How Do I teach Kindergarten to write?? - ProTeacher Community


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How Do I teach Kindergarten to write??
Old 01-14-2007, 08:25 PM
 
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Ok! So I am teaching in an inner city school. The kids had several teachers before I took it over in January. I need to teach writing but I don't have a clue. We have been practicing writing the ABC's together. Some are struggling with that. I need to get the kids writing words and little sentences. How do I start that? What do I do? Oh and I am sure some of you are like She should know she is a teacher. I am a brand new teacher just graduated in Dec. I have no clue about Kindergarten. Thanks for you help.


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some tips
Old 01-15-2007, 05:04 AM
 
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Hi Lilybug-

Some tips to get you started:

Put print all over the room...so almost everything has a label. Teach them how to copy words off the wall.

Have a word detective center: the team has clipboards and they walk around the room and copy words they find.

Read several read alouds each day that model good writing.

Start with having them label drawings. Teach them when they draw a cat, to label it cat. Teach them how to find the word cat in the room; word rings, wall charts with themes, or off a book, or write down some letters because they know words need letters. Once they know some sounds...encourage invneted spelling..have them put down the sounds they hear and praise them for taking a risk!!

Make sure they know the difference between a word, letter, and a a sentence. Do lots of phonemic awareness and playing around with sounds.

Practice the sounds of the ABC's everyday. I use a big a ABC chart with pictures and we go through it like this.. A, apple, /A/, B, bear /B/

Have a wall with environmental print they recognize...have them bring in favorite cereal boxes, candy wrappers, etc.

Have some sight words (about 20) and practice them...flashcards, writing them in shaving cream, stamping them, cuting them out of magazines, word searches, etc.

Have theme word walls with words they would be interested in, for example, at Halloween you might have ghost, witch, pumpkin, candy...draw pictures for each one so they can find the word they want.

Start reading groups with level A and 1 leveled readers.

Get some resources on Interactive Writing, so at least 3 days a week you can do it.
ALSO--
Start a writers workshop...

start with a read aloud
complete a mini lesson
Have the kids talk about what they are going to do with writing today

Spend time letting kids share their writing with the group...even a picture is a stage of writing, so let them talk about their drawings and ask them what they wrote about.

teach the 6 traits of writing...start with IDEAS. Teach that ideas are the heart of the message...share great books that demonstrate a strong heart of the message as an example.

Teach talking bubbles and the word HI. kids LOVE making talking bubbles and it gets them started.
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Writing
Old 01-15-2007, 05:39 AM
 
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Kali gave you some really great tips. It is so important to expose the children to writing all the time. You need to be a modeler of good writing and when you write you need to point out the concepts of print as you model it....I can not stress the importance of modeling in the K classroom. I would also suggest that you begin to study Writer's Workshop. It is a huge undertaking for someone trying to figure it out on their own, but some of us here on Proteacher are doing it in our K classes and I am sure we all would help you all we could. I would suggest getting any Lucy Calkins materials you can concerning the WW. If you are interested in persuing this I can give you hints for each unit of study if you would like. The institute has been working with us this year, so we are really blessed and I would be glad to pass on their hints and instructional practices. I am also in a city school and it has done wonders for my writers. Also, don't feel that because you are a teacher that other teachers think you should already know everything....believe me.......it is a learning experience every day of your career and if teachers in your district are giving you that sort of attitude beware..........I have been teaching for 30 years and I am constantly learning new things and asking questions. Please.........if you need any help just ask and I will try and help you as much as I can. If you would feel better about it you can also send me a private message with your questions. Good Luck....you are going to love K.
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writing
Old 01-15-2007, 06:33 AM
 
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I don't want to speak for kali, but I think you should also realize that all those great ideas she gave you are a way to structure the rest of your classroom. But the children can and should still "write" everyday. CHildren learn to write through approximations. Whatever they write IS writing and it will become more and more conventional if you do the things kali mentioned and talk about and model writing like judy said.

But the most important thing of all-- and the thing that many people will tell you they "can't" to-- is to have them WRITE EVERYDAY.
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Old 01-15-2007, 08:11 AM
 
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If your students are still have problems forming the letters correctly you can download a font that they can trace or copy a handwriting page that they have to trace the letters to learn correct form.

When I taught kinder I had a word wall I put their name and picture under the correct letter. Then I had picture words. I would put the picture like a ball and on a sentence strip I would write ball and but it under B. I also add the sight words we were studying. I did a letter at a time. What every letter we were studying that week I would add the picture words under it. I went to the just dollor store and bought those fly swatters that are shaped like frogs or bees and bought them as pointers. The students would get to pick a pointer and then I would have them read the words under what ever letter I choice for them.

Also EVERYDAY we wrote in our journals. I would copy paper that had a picture box at the top and the 3 lined writing lines on the bottom. At first I would write in my journal at cirlce time. I started simple. I had a big chart tablet and I would write I like red. Then draw things that are red. I would write I like.... on the board and they would copy it and write there favorite color off the word wall. They could also write I like.. and a classmates name. Or I see and a picture word off the word wall.

After a while of doing those types of promts then I would have them write about a cat or dog or other picture word and they would have to make thier own sentences. Or a sticker story where they might have sticker of a snowman and they have to write about. We would brainstrom words that they might need to use like scarf your nose or hat and put them on the board. Alot of their sentences were I like or I see sentences but it was a start. By the end of the year they were able to write 3 to 5 sentences on their own.

these are things I started day one with my students.

Since you are just now starting you will have to modify and adjust what you do to get them started on writing. Make it fun have an authors chair where you pick different students to share their writing each afternoon before school is out to help them take ownership. More and more students will want to try their best so they can shine and share with thier classmates. Good luck!


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journal writing
Old 01-15-2007, 08:42 AM
 
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I think the best way is through modeling journal writing. I have the children help me write my journal entry. I use the white board and they help me with the stretching of the words and recording what we hear. We learn a lot about the mechanics of writing this way such as first letter capital, period, space between words, left to right and return to left when a line is filled. Also include your picture (it is a very important part of kids writing). To help them learn to spell frequently use words, I have a word wall, too. (There are a lot of good resources out there on using word walls). After modeling, the kids think of their own idea and write in their journal. (They have an alphabet strip at their spot to help with letter formation.) I and volunteers sit with as many students as possible during the writing time to give assistance as needed. It takes awhile for this to get going and at the beginning you will feel like you are getting no where, but give it time and you will see them blossom. The majority of my children after 1 semester are able to write 1 if not more self initiated sentences in their journal. Understand their writing is not perfect, but it is growing. I love teaching writing this way. It is so exciting to see them become more independent as the year progresses.

I also award 2 "hard worker" awards each day after journal time to motivate them to work on their own. They then get to use the teacher's chair and a special marker/pen writing box the next day. This is a really big deal!
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Modeling is Important
Old 01-15-2007, 04:53 PM
 
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I model for the children and even have thme copy what I wrote at first but then we wean them off my writing and on to their own.
Like modeling reading children need to model writing and its importance too!
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Old 01-16-2007, 05:08 PM
 
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Great ideas in here. When you first start some children may do scribble writing, or a mixture of symbols, letters and numbers, then random letters, then move to writing the first sound of a word, then some sounds, not vowels, then a simple sentence using invented spelling with no spaces at first. There are many stages of writing, so don't stress out if at first you get lots of the early stages.
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Old 01-18-2007, 04:05 PM
 
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Do you know about Lucy Calkins?? I LOVE the program...it's great for all abilities cause you ask them to do things at their own pace. I also do "Word Work" where I spend some time every day on the letter of the week and the sight word of the week. I have them write them in their journals and then I also do class minilessons about words that start with that letter and the sound and so on.
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try this website for k writing ideas
Old 01-18-2007, 07:07 PM
 
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here is a very good website with lots of ideas...but this link will take you straight to her writing lessons. she actually gives you specific lessons to teach writing to k. broken down by what to teach each quarter and each lesson builds on the prior lesson. i highly encourage you to take a look here. i think it will give you a very good start to your writing program:
http://www.jmeacham.com/writing.mini.lessons.htm
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"Writing Mini Lessons for Kindergarten"...
Old 01-19-2007, 07:58 PM
 
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Author is Hall. It's a great resource: get it at a teacher supply store or get it off the internet.
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I agree with i teach k
Old 01-20-2007, 02:16 AM
 
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Jessica's website has wonderful writing mini lessons. I have used some of her ideas in combination with Lucy Calkins' Units of Study to set up my Writer's Workshop. My kids love to write everyday and if we have an assembly or special event that happpens during our writing time, they are disappointed that we didn't write independently. On those days, I usually do interactive writing.
Anyway, this website is a great starting point for getting students into the routines of writer's workshop.
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Denver Public Schools Curriculum Page
Old 01-20-2007, 02:24 AM
 
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is also a good site with lesson plans broken down by grade level for reading and writing. When you get to the page, scroll down to the grade level you teach and click on the links for reading or writing. They use America's Choice for reading and writing workshop, but some of the general ideas in the lessons will also help you establish routines for reading and writing in kindergarten.

http://curriculum.dpsk12.org/
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interactive writing
Old 01-20-2007, 08:45 PM
 
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I teach a pull out kinder esl class of 15 students for 40 minutes!!!! by the time they get to my class it is 35 minutes. I racked my brain trying to figure out what to do with that many kids without it being a waste of time. I would, like some other teachers have suggested, do interactive writing with them. Come up with a short sentence with the class. I am using picture cards to help with vocabulary too. Count the number of words in the sentence with them. Focus on the sight words they need to know as kinder. and when you come across one put it on the word wall. Choose a phonics concept you want them to know and when you write a word with that concept turn it into a mini word family lesson. Have students share a contribution to the writing no matter how small: using a tounge depressor to put spaces between the words, having a student write a letter in the word that is the first letter of their name. Remember to read the sentence several times for shared class reading. Use high interest sentences also like: We love icecream! Then make a graph of which flavors every one likes, having them come up to put their ice cream "flavor" on the graph. Sorry it is a long post, but I hope it helps. I do understand. Oh one more thing, if you are writing a sentence with a couple of words you know they don't know then just go ahead and spell it out yourself. You don't want to get bogged down on something like that.
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Old 01-25-2007, 04:53 PM
 
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Isnt the NYC very big on writers workshop... you should receive training. If not... get lucy clakins books... all of them on writers workshop.
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Old 02-13-2007, 07:39 AM
 
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Hi, I would like to tell with my experience. Let first step be scribbling. Then the second step is, start teaching them simple strokes like in drawing method. Slowly they get an interest in writing. At this time you can go in to teaching of upper case letters. I hope this method would be useful to you and work out well.
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Start with what they do best...
Old 02-25-2007, 05:19 PM
 
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We started by getting aquainted with our notebooks, writing tools, workspots, routines, and expectations. We quickly moved onto telling stories uisng our oral language (spoken words). Tell them that they are experts at this, and you know because they tell you stories ALL the time. Share that these stories are so interesting to hear. Practice telling stories [recent events, memorable events, future events, etc]. When we did this we sat in a circle/oval just as we do for share time now (might as well get them in the routine of share time, right?). After you've done this a day or two, move onto sharing stories using illustrations. Model how to do this. Allow the children to draw their own stories for a few days, and at the end of each session, have share time so students can orally share their picture stories. Practice this for a few weeks, until they are comfortable. During the share time, I'd ask, "Tell us about your story? What is your picture about?" Practice sharing more details. This is a precurser to detailed writing (in later months). At this point, don't worry about words and sentences, just get really good at sharing a story by drawing a picture and using our oral language to tell the story. When the class seems ready (after they've become more knowledgeable about the ABC chart and letters/sounds), begin to label the stories with one word. Move onto two words. During share time continue sharing the longer version for the story, but after they've shared their oral story, ask them what label they added to their story. Continue this for a few weeks. When they are comfortable, start modelding how to write a sentence about your story/picture. Bring to their attention that authors write words for their stories (use classroom books as "proof" of this). Model, model, model. Some will still label, others will begin to catch on.
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Teaching Writing....
Old 03-30-2007, 03:42 PM
 
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Hey there I know exactly what you are feeling. Last year was my first year teaching and I started in the middle of the year with a class that had 3 teachers and many substitutes prior to me. It was a rough class; however, I was able to get them to write in such short time.

The principal recommended a book called "KidWriting" its by Eileen Feldgus. You can find out more information about it on the website www.kidwriting.homestead.com. I really recommend this book. It is very resourceful and helps you to get started in teaching kindergarten to write. I purchased the book and read it in a week. It was wonderful and I put it into place immediately. If you follow the program, you can see results within a few weeks. It worked for me last year and has worked for me this year.

The other thing that I do to decrease the questions "teacher how do you spell ____?" is to put up a word wall in which I place their sight words and other commonly used words, such as mom, dad, cat, dog, etc. This really helps them.

The other thing that helps them is having an individual dictionary page in which I have included their sight words and a few extra words. I've even included the phrases: Once upon a time, The End, and I love you.

Oh more thing, as a fan of writing myself, I express to students how much fun writing is what kinds of things you can do with it. I also let them know that must love their writing and take pride in what they do. I have even purchased a small plastic bottle in which I have put in glitter. I call this our magic writing powder. When I sprinkle this on their hands, they become super writers.

I hope all this helped.
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Please Help..struggling with lesson plan
Old 01-08-2008, 06:33 PM
 
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Hello,

You all seem like very well rounded teachers. This is my first year teaching Kindergarten and I am going to be observed shortly by the principal. I am nervous, and am having a difficult time coming up with a successful, rich, connected lesson.

It is going to be literacy based, about 35-45 minutes (which scares me)
I was hoping to read some sort of a story to the children, and the somehow do an interactive phonemic activity at the carpet with the children (segmenting, letter/sd association, rhyming) that connected to the story, and then have the children go back to their seats and do some of writing promt connected to the lesson...or something...

We are in some what of a winter theme..this lesson can go with the theme but does not have to...

Please, any suggestions would be appreciated.

Again, I am thinking of cute mini lessons, but having trouble coming up with a rich connected lesson...and i want there to be a strong focus on phonemic/writing...she doesn't like a whole lot of fluffiness(singing, dancing, etc.) Thank you
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