young, innocent children. Little did I care that I was not included like the other normal, kids surrounding me. I just got out of work. Or did I?

‘Disobedient child, you may write out cubed numbers to 10” she offered as punishment. My sobs could have been heard a mile away.

Tightening Tension (Saxon)

1st time on laptops in 5/6A

Clicking sounds made my ears bleed. Eyes glued to the bright screens petrified me. I hate computers. My screen was blank, I had written nothing. I looked to my left only to see my classmate’s screen filled with paragraphs. ‘Stop looking at other people’s work!’ my teacher yelled. I instantly turned to my laptop pretending to type. My heart was beating more than it ever had before.  

Tightening tension (Will S)

1st time using laptops      16 February

Mrs A we knew was at the edge of screaming. As she fiddled with her hair we knew for her there was a cliff in front of her with an abrupt drop.  We also knew she was about to plunge over that cliff.  Fast.  She would try to use her soothing voice but it croaked as she held back her anger. Stressed faces were now like celebrities as by now the class of 5/6A were at the edge of tears. “Don’t talk,” she whimpered in frustration, eyes transfixed at the computers anger throwing knives at her eyelids.

“Hey, do you want to verse in live mathletics?” Saxon whispered to Isabella.

“Enough” Mrs A bellowed.

A few people burst into tears. Tears of happiness! The bell had finally rung.


For those students who are interested in continuing their love of writing at home, have an exciting competition for all grades that is free to enter. You have the choice of writing a poem or a short-story. The poem must not exceed 16 lines and the short story needs to be less than 500 words. Entries must be completed on online before Friday 31 March. During the time that the judges are reading your work, you may be asked to purchase a copy of the book where all the winners will be placed. There is NO expectation that you are to buy this book. Students in the past from Coorparoo have been fortunate enough to have their entries published or received prizes but it is at your discretion that you enter the competition or purchase the book.

If you do decide to enter the competition, we would love to display your stories around the school (location will depend on the number of entries and you will be notified at a later date). In order to do so, could you email a copy to Miss Iris van Sloten (

Good luck with your entries!