Thursday, March 29, 2012

Teaching Young Children to Write

Question: How can teachers prepare young children to write?

Answer/Quote: “ ‘What’s the crazy thing that happened in this story?’ Diane asks, as she ;props the big book against the book shelf. She’s just led her first graders in a shared reading of Joy Cowley’s Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s Scrubbing Machine, and now she’s eliciting possible sentences for the interactive writing lesson to follow. ‘The scrubbing machine went wild,’ the children call out. As Diane begins the writing event, she draws a line across the large writing tablet, about 9 inches from the top. Pointing to the space she has just created, she explains that it will be ‘the practice part,’ and that ‘the bottom part of the paper will be where we write.’ ” P. 330.

Comment: A variation on the student-dictated language experience writing and reading lesson. The top part becomes the “practice part’ of the page, the place to brainstorm ideas, correct spelling and sentence structure. The bottom part is for the actual organized, corrected writing. Good idea. Solves the problem often raised about whether students should only produce corrected writing. RayS.

Title: “The Practice Page as a Mediational Tool for Interactive Writing Instruction.” Cheri Williams, et al. The Reading Teacher (February 2012), 330-340.

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