"If there's a book you really want to read,but it hasn't been written yet,then you must write it." --Toni Morrison
We welcome the return of warmer weather! We are looking forward to some science experiments involving water and animal habitats and excited to learn more about amphibians and insects! We will also continue working on creative writing, discuss botany, and enjoy participating in events and cultural celebrations with the rest of the school!Although the weather has been fairly good to us this year, we still go outside as much as possible, so please keep sending in appropriate outerwear! Boots can help with mud on the playground as needed. Thank you!The students love participating in reading and writing activities during Enrichment. The writing process for younger students is similar to the process used in elementary grades but simplified to be age-appropriate. Writing can be a fun but also very important skill.
As fine motor skills and phonemic awareness develop, emergent writers are encouraged to use developmental spelling (phonetic spelling) in their individual work to describe their ideas, or label what is happening in their drawings.Learning to write (as well as read!) follows a process. Writing requires and combines many basic skills together! We start with where the students are individually and developmentally, and then introduce students to writing through a series of steps that build on their own experiences. Children are natural-born writers. Very young children are usually eager and willing to scribble marks (their ideas!) on paper. Even at this early developmental stage, they are on their way to becoming a writer. We continue to encourage this process along by exposing students to a variety of quality books read aloud. Older students are asked to notice the ways that authors use language to create and tell a story. These books are often used as models for writing in later years. We work on the writing process in whole group experiences and in small one on one conferences. Students often discuss their ideas with friends as well.We are using a modified writing process in Kindergarten Enrichment. This process involves several steps to help guide children from the beginning of writing to creating a finished piece. This process helps to provide structure and continuity in all forms of writing. The student's ideas and experiences are paramount!The Steps of the Writing Process (modified for kindergarten age)1. Prewriting – Students brainstorm to generate ideas for writing. It is a very verbal step at this age, done through conversation. Often, the teacher will help take notes on ideas. Older students will often use charts, story webs, and graphic organizers. We also use "story starters" to give students help in deciding what particular topic to write about.2. Rough Draft – Students put their ideas on paper. They write using phonetic spelling in kindergarten. The purpose of the rough draft is for the student to focus on his/her ideas and get them on paper. Basic illustrations often accompany the emergence of short text. In the early years, many stories may stay at this point. It is still a wonderful achievement!3. Revising - The students may use suggestions or questions from teachers or classmates who are interested in listening to the piece to make additions or clarify details. Not every story written at this level is reviewed or revised!5. Editing - Children work with the teacher and/or peers to correct some spelling, or change a phrase. At this age much of the grammar and language is left in the student's own words and voice. Not every story at this level is edited. It is much more important that students are communicating and sharing their ideas!6. Final Draft - Children review their work and then discuss this final draft with the teacher. The teacher and student confer over the piece and decide whether or not to go to the final stage of publishing with it. If so, a title must be chosen!
7. Publishing - The writing process is finally at its end. Children publish their writing by making a copy in their neatest handwriting or with computer processing. A new set of illustrations are made to accompany the final text. This is a time for students to celebrate! They may share their pieces with the class during "Author's Chair" time, and later with a wider audience!
How parents can help foster writers:
The writing process provides children with a model that is sequential and consistent. Children of all ages and levels benefit from the structure of the writing process. Parents are in a wonderful position to provide experiences that translate into meaningful writing by continuing to:• Provide a print-rich environment at home.• Read to your child from various genres. Compare and contrast selections!• Involve your child in daily writing by having him/her make lists for the store, label photos, write short letters and thank-you notes.These activities can make long-lasting impressions on your child. By modeling writing in the home, parents signal to their children that writing skills are important! We are excited to share a selection of our published stories with others at the end of the year. I hope this has been an interesting look at some of the writing we have been doing in the afternoon!
Thanks for reading!In friendship, Tr. Michele
The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you. --B.B. King
Special thanks toTr. Mary Kay of the CCFB!
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