I’m a professor at George Mason in English. My PhD is in education with a focus on writing development across the lifespan.
I also am the Director of the Northern Virginia Writing Project. Nvwp.org
I work with LOTS of teachers throughout Northern Virginia. I don’t like to give one-off talks as a form of professional development, but I’m really interested in expanding the nvwp to include preschool educators. I’m also interested in early childhood writing development; so, this is a fun conversation for me to have!
This is my little girl, Estella. She’s 3 years old. So, there are three reasons I’m giving this talk: I’m an educational researchers, a teacher of teachers, and father of a preschooler.
and to engage in positive interactions with parents and teachers
Why does she jump rope? How does she learn?
Please don’t use writing as a punishment!
Pt. 1 is the constructivePt. 2 is the multimodal
Children draw on the world of print that surrounds them in forming their hypotheses about what writing is and what it does
Let’s climb to the top of Mt. Obvious for a minute
The thank you card! Remember its intentionnot convention!
Teaching Children to Write from the Start
Teaching Children to Write from the Start: Ability,Culture, Meaning and Mechanics October 17, 2012
An Overview• An interactive conversation – You are the experts on the children at your school• Some background about writing and writing development
Why focus on writing?• Writing is a key element of academic success.• Writing is a powerful learning too that supports both understanding and remembering.• Writing is a key ability for full participation in the 21st century.
2 out of 3 U.S. students failto meet grade level demandsin writing.
Authentic Purposes• Telling what I’ve learned (reports)• Describing an experience (travel writing)• Keeping notes (journaling)• Comparing ideas (reviews)• Conducting research (creating knowledge)• Analyzing problems (making the world a better place)• Sharing happiness and wisdom (fictional narratives)• Introducing an important person (profiles)
Create a Writing Center– Provide supplies and journals • Everyone gets their own journal binders work very well– Most important ingredient is YOU (close and sustained support)– Open ended and semi-structured– Lots of “prewriting” • Lists • Maps • Proto writing • Name writing
What happened in “Click Clack Moo Cows That Type”?
Strategies• Write every day• Revisit and reread• Share the writing as a group• Letter tracing• Name writing
Name Writing• A window into children’s emergent writing• The child’s name is often the first word they begin to write• The child first learns to recognize letters in their name, especially the first letter (own name advantage)
Name writing tends to progress in the following manner:• (a) scribble; (b) linear scribble; (c) separate symbols, with letter-like forms; (d) name written with correct letters and mockletters/symbols; (e) name generally correct, with some letters reversed or omitted; and (f ) name written correctly
Use Name Writing with Self- PortraitsLook for lots of little transitions
Strategies• Focus on what’s RIGHT!• It is the act of writing that needs encouragement• Write with your students
Strategies• Extrinsic rewards??• Using mentor texts – Supplied by both teacher and child• Share what You write• Celebrate writing• Writing floats on a sea of talk
Evaluation• Respond to completion• Respond to pride of authorship• Encourage students to try out ideas
Freedom of Choice• Varying the amounts and types of input – Experiment – Let’s spend the next few minutes writing anything we want
What are the most importantelements of of written language that children need to learn?
Beginning• Does a story have a beginning?• Does everything have a beginning?
Middle• What comes after the beginning?• Does a story have a middle?• Do you remember what happened in the middle?• The Climax is the final event in the middle before the problem is solved or resolved?
End• Does a story have an end?• What happened at the end?
Rewriting the model story• Once the children have had enough experience so they understand the basic parts and can retell the story, they will be able to rewrite it using their own words.
Write an original story• What is a story?• What are the parts of a story?
Instructions• Now that you’ve learned so much about the parts of a story you will enjoy writing your own story. Let’s write a story together. It can be funny, or spooky, or you can write an animal story, or one about your family and friends. The only thing you need to remember is that your story must have a beginning, a middle, and an end.