Introduce writing experiences daily...
Present kindergarten writing experiences to your students on a daily basis. This does not mean worksheets!
Children gain skills as they participate in daily meaningful writing activities. They learn that their thoughts are valuable, that words can be written down and that the meaning of those marks on the paper remains the same.
Read "Encouraging children to record their observations" for more ideas on how to support children in meaningful writing experiences in your classroom.
Kindergarten writing skills
Kindergarten children are working towards being able to:
- create simple messages using pictures, symbols, letters, and words
- take part in conversations before writing to come up with ideas
- use spelling that incorporates their knowledge of letter / sound associations (e.g. cdls for cuddles)
- copy words
- print the letters of the alphabet, their own name, and simple words
- share their writings with others
Kindergarten Writing Development
Children arrive in kindergarten at all stages of literacy development and learn a great deal by observing both the teacher modeling writing and their peers' attempts at writing.
Encourage children to take risks . Once or twice a week, model making mistakes to show the children that making mistakes is fine and how we learn.
Make an odd looking letter and say, "Now how could I have made that letter differently?" "Mmm, I started my M at the bottom, maybe if I try it again starting from the top."
How does children's writing develop?
Kindergarten Writing Stage 1- Drawing/Picture Writing & Scribbling
- Children begin expressing their thoughts, feelings and ideas with pictures and scribblings.
Kindergarten Writing Stage 2 - Random Letters
- Children begin to print their own names and put "strings" of letters across the page.
- They often copy reading and writing behaviors at this point.
Stage 3 Semi-phonetic(Early Spelling)
- Children begin to use their knowledge of some letters and letter sounds to print words.
- Some start writing from left to right especially when the process of printing words is modeled for them daily.
- Reversals are common - don't worry.
Stage 4 Phonetic
- Children have now learned more letter/sound associations (the sound of "m" is mmmm) and are applying them to their writing.
- They often get the beginning and end sounds of words correct, but use vowels less frequently.
Stage 5 - Transitional Spelling
- Children start to remember things like leaving spaces between words, a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence and even a period or question mark at the end.
- They often write more than one sentence and are applying many letter/sound associations.
Stage 6 - Conventional Spelling
- Children can now spell many words correctly and have memorized many words that do not sound out easily.
- They call upon their knowledge of phonics to spell words that they are unfamiliar with and will check how words are spelled in child friendly dictionaries.
What about printing numbers?
- Like anything else to do with young children, teach them in ways that involve their senses.
- Rather than starting with worksheets, try teaching children to print numbers with finger painting .
- Keep samples of the number being practiced close to the children's papers.
Beginner book sets
Christmas story map
Hands on literacy activities
Listening and speaking
Math and literature section
Mini-books - tips for using
Outside activities that encourage reading and writing
Picture books - criteria for choosing and suggestions
Picture books 2
Picture book illustrators
Picture book videos (DVDs)
Responding to literature
"Theme" - check out this section for more literacy ideas