Reading Rockets Reading Rockets Home Contact Us A service of WETA
First Year Teacher Program



Teacher Toolbox


 1.  Print awareness
 2.  The sounds of speech
 3.  Phonemic awareness
 4.  Phonics
 5.  Informal classroom-based assessment
 6.  Fluency
 7.  Vocabulary
 8.  Spelling
 9.  Writing
 10.  Text comprehension

Diary of a First Year Teacher

Module 9  –  Writing

  |   Pre-test  |  Intro  |  In depth  |  In practice  |  Assignments  |  Post-test  |  


Video Clip

Importance of Writing

Armed with chalk and a chalkboard, a mother helps develop her 4-year-old's writing skills at home.

A child's writing development parallels their development as a reader. Remember the module on print awareness? We explained that print awareness develops in young children as a result of being read to by adults and having other literacy experiences. Well, part of print awareness is the realization that writing is created with instruments such as pens, pencils, crayons and markers. Children began to imitate the writing that they see in the environment.

At first glance, the efforts of a young child may look like meaningless scribble, but a closer look at these early attempts at writing will reveal something more. Children who have not yet entered school engage in scribbling as an attempt to create writing that has meaning.

For example, when three-year-old Lexy misses her daddy, her mother suggests she write a letter to her daddy. Here, ever enthusiastic Lexy takes a pencil and creates a "scribbling" effect on the page. When her mother asks her to read the letter, Lexy points to the page and says "I love you, daddy." Lexy already knows that print carries meaning, even if she cannot yet correctly spell, write, or recognize words.

To play this clip, you'll need a copy of the free RealOne Player. Most computers already have it installed, or you can download it now.

First Year Teacher was a pilot project of Reading Rockets, which is service of WETA, Washington D.C.'s flagship public television station. Funding for First Year Teacher was provided by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs; The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; and The Overbrook Foundation.

© 2004 WETA