Sunday, November 17, 2013

Strategies for Teaching Writing in Kindergarten

 
Kindergarten students enter the school year with varying levels of ability, especially when it comes to writing. As a kindergarten teacher, I’ve seen a range of writing, from scribbling to writing sentences. The key is to begin with where they are. We all know that kindergartners are full of thoughts and ideas. They just don’t know how to express what they’re thinking in writing.

After students are comfortable with the writing process, I begin to introduce them to the mechanics of writing simple sentences. When teaching students about writing, I explain to them that writing is like telling a story on paper. I begin by showing them what their thoughts look like. For example, I have them share an idea while I write it on the chart. In the beginning I emphasize the content of the writing rather than grammatical correctness.

At the beginning of the school year, I introduce my students to writing simple sentences. I like to begin the sentence and have my students finish it. Some starters I use are "I am," "I like," "I can," and "I want." After several weeks of using sentence starters, many of my students are confident and ready to begin writing their own sentences.

Once my students have mastered writing simple sentences, I encourage them to add a little sparkle to their work. For example, if a student writes “I like dogs,” have them explain what types of dogs they like. Continue by guiding them through the creation of a new sentence. For example: “I like brown dogs with curly hair.”

I also like to use this expanding sentence activity when teaching my students to add descriptive words. I model this activity with my students several times to help them understand and master the concept.
 

Writing is a skill that requires daily practice. Each day my students begin their morning by writing in their journals. Students are free to write about a topic of their choice. Journal writing is a great way for your students to practice articulating their thoughts. Journals encourage students to retell or create their own stories as well as to practice fine motor skills and letter formation. Journals can also help teacher’s measure progress and find out more about their students' interests.

 

Enjoy,

Nora Sierra

Early Childhood Coordinator

 

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