My Child is Writing!
Do you remember how excited you were when you heard your child
speak her/his first word? You eagerly accepted whatever variations and
simplifications your child used ("Ga" meant "I love my Grandma!"). Your
delight encouraged your child to try many new words. Through modelling,
accepting, elaborating, listening and echoing, your child learned to
speak. This is the way we are helping your child to learn to write.
as children go through many stages in their oral development, written
language follows predictable stages. These are some of the stages
children pass through as they develop writing ability.
Stage One: Scribbling
is a child's approximation of writing. It can be compared to a child's
babbling as an infant. Both babbling and scribbling need adult praise.
Just as you encourage your child to babble, it is very important to
encourage your child to scribble messages and compose stories.
Stage Two: Fluency
stage is similar to the stage at which a baby begins to string sounds
together. It shows that your child now knows how writing should look.
Stage Three: Random Letters
this stage your child's writing may look more like printed language,
though not readable (to you!). Your child has begun to recognize that
words are made of letters, but she/he is not particularly concerned
about which letters represent the sounds in the story. This is similar
to babbling that has the inflections of language. Encourage your child
to "read" to you what the message says.
Stage Four: Early Sound-Letter Representation
stage is similar to the stage at which your child said her/his first
words. As parents/caregivers, you understood and accepted these first
words. You will see many efforts to make the connection between letters
and sounds of words. Whole words are often represented by just one
letter during this stage.
Stage Five: Temporary Spelling (Invented Spelling)
this stage your child is beginning to realize that each letter has a
sound. At first she/he may use letters (usually consonants) to represent
beginning sounds, then ending sounds, and finally, some of the sounds
in the middle of words (usually vowels).
Stage Six: Standard Spelling
this stage, your child recognizes and attempts to use standard
spelling. When a child's writing is at this stage, we teach "standard"
spelling and English letter patterns whenever we model
or demonstrate reading and writing. Children need opportunities to
practice writing real language. They also need instruction in common
spelling rules and patterns.
My goal for this class is for each
child to gain confidence and enjoy writing. As parents/caregivers, you
can help me reach this goal by praising your child's early writing just
as you praised your child's early talking. If you have any questions
about the writing process, which stage your child is in, or how you can
help at home, please give me a call!