Home > Early Learning, Environment > Let’s Talk…Early Writing

Let’s Talk…Early Writing

February 26, 2014

_20140226_153645We hear over and over the importance of reading and math in early childhood education. Today I had the pleasure of someone reminding me about the importance of writing.  It was once believed that children learn to talk, then read, and then write. What we now know is that all of these are more intertwined with each other than what we once believed and children do not all follow the same steps. As early educators, we need to be providing literacy-rich environments – thinking beyond just books but including expansive language, listening and writing into our programs.

Perhaps you have a writing center set up in your space that includes tools like pencils, paper, stencils, notepads, envelopes, markers and chalkboards with chalk. Give thought to what you are doing to draw children to that area and how you are supporting children’s writing skills that might not choose that area during a self-selection time.  Here are some ideas to get you started –

  • Model the function of print – “Let’s make a list of things we want to do today.”
  • Write dictation on children’s artwork and read it back to them
  • Encourage a child to write in a journal (even if it is emerging writing) about an enjoyable experience
  • Point out letters naturally found in the environment to build print awareness
  • Promote invented spelling rather than actually spelling words for children
  • Help children see themselves as authors and illustrators of their own stories
  • Add clipboards, paper and pencils to other indoor and outdoor areas for children and adults to document

Keep in mind that it is the INFORMAL experiences that are the most valuable and applicable to children’s learning. This would include seeing their own name in print, reading books they helped write or are included in, reading labels of their favorite foods, and pretending to read and write during dramatic play. This is where rich learning with depth happens rather than the drill experiences of ABC flashcards we may have once thought of as “how teachers teach.”

How do you change up or supplement your writing center to keep it fresh for children? How do you add to the environment to support each child’s growth in writing abilities? Share with us at http://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/childcare/writing/



Malisa Rader

Malisa Rader

Malisa Rader is a human sciences specialist that misses the daily hugs and high-fives from little people.

More Posts

Early Learning, Environment ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Showing 2 comments

  1. I think that writing is a very important life tool. I hate it when I get something written, and it is hard to make it out what it says. I think we should place more amphasis on children learning to write, and maybe even make them have to pass tests that has them write egibly. However, I understand that this is never going to happen as we use computers so much these days that things such as handing assignments in, and writing letters are all done electronically.

  2. @Preschools
    I agree! I love it when I receive a hand written thank you note. My grandmother passed away recently and in cleaning out her things we found love letters between her and my grandfather. The handwriting was beautiful and I recognized it instantly. I just don’t think it would have been the same as a text message or email. Thanks for sharing!