Students in the early years develop their writing skills in stages. Understanding this progression helps us understand at what stage our students are at and what to expect from them. More importantly, to appreciate where they are developmentally and celebrate their efforts and accomplishments. The picture on the left outlines this progression.
My students are 4 and 5 years of age. In my school district students can enter kindergarten if they are 5 years old prior to March 1 of the following year. Many of my students were 4 years old when they entered my classroom. Up until now their writing has been drawing, scribbling with a few letters. It’s amazing how far many of them have come! Some of my students are starting to sound out and use a few sight words, others require a model and I have two students who are still working at printing their name. The gap begins early!
Evolution of A Child’s Writing
In the link below you will find a more detailed description of this process.
In observing my students I also learned that they need a letter formation guide with a picture clue of what sound that letter makes because they forget when required to transfer this to a writing situation. I frequently saw them referring to our wall where the letters are posted alphabetically with the picture that is related to that sound (the characters found in the alphabet readers and animated song video). I realized they needed something that they could place beside them for a quicker reference. The letter formation and picture guide was recently created to assist my students. A photograph of this guide is displayed on the right. If you are a member, login to your account and access this printing and sound guide from the link “Alphabet Program” and the “Alphabet Pictures”.
Integrating Craft and Writing
On my Pinterest board you will find some suggestions on how you can integrate writing with a theme related craft activity.
POST YOUR EXPERIENCE – SWITCHING FROM HALF DAY KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM TO FULL DAY
One of our election platform promises was to provide a full-day kindergarten program five days a week. There has been a significant amount of media hype in regards to this. There is talk that this might be a possibility for the upcoming school year. Once the budget is released, I honestly cannot foresee this occurring. I think we get accustomed to politicians not following through with their promises. Initially, I was not in favor of this but in some situations I think this would be beneficial to students where the home environment does not stimulate their child intellectually.
I know some of you have experienced the transition from teaching half-day to a full-day program. What has your experience been? Do you find that the students significantly benefit more in a full-day program for five days a week than a half-day program?