Friday, July 11, 2014

Writing With Beginning Writers!

 I'm linking back up with the fabulous Laura Graham, from Where the Magic Happens!  She put together a wonderful series where teachers dig into next year.  I have gotten so many fantastic ideas through this linky.  Below is the rest of the schedule for the topics in July.
 Check Where the Magic Happens each week for more great ideas from teachers!
Explore writing with beginning writers.  I love the preschool and kindergarten age!  Children are so full of wonder with the excitement of learning and the novelty of life.  I love exposing kids to joy and magic in learning.  It is my philosophy that learning will come, if you can make it authentic and FUN!

In my experience, young children (even those with fine motor issues) love using novel writing tools.  Smelly markers, chalk, paintbrushes with water, shaving cream, play dough, and the list can go on and on!  I love tapping into the children's excitement by using a variety of writing implements to encourage their writing.

Learning to write is a process.  Writing at the preschool level, looks much different than conventional writing.  Children are learning through their play.  It is so important to provide children with the tools to explore writing.  Children are learning to hold a pencil, scribble on the paper, draw a picture, and move a writing implement in a purposeful way.

This does not mean only pencils and crayons.  Children can explore shapes, letters, and numbers with their feet.
With wands, or flash lights.  Anything to get their body moving in a purposeful way.

 I will be adding to my repertoire of writing fun.  I really enjoy having children use their entire bodies to explore writing.  I am always on the look out for more unique ways to engage children in the writing process.

Pinterest is an amazing resource.  I created a board to collect all the ideas I find for early writing.  You can see it here.  I hope to think outside the box and bring magic to writing with my daughter.  I love to see children ask to "play" an activity again.  This is the highest praise.  You made learning so engaging and fun that children rank it up with their with their most beloved activities.  This is my goal.
 I will continue to use movement and a variety of implements to help my daughter explore writing.  I do many of the same things at home that I did when I taught preschool and kindergarten.

I will continue to use:
- Shaving cream on the tables to draw, trace, or write
- Sensory boxes with rice, beans, or salt to explore drawing shapes, letters, or numbers.
- Flashlights to trace shapes, letters, or numbers on the wall, floor, ceiling.
-  Feet to trace shapes, letters, or numbers on the floor.
-  Wands to draw & trace shapes, letters, or numbers on the floor or walls.
-  Ziploc bags filled with hair gel to draw and trace letters, numbers, or shapes.
-  Play Dough to build shapes, letters, numbers, or to "draw" a story.
-  Paintbrushes with water to write on the ground.  (I love writing with chalk and the students trace with the paintbrush and water.)  You can also use it on a chalkboard, if you have one.
-  Smelly markers, crayons, chalk, dry erase markers, or Vis a Vis markers.  My daughter is instantly engaged, if she is using an "adult" pen.
Students are often so engaged when writing their name.
This is usually the first letters that a child will learn to write.
I have some products that really engage students in active, hands-on learning with the alphabet and numbers.  Students are able to explore letters and their attributes with their feet, hands, and bodies. 
Put Your Best Foot Forward
Romp and Stompin' Letters
Students can explore number formation with interactive play dough mats.  I have a selection of 7 right now, but plan to add more.  If you buy the bundle now, you will be able to re-download every time a new set is added!  Click here to see all the Interactive Play Dough Sets.  Click here to see the bundle.
Thanks for exploring early writing with me!  Be sure to head back over to Where the Magic Happens  to see some more ideas on writing instruction!

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