Thursday, March 10, 2011

Incorporating More Authentic Writing into Activities

This past Monday I had the opportunity to visit some amazing teachers at a school in Windsor. After viewing their kindergarten classroom and seeing children in action during play time, I came away with some great ideas for how to provide more opportunities for authentic, child-produced writing in our program.  We started some of these this week and I am eager to share them with you so that perhaps you can engage your children in discussions about the writing they are doing at school.

We now have a "Sharing" space where each day children can write down ideas that they'd like to share with others. The children were eager to share information about what was important to them at both home and school. This open ended opportunity for writing helps encourage all children to share their ideas, regardless of what developmental stage of writing in which they are.

We also now have a make and display area where children can share their structures and creations. Children who want to display their work are encouraged to label it, so others can learn more about what they've made.

We've also added a writing space in our building area so that children can record their contruction ideas in print. Today a child was excited to share what she had made using the 3D connectors. She accurately drew her creation by tracing it, and then added the words after. What a neat idea!

We asked some children who had painted pictures to add captions so that others would know what had been created. Children sounded out their words with some teacher assistance and these are now on display in our classroom.

We are so thrilled with the enthusiasm our children have had towards these writing endeavours. You can help out at home by encouraging your child to engage in authentic writing. Providing a journal so that your child can freely draw pictures and write words is a great way to encourage and celebrate authentic writing. You can also have your child help write letters or emails to relatives, write or copy the grocery list, and make labels for their toys and other household items.

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