Sunday, March 12, 2017

Writing Can Teach Reading, Part 2

Word Writing
In our previous blog, we told you how we introduce writing with whole group activities.  Our next step is to introduce writing words with our students.  Most of our students have not had pre-k and come into our program very inexperienced.  Since their names are the most important words in their lives, we begin with teaching them how to print them. 
One of our work stations or a job on our Morning Job Board is to trace their name cards.  We purchase bakery paper and the children take their laminated name cards, one sheet of the paper, and a Vis-á-Vis pen for tracing their name 4 times on one sheet. 

These can be purchased at Sam’s Club or Costco.
To help the children form the letters correctly, we print their name cards using purple and green markers for each letter.  The purple portion is written first and then the green portion finishes each letter. The starting spot is marked with a black dot.  
We send homework for name writing during the year too.  The top of the page in the beginning of the year says: 

Name Writing Homework
  1. Please have your child trace the letters on the first line and then write the name again on the next lines.  
  2. Help your child name the letters of his/her name.  This is an important first step in learning the alphabet. 
We change the name papers to lined paper as the year progresses. 

Write The Room
Our classrooms are full of print!  One of the students’ favorite activities is to use a clipboard and move around the room, copying the words off the Word Wall, bulletin boards, and charts.  This is a literacy station activity so only 5 - 6 children are walking around the room at any given time. 

Create A Sentence - FREEBIE!
Here’s another idea for a literacy station prior to journal writing.  The children take one sentence paper, draw a picture to complete the top sentence, and then copy the sentence on the lines below.  The picture they draw to complete the second is different than the first to create a new sentence.  Then they “read” their sentences to a friend or a teacher.  

Illinois ASCD PreK-K Conference
Schaumburg, Il, extended its hospitality to another great PreK-K Teacher Conference sponsored by Illinois ASCD last week.  We flew in on Wednesday and set up our booth to begin exhibiting on Thursday and Friday.  It’s always so much fun to meet other sellers and teachers!  Here are a few other booths: 

Katie&Co.  Fantastic flannelboard sets that are heavy-duty with songs or chants for letter identification, counting, social studies, science, and much more!  Click here to check out their website.  

Our “next-door neighbors” at Schaumburg
The Kindergarten Smorgasboard: We spent time visiting at The Kindergarten Smorgasboard booth.  Click on the photo to visit their blog. Did you know that Mr. Greg travels to other cities to do workshops?  He’s coming to Chattanooga June 10 for a one-day conference and make-and-take session.  Click here for more info!
Hope to see you in Tennessee!

ESGI:  It’s always good to visit with our friends from ESGI!  Every time we meet up, we learn something more that their assessment program can do.  What a great time-saver!  If you haven’t checked them out yet, click on the photo and be prepared to save time with your one-on-one assessments.  You can use their preloaded assessment (over 200!) or create your own.  Now the program will create groups based on the assessment results for you!  Get a free 60-day trial when you click on this photo: 


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  2. Love these ideas! I especially like the Write the Room! Great way to add movement into language arts!

  3. I *love* all the beginning writing ideas! My kids have ALL been fascinated by their names as preschoolers/kindergartners so I can totally see this being a fabulous first activity for beginning writing. :) Also, I have never tried using wax paper as tracing paper: I'm definitely trying this one! Thanks for the great tips!

  4. I remember how accomplished my son felt when he first learned to write his name. I love the movement and creativity in your classroom!

  5. Using wax paper is such a smart (and cheap!) idea! I can see how students would really respond to this.

  6. Oh my gosh!!! I love your "WriteThe Room" activity!!!
    I am definitely borrowing that idea!