First Year Teacher Self-Study Course

First Year Teacher is a self-paced professional development course for novice K-3 teachers, developed by Reading Rockets. The program provides teachers with an in-depth knowledge of reading so they are prepared to guide their students into becoming skilled and enthusiastic readers.

Photo of teacher and students

Writing: Intro

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.

Importance of Writing

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

Writing: Intro
Diary of a First Year Teacher

Diary of a First Year Teacher

Join Barbara Zielinski, a first grade teacher at River Plaza Elementary School in Middletown, NJ, during her first year teaching.

"I'm wondering what to read next." — Matilda, Roald Dahl