This presentation was not designed to tell you everything you need to know about writing, but more or less remind you of the foundational skills that go into creating students who enjoy writing and inevitably write interesting and detailed works. In future CPDs, we will go more in-depth in evaluating student writing and discuss learning tools and writing programs that can be used to get students to be proficient writers.
In all cultures, personal and cultural history needed to be documented, so primitive languages used symbols such as pictures like hieroglyphics, which gave rise to the modern languages of today. As we know, standardized Arabic came about to unite Muslims and share the words of the prophet Mohammed (pbuh) written in the holy Koran.Sharing stories are the foundation to learning to write. Through experimenting with word sounds, intonation, speed, and vocabulary, children develop their understanding of how language is used in different contexts. Listening to stories help children to create their own “voice” and consider what details are important to describing something.
One of the first parts of the brain that becomes developed in babies is the area of speech and communication. Developing language is the first step to communicating our needs and wants, as well as determining what is appropriate in one’s culture. Later on, toddlers master large and fine motor skills, making it possible to hold pencils and crayons to scribble (did you know that there are 22 different kinds of “scribble?”)and later draw shapes that will later be the foundation for letter formation. Eventually children come into the understanding that what is said aloud can be represented as words. And through experience, they learn the structure and styles of different kinds of writing.
Now I want to share some ideas with you. These lessons are examples of how we use the students oral skills to help them to develop their ability to describe important elements that must be in our writing such as details and events. They can be used as “warm-ups” or introductions into a more formal writing lesson, or a way to fill 10 -15 minutes before the bell rings. They are meant to be easy, requiring barely any prep or materials.
These tools are activities that are done within a longer lesson, and can be focused to meet a specific outcome that you are working on. For example, if you are working on a letter for the week or words that rhyme, you can use pictures or objects that complement these other objectives. You can also tie this into math by including numbers or shapes into the materials that you use. You can be as inventive as you wish, because these tools allow for a lot of flexibility and creativity.
Examples of story chests. Teachers work in small groups using the materials to create a short story.
Examples of Story Cubes. Teachers work together in small groups to create short stories.
This “story string” used real beads to symbolize characters, events, and the setting. This is an elaborate and complex story done by an 11 year old girl. Examples of simple “story strings” available for teachers to explore and use to create stories in small groups.
Try to use one of these ideas during the next week. We will be meeting next Sunday to further discuss this topic, so it would be nice to hear how students responding to these activities. Also, please bring some examples of student writing as we will be examining the ir work.
Last time we discussed the importance of talking and listening because it is the precursor skill to actual writing.Today I will discuss:- the stages of writing.-How drawings are an important element in developing student’s writing skills; in fact teaching how to draw objects and use other art materials or writing objects help build fine motor skills and confidence. -What tools we can use in the classroom to help students plan both their formal and expressive writing skills.
Writing is more than correct letter formation and grammar. We need to create time in our classroom to cultivate their skills through real writing experiences. This type of writing is more authentic because they are not merely “copying”, they are creating “words of art!”.
Stages of Writing Development Hand-outIn the beginning, children become aware that speech can be written and begin to recognize that writing is used to convey ideas, feelings andinformation. They write about personally significant topics. They record in symbols what they say and read back their messages at the time of writing. Their writing attempts show concepts about print including left to right, top to bottom and spacing. They write approximate letters for some of the letter-sound relationships they know and may interchange upper and lower case letters. Theyattempt to spell words by writing one or more of the letters in the word, usually having the initial letter.2. Children become more focused and write personal recounts and simple texts about familiar topics to convey ideas or messages. In their writing, they use conventional letters, groups of letters, and simple punctuation such as full stops and capitalletters. Students are aware of the sound system and the relationships between letters and sounds in words whenspelling. They form letters correctly, and use a range of writing implements and software.3.They write short sequenced texts that include some related ideas about familiar topics. They write texts that convey ideas and information to known audiences. They select content, form and vocabulary depending on the purpose for writing, and describe the purpose and audience for their own and others’ writing. They accurately spell frequently used words, and make use of known spelling patterns to make plausible attempts at spelling unfamiliar words. They use capital letters, full stops and question marks correctly. They reread their own writing and use a range of editing resources to revise and clarify meaning. They write letters legibly with consistent size, slope and spacing.http://www.merrivale-ps.vic.edu.au/image/am68/Writing.pdf
During child development, the right side of the brain is more developed than the left. The right side “thinks” in pictures, so it is easy for a child to come up with a picture rather than words for an idea that they have. It is our job to interpret their picture by asking questions about it—who, where, what? We should never jump to conclusions about their pictures. More often than naught, their picture (story) is more interesting than our interpretation. It also gives us important insight into the mind of the child, and is very useful when we are planning or assessing. What details are included in the pictures ARE IMPORTANT—they are creating “writing” habits in this early stage, so they need to be encouraged have more elaborate pictures. Research has shown that these student become better writers because they include more adjectives and adverbs when they move into the conventional stage of writing.
Reading stories to the class can be a spring board for writing. The most basic way to use literature is by doing responses to reading; students develop personal connections-what did this story remind you of? Have you ever felt this way before?You can also review the basic elements of a story: the characters; the setting; the problem and its solution.You can also go into more deeper ideas such as the importance of using certain words and pictures in telling a good story. How else can reading help support writing?
Graphic organizers can be “visual worksheets (paragraph planning hamburger)” or they can be handmade by the students (problem-solution puzzle piece)Look at some examples in small groups,
How we become writers
How We Become WritersTHE DEVELOPMENT OF WRITING SKILLS PART 1: TELLING THE STORY
What is Writing?Can we agree that…Writing is an invention of symbols that represent ideas that wish to be recorded. These ideas are based on shared vocabulary (words) that are created by the combination of letter sounds (alphabet).
Writing Emerged from the Need to Share Stories Orally.Young children come to understand language through listening to people talk andengage with them. They also begin to identify words with objects or images, whichdevelops larger vocabularies and understanding of their culture and world they livein.Studies show that children’s literacy rates are higher in families who interact andread frequently with them.
How Writing Skills Develop Oral Pictures True Language or other written Symbols forms.We begin to learn how to speak first, then begin developing fine motor skills, andlater more complex understandings of how oral language can be represented inletters and words .Because young children lack the knowledge of the alphabetic principles, they usepictures or symbols to represent their ideas. Through education, they learn how toread, spell, and write in sentences.
Skills checklist:fine motor skills (usemuscles in the fingersand hands) attention to focus forperiods of timememory to generateideas and retrieveletters and appropriatewords Writing combines manylanguage to be able to skills and relies onexpress themselves. development in areas not specific to writing.
The Foundation: Telling Our Stories Story time: Student tells a brief story about an important event that happened to them. When they are done, the audience explains what they understand about the story and asks questions. Treasure Tells: Students bring in personal items or photos and share a family story with the class. Telling a Good “Yarn”: One person holds a ball of yarn and begins telling a story, then passes the yarn and the storytelling to another classmate.These activities are best for whole-group instruction and should be modeled bythe teacher first, as well as explaining the etiquette for audience participation.
Some Tools for Creating Stories Story Chest: A simple box with objects or photos that a student may use to create a story. Story Cubes: Cubes that have pictures glued to each side. Students roll cubes to make up stories. Story Strings: Students use icons glued on a ―string‖ to tell story; can also use actual beads that are threaded in the order of the story.Students are taught how to use this in large group instruction, andthen can work with partners and take turns telling stories.
A box that contains:•Photographs of differentsettings.•Figures to use ascharacters.•Interesting props such assmall cars, objects from adollhouse, or other smalltoys/objects. Story Chests
Story Cubes are a tactilethinking and storytellingtool for exploringrelationships andnarratives.Each of the six sides canillustrate or describe anidea, a thing or an action Story Cubes
Tell sequenced stories toa partnerRepresent storiesthrough pictures and/orwordsDevelop a story usingdetails Story Strings
Let’s Try Some of These Ideas! Think about how these tools help create writers in our classroom.
Other Ways to Develop the Communication of Ideas Here’s where YOU get to share other creative ways to promote story telling by students.
How We Become WritersTHE DEVELOPMENT OF WRITING SKILLS PART 2: ILLUSTRATING OUR IDEAS
Going BeyondHandwritingWorksheetsStudents need time todevelop their skills andexpress their ideas!We want them to createrather than copy ideas.
An Overview of Writing in Primary GradesBecoming Aware Invent Symbols Write ―real‖ that Ideas Can to represent words that be Written As language explain ideas. Words.Let’s take a look at some of our students’ expressive writing to find outwhat stage they are at.
Supporting Their Development Drawing Asking for more details in their Teaching them how to draw and use pictures. different writing tools. Labels and CaptionsStudent dictates ideas and teacher Teacher prompts them to label or records them. create captions. Formalized Sentence Structures Writing multiple sentences to createFocusing on spelling and grammar. paragraphs.
In the beginning, we needto help children developcaptions for their pictures.Ask lots ofquestions, never assumeanything!!!1.Who is in the Picture?2.What are they doing?3.Where are they?4.What made you First drawing…..then WRITING!think of thatidea?
Next ……We need to work with themto write more formalsentences. -letter direction and formation. -spacing between words. -using punctuation correctly. -Correct spelling. This is an on-going process, and sometimes we have to focus on one particular skill (letter spacing) until we observe mastery.
Writing mini-lessonsfrom reading stories tothe class:-thinking about theimportance of picturesin telling a story.-how authors come upwith ideas for stories.-looking at languagepatterns to createemotion or interest suchas repeating words/phrases or rhymes.- Books not only build reading skills but writing skills.- --
Homework! Start implementing some of these strategies and tools! Evaluate current student samples—what ―stage‖ are they at. Make a note of it!—you want to see growth! Begin compiling authentic student samples (not handwriting worksheets!!) to be examined at next CPD.
Sources International Academy Of Education , Teaching Reading http://www.ibe.unesco.org/fileadmin/user_upload/archive/publications/EducationalPracticesSeriesPdf/prac12e.pdf Badry, Fatima, Milestones in Arabic Language Development. http://literacyencyclopedia.ca/index.php?fa=items.show&topicId=274 The Complete Year in Reading and Writing by Karen McNally and Pam Allyn (Chapter 2, pp. 41–56) In Pictures and In Words by Katie Wood Ray Talking, Drawing, Writing: Lesson for Our Youngest Writers by Martha Horn and Mary Ellen Giacobbe The Happiest Toddler On The Block by Dr. H. Karp Office of Learning and Teaching, Writing Progression Points http://www.merrivale- ps.vic.edu.au/image/am68/Writing.pdf