Create a List

List Name

Rename this List
Save to
Back to the Top Teaching Blog
March 7, 2016

How to Inspire Your Kids to Write and Why You Should

By Shari Carter
Grades PreK–K, 1–2

    What, you want me to teach writing now, too?

    Fitting it all in can be very tough. Reading and math seem to get all the attention while, unfortunately, many other subjects get put on the back burner. One of the things I love most about writing is that you can incorporate it into any subject at all! Additionally, writing across the curriculum is a great way to increase higher level thinking skills. Finally, according to Teaching That Makes Sense, there are five reasons that we ask students to write in all subjects:

     

    1. Written output is a great way to assess student knowledge.

    2. Writing is the essential skill students need as they enter their adult life.

    3. Helping students learn to express themselves with confidence in all subject areas can contribute to improvements in behavior and self-esteem.

    4. Students who write clearly, think clearly. And students who think clearly have a better chance of navigating their way through the obstacles of adolescence.

    5. Writing is power. 

    If you would like to read more about Writing Across the Curriculum, please visit www.ttms.org.

     

    Getting Ready to Write

    • Setting Up Your Room

    It is very important to set up your classroom so that it gives support to your budding writers. The physical environment of your room must support the daily writing activities of your students. In kindergarten we use both a Word Wall and a Chunk Chart. My students refer to them all the time.

    • Word Walls

    I love watching my kids help each other find words on the wall that they are trying spell; they love to help each other as they write. Seeing the words on the word wall makes them become excited about words and understand that words can be used over and over again.

    • Chunk Charts

    Chunk charts — or word family charts — build phonemic awareness, a key to success in both reading and writing. Word families can help your students "crack the code" of our inconsistent language by providing some predictable patterns within words. They will also eventually see that one little chunk can unlock lots of words that in turn, can be used in their writing. 

     

    Special Places for Writing

    • Places for Writers to Grow

    I love that during our free choice time, my littles flock to the Writing Center! It really didn’t take much to create this space, but rest assured — they LOVE it! All it took was a table, trays for writing papers, some basic writing supplies that include (but are not limited to) clipboards, pencils, markers, colored pencils, and really, just about anything else you think your students would enjoy. I also have monthly picture cards with words on them that help my developing writers spell the words that are more difficult to sound out. 

     

    Journals

    • Where Kids Can Take Charge

    My students write in their journals every day. Throughout the day I make many instructional decisions for them, so I really like that they are completely in charge of their writing experiences when we journal. I don't ever give topics or journal starters, I just let my sweeties write whatever their little hearts desire. 

     

    Showcase Their Work

    • Bulletin Boards

    I am a bulletin board junkie! Nothing makes me happier than to see my kids' work on the walls of our classroom, the hallway . . . you name it! When my parent volunteers come in, it’s one of the first things they look at. When you take the time to display their writing, it sends a message loud and clear to students, that what they have created is important! This bulletin board has pictures of each of my students and stays up all year long. All I have to do is staple up their latest and greatest creations, right underneath their cute little pictures!

     

    Take Time to Celebrate Writing

    • Author Share

    I love writing, but I love when my students share their writing even more! According to Katie Wood Ray and Lisa Cleveland (2004), “Author share (or author’s chair) is not only a time for celebration but also a time for teaching.”

    We used to always do our author share in a chair, but my kids this year have persuaded me to let them use our Promethean board to share their writing instead. It took a few times for them to get it down, but now they love sharing even more. It can be very tempting to skip this part for time’s sake, but I highly encourage you to not. The pride that my children have when they can share their writing is well worth the time spent. Additionally, when my kids begin to author share, it gives just a little extra time to the kids who weren’t ready to be done writing.

    I couldn't be more proud of my little kindergartners' writing! They are just AMAZING!

     

    Resources

    If you need a great book to help you teach writing in kindergarten, this it the one! Randee Bergen's Teaching Writing in Kindergarten gives teachers a structured approach to daily writing that will help your students become confident and capable writers. 

    I’d love to hear all about your favorite writing activities. Please take a moment to comment and share your ideas for all to learn from and enjoy. Thank you so much! :)

    Don't forget to subscribe to my blog on Scholastic Top Teaching if you would like to get my latest posts delivered right to your inbox. 

    Thanks for reading, have fun with your kiddos, and I’ll see you here next time!

    Happy Teaching!

    Shari 

     

    What, you want me to teach writing now, too?

    Fitting it all in can be very tough. Reading and math seem to get all the attention while, unfortunately, many other subjects get put on the back burner. One of the things I love most about writing is that you can incorporate it into any subject at all! Additionally, writing across the curriculum is a great way to increase higher level thinking skills. Finally, according to Teaching That Makes Sense, there are five reasons that we ask students to write in all subjects:

     

    1. Written output is a great way to assess student knowledge.

    2. Writing is the essential skill students need as they enter their adult life.

    3. Helping students learn to express themselves with confidence in all subject areas can contribute to improvements in behavior and self-esteem.

    4. Students who write clearly, think clearly. And students who think clearly have a better chance of navigating their way through the obstacles of adolescence.

    5. Writing is power. 

    If you would like to read more about Writing Across the Curriculum, please visit www.ttms.org.

     

    Getting Ready to Write

    • Setting Up Your Room

    It is very important to set up your classroom so that it gives support to your budding writers. The physical environment of your room must support the daily writing activities of your students. In kindergarten we use both a Word Wall and a Chunk Chart. My students refer to them all the time.

    • Word Walls

    I love watching my kids help each other find words on the wall that they are trying spell; they love to help each other as they write. Seeing the words on the word wall makes them become excited about words and understand that words can be used over and over again.

    • Chunk Charts

    Chunk charts — or word family charts — build phonemic awareness, a key to success in both reading and writing. Word families can help your students "crack the code" of our inconsistent language by providing some predictable patterns within words. They will also eventually see that one little chunk can unlock lots of words that in turn, can be used in their writing. 

     

    Special Places for Writing

    • Places for Writers to Grow

    I love that during our free choice time, my littles flock to the Writing Center! It really didn’t take much to create this space, but rest assured — they LOVE it! All it took was a table, trays for writing papers, some basic writing supplies that include (but are not limited to) clipboards, pencils, markers, colored pencils, and really, just about anything else you think your students would enjoy. I also have monthly picture cards with words on them that help my developing writers spell the words that are more difficult to sound out. 

     

    Journals

    • Where Kids Can Take Charge

    My students write in their journals every day. Throughout the day I make many instructional decisions for them, so I really like that they are completely in charge of their writing experiences when we journal. I don't ever give topics or journal starters, I just let my sweeties write whatever their little hearts desire. 

     

    Showcase Their Work

    • Bulletin Boards

    I am a bulletin board junkie! Nothing makes me happier than to see my kids' work on the walls of our classroom, the hallway . . . you name it! When my parent volunteers come in, it’s one of the first things they look at. When you take the time to display their writing, it sends a message loud and clear to students, that what they have created is important! This bulletin board has pictures of each of my students and stays up all year long. All I have to do is staple up their latest and greatest creations, right underneath their cute little pictures!

     

    Take Time to Celebrate Writing

    • Author Share

    I love writing, but I love when my students share their writing even more! According to Katie Wood Ray and Lisa Cleveland (2004), “Author share (or author’s chair) is not only a time for celebration but also a time for teaching.”

    We used to always do our author share in a chair, but my kids this year have persuaded me to let them use our Promethean board to share their writing instead. It took a few times for them to get it down, but now they love sharing even more. It can be very tempting to skip this part for time’s sake, but I highly encourage you to not. The pride that my children have when they can share their writing is well worth the time spent. Additionally, when my kids begin to author share, it gives just a little extra time to the kids who weren’t ready to be done writing.

    I couldn't be more proud of my little kindergartners' writing! They are just AMAZING!

     

    Resources

    If you need a great book to help you teach writing in kindergarten, this it the one! Randee Bergen's Teaching Writing in Kindergarten gives teachers a structured approach to daily writing that will help your students become confident and capable writers. 

    I’d love to hear all about your favorite writing activities. Please take a moment to comment and share your ideas for all to learn from and enjoy. Thank you so much! :)

    Don't forget to subscribe to my blog on Scholastic Top Teaching if you would like to get my latest posts delivered right to your inbox. 

    Thanks for reading, have fun with your kiddos, and I’ll see you here next time!

    Happy Teaching!

    Shari 

     

Comments

Share your ideas about this article

Shari's Most Recent Posts
Blog Post
5 Days of Gingerbread Fun!

The weeks before winter break can become long, so take a little extra time to plan some exciting activities to ensure you and your students are having fun learning this month. Read on for a fun and festive Gingerbread Man unit.

By Shari Carter
December 7, 2016
Blog Post
A Thankful Teacher and a Thanksgiving Recipe

I love spending time reflecting on the blessings in my life and hope you do too! Here's my list of things that make this teacher’s heart happy, plus a recipe for a Thanksgiving dish I can't live without!

By Shari Carter
November 22, 2016
Blog Post
5 Stories and Activities for Thanksgiving

If you are planning to read to young students during the days leading to Thanksgiving, these books are perfect! Each story is paired with activities to enhance your learners’ reading experience, and make your teaching just a little bit easier!

By Shari Carter
November 8, 2016
Blog Post
Hip, Hip, Hooray . . . It’s the 50th Day!

Although it seems like we just had our first day of school, here we are, soon-to-be celebrating 50 fabulous days of learning! And with a little preparation, you and your students will be twisting, shouting, and learning 1950s-style.

By Shari Carter
October 25, 2016
Blog Post
Spider Activities Your Class Will Love!

Young children are fascinated with creepy crawly creatures. Teaching a spider unit in the fall is a perfect way to take advantage of this interest. Engaging themes help kids make connections to the real world and get them super excited about learning.

By Shari Carter
October 10, 2016
Blog Post
World Smile Day: Celebrating Kindness at School!

World Smile Day is celebrated on the first Friday of October. When we have more kindness, we will definitely have more smiles! Read on for ideas of introducing and reinforcing compassion and kindness in our students.

By Shari Carter
September 27, 2016

Susan Cheyney

GRADES: 1-2
About Us