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A guide to help parents help students with the writing workshop Celebrating our authors and illustrators in kindergarten


Why Lucy Calkins Writing? Children learn best… • to read and write through gradual approximation to adult convention. • in risk-free environments with high level of challenge and support. • through social interaction with a more knowledgeable peer or adult.


Children need…. • many opportunities to write about topics of their own choosing. • frequent, ongoing opportunities to play with written language and investigate how written language works.


PHONICS BASED SPELLING

• “Common sense tells us that five, six and seven year olds should not be expected to accurately spell all words on their first attempts.” • Learning to spell is a process. • An effective way to teach spelling is to have children stretch out words and then compare the phonetic spellings to the conventional spellings.


Children will: • Get Writing folders • Check the Green dot side of the folder for a story to continue • Reread the story • Think about where to take the story next


Writing Helpers: • Each adult works with a small group of children. • Children are encouraged to help each other hear the sounds in the words. “By encouraging all of the children to help each other, we not only foster cooperative learning, but also empower the children to learn from each other’s phonetic challenges.


• Sit along side the child with his/her work between you  (In his/her hands.) • Eye level • Ask about their writing. • Respond to what they’re telling you. • It feels like an intimate conversation


Questions you might ask: •How is writing going for you lately? •What have you been working on as a writer? What if students cannot put it into words because they don’t have the language?   If that’s the case, you can watch what they’ve done, and name it.  For example:

“Oh, I can see that you’ve sketched your story and now you are going back and adding labels.” or: “I can see that you’ve finished your story, and are now adding details to your drawings.  You are revising your story by telling more.”


Helping students get started on a new story:

Talk with child about their story and what will happen. Ask questions about what happens first/next/last. Have them touch the page and verbally rehearse before writing or sketching when starting a new story.


Helping to spell: •Have them stretch out the word. •When stretching out a word don’t waste time on letters they can’t figure out. (ex. Light) •Refer to our ABC charts. •Look around the room for sight words, characters, and charts introduced. These words can be spelled correctly. Children go to the words and bring them back to where they are writing. •The


Helping out the teacher for further instruction:

The adult writes on a sticky note attached to the back of the child’s writing the correct spelling “adult writing.” The child reads his/her sentence with the adult while tracking the words. This helps the teacher know where the student is developmentally in their writing. Example: IGTAJRMFRKRSMS

(What do you suppose the adult post it says? What does this tell the teacher?


IGTAJRMFRKRSMS I GT A JRM FR KRSMS I got a drum for Christmas. What does this tell the teacher?


• When I’m done I’ve just begun…I should: – – – – –

Reread my writing Talk with a partner about my story Add details to my picture Add details to my writing Start a new story


Keep It Risk Free Mistakes happen… • Encourage the child to cross out • Erase for them What helps… • Encourage traveling the room to get words, characters • Encourage sharing with each other Writer’s Block… • Remind them that non-fiction is easier to write or to write about themselves and what has happened to them


Letters • EASY TO HEAR • • • • • •

B D J P S T

K V M Z

• HARD TO HEAR • • • • •

C F G H N

Q R W X Y


AIM FOR A TARGET SOUND • “Watch my mouth” Have them do this with you. • Get louder • Drag sound when you can •

Body movement – lean forward while working with a child


Handwriting • The main focus is getting the ideas down not accurate, perfect formation of letters. However….. • Please help with grips • Remind letters are top to bottom “Where do you start your letters – from the top!”


THANK YOU • Writing is successful when we work as a caring community. • Thank you for volunteering to help us. • Happy, enthusiastic writers, readers and illustrators are the result of celebrating our writers!


Kindergarten lucy calkins parent power point