Wednesday, 25 November 2015

How You can Help Kids Develop Writing Skills

Early childhood education has very different expectations these days. Certain things remain all time constants, of course: parents look for an environment that can help their child develop independence, practice self-expression, and learn discipline. They expect teachers not only to identify and nurture their individual talents, but also help kids acquire the basics of interpersonal communication skills, responsible socio-cultural behavior and potentials for building successful careers. Here are some strategies suggested for you, as an early childhood educator, to help develop the writing skills of kids; these are an integral part of the core of early childhood education.

The objectives of developing writing skills

The main aim of developing written communication at every level is to help the children find their own voice and feel confident about taking independent personal and social responsibility. Home environment plays a big role when it comes to nurturing a child’s writing talent. Early childhood educators should find suitable methods to synchronize their work with parental involvement to ensure early writing development.

Guidelines for sharing work with parents

Early childhood educators should convince and get involved parents to help kids do at home the following.
  1. Recognize the shapes and sounds of letters and words as they read them out.
  2. Model the recognition of high-frequency sight expressions and words: help the little ones sound them out, and make use of illustrations to initiate the reading process.
  3. Form the habit of asking questions to link new vocabulary, series of texts and events to self development while reading a story.
Levels of writing development

A clear understanding of the following phases through which young minds learn to write can help educators monitor pupil readiness and progress.
  1. Scribbling and drawing: the development of writing begins with pictures. Scribbles and pictures are interchangeable. Kids at this level are not able to distinguish between the two, and are not proficient enough to associate print with meaning.
  2. Letter-like forms and letters: children start to repeat letters, normally from sighting their names written in print. They are not able to connect letters with the sounds, but are able to connect text with meaning.
  3. Beginning and salient sounds: inventive spelling happens during this stage. Children begin connecting words with letters they hear distinctively when words are read aloud.
  4. Starting and ending sounds: kids start to write with spaces in between words, and make use of less-salient letters in words.
Offering support at every writing stage

Given below are a few ideas for you.
  1. Scribbling and drawing: it is important to include writing into play. Let children sign into classrooms on a sheet or pad. Ask them about their drawings, and make them write their names on their work often.
  2. Letters: offer writing prompts within journals to help kids draw and write about items they see in the environment. Help them sound out letters in words. Also, encourage inventive spelling.
  3. Beginning and salient sounds: make use of writing prompts so as to incorporate ending and beginning sounds. Play activities should include single words. There should also be emphasis on journal writing, with attention to identifying and pronouncing starting and ending sounds.
  4. Ending and beginning sounds: Writing should start to incorporate patterns and word families. Encourage children to write simple sentences with the help of writing prompts. Make use of journal activities to challenge them in identifying middle sounds in words.
Remember, writing at all stages is foreign and an uphill task till the time it’s tried out and practiced. It is important for you to help young minds take ownership of and pride over their writing, as they begin gaining confidence with every writing milestone crossed.