In an article written by Jessica Kelmon I read this most interesting and ‘spot on’ observation of hers.
“Writing goes from zero to 60 in Kindergarten, from tracing the ABC’s and culminating in higher level thinking skills like forming, organizing, and expressing complete thoughts.”
How significant a comment! It begins with scribbles or what we call ‘mark making’. Decorative swirls, a few letters and even numbers, a string of letters, a child’s own name, but most Kindergarteners begin school with not knowing how to write. Kindergarten is when the children really begin to experiment, explore and develop a strong interest in writing down their thoughts on paper.Literacy begins with being aware of words and symbols that spur children to want to know want to write and want to learn. The alphabet and the letter sounds introduce a child to the world of literacy. Children learn how to form the shapes of the letters, what sounds they are associated with, and how to combine those letters to create words. Children begin to understand that the purpose of writing is communication.
Listen, speak and draw! Think of these skills as the big steps toward writing. Teachers read books aloud and ask questions along the way about the book itself, what the child learns from the text, how new information is connected to a child’s life, what happens in a story, and what a child notices about the events, the setting, the characters and actions. Teachers also ask questions that require a child to read between the lines and delve deeper into the understandings. Answers from a child should be in a sentence, expressing the thought and for you to assist that child to expand the thought.