DRAW, TALK, WRITE, SHARE
When children begin school, they bring with them many life experiences which they can't wait to share with their teacher and friends. As teachers, we have found that writing time allows the children these moments to express the emotions of these experiences.
While some children are always the first to run to the writing table, reach for the resources and get going, there are others who have difficulty getting started. Allowing the children to first draw a picture of what they would like to write about, is a great start. It provides the idea and gives them time to think and recall the details of what they would like to include in the story.
Providing an audience for the children to discuss their picture, builds vocabulary and prompts questions which the children can provide more detail in order to answer. Interacting with other children at this stage stimulates more ideas for their writing.
After the drawing and talking, the children are now ready to write. Whatever the children write at this stage is GREAT! Whether it's just random sounds they know, shapes on the paper, experimenting with lines, or sight words they are attempting to spell, they are STILL WRITING! We need to encourage and foster a love or writing and self expression. In these early stages, the focus should not be on letter formation, spelling or punctuation, it should be on getting the children to LOVE the EXPERIENCE of writing - the colours and textures of paper, the pencils, textas and crayons, the envelopes, stamps, tape, hole punch and staplers.
Like everything children produce, it should be shared and celebrated. This work is their's and its brilliant! Providing them with opportunities to share and talk about what they wrote gives the children a sense of accomplishment and success as a writer! Every time children feel success, they build confidence and that's where the learning truly begins!
Today at Tightrope Learning, Harrison ran in, bursting to tell me all about his visit to Questacon during the holiday break. He showed me some of the things he had made. He was so excited. I asked him to draw me a picture of the best part of his day at Questacon. He then talked to me to about his picture. He told me that his dad, mum, nan and little sister were all there with him. He drew a picture of the Space Centre which was his favourite.
When it was time to write, Harrison almost made me cry tears of joy as he attempted to hold his pencil correctly for the first time. He even told me he "made a finger space". Even though today wasn't about that, he is now applying things I have taught him throughout last term...So rewarding!
As Harrison continued to write his sentence, he asked me to assist him by "dotting the words please". He told me the words and watched as I formed the letters Together, we made the sounds in each word. Harrison then traced the letters.
The end result was AMAZING. This was Harrison's first ever piece of writing. He was bursting with pride and loved displaying it on our classroom wall for the other children to see next week!