Kindergarden Canvas

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” ― Aristotle

Writing Process

on February 21, 2013

It is a challenging process for a Kindergartener to transfer an idea in their head to paper. Throughout the year I scaffold instruction in order for a child to be successful.

In the fall we create framed booklets: a simple pattern with a single word to fill in (a child copies a word or traces over a highlighted word). Children learn that text flows from left to right, there are spaces between words, and there is punctuation at the end of a sentence. Meanwhile I am working on letter identification and the sounds associated with letters. I also do intense teaching of phonological awareness skills – the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate the sounds in words. We need to be able to hear the parts of words prior to being able to effectively translate it to print.

By January students generally have a solid grasp of the aforementioned skills. I now set a blank paper before them and model how to get the idea out if their head onto the paper. I start by setting a purpose. I make my instruction explicit. For instance, on Monday we practised the skill of recounting. “Today you are going to practise the skill of recounting. What did you do on the weekend?” I shared with the class some of the things I did. I explained that it is helpful to share your thoughts with a friend as a friend can help elicit information from you and clarify your thinking. I modelled how to do a walk and talk. I took a partner by the hand, we walked and he shared what he did over the weekend. I asked him who and where questions. I then partnered up children and had them do a walk and talk. When I called everyone up to the carpet I highlighted students who asked their partners questions that elicit information. I then randomly called on children to report out what their partner said. Next I modelled on the Smartboard how to do the actual writing. I told the class that my goal is for them to put spaces between words and to use at least one letter to convey a word.

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I said that it is important for me to see your ideas in print and encouraged them to use bubblegum spelling and robot arms to figure out the letters in words. I sent them off to work. Here are some of the results.

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After a child has completed his/her writing he/she needs to read it to two friends, then come read it to me. When a child reads it to me I have a mini conference informing the child what he/she did well. e.g. I noticed that you remembered to put spaces between words. If I notice that a sight word that we have been working on is misspelled
I ask the child to correct it. For instance, last week ‘my’ was one of the sight words we focused on so I asked a child to go back and fix it. Finally we celebrated our hard work by having Author’s Chair.

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2 responses to “Writing Process

  1. sharonhales says:

    You are an amazingly awesome teacher, Heidi! You are what I aspire to be!

    Sharon 🙂

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