To help guide early childhood practitioners to implement meaningful classroom writing practices, the authors suggest 12 research-based guidelines for integrating writing activities in children’s daily schedules. Each of these strategies represents developmentally appropriate practice (Copple and Bredekamp 2009) and can be successfully incorporated into pre-K classrooms, including those serving children at risk.
Excerpted from: Writing in Early Childhood Classrooms: Guidance for Best Practices (2012).
Writing guidelines checklist
Build writing into your daily schedule
Create writing opportunities during daily activities or routines (e.g., sign in, weather, daily journaling time).
Accept all forms of writing
Celebrate and support scribbling, drawing, letter-like shapes, and letters as children develop writing skills.
Explicitly model writing
Write with children present and discuss how and what you are writing to draw attention to the process.
Scaffold children’s writing
Provide hints and prompts to support children to write independently; individualize these hints by child.
Encourage children to read what they write
Use group time to support children to share their writing with others by reading to the group.
Encourage invented spelling
Permit children to spell phonetically and support them to “write the sounds you hear.”
Make writing opportunities meaningful
Use writing opportunities to help children make predictions, observations, and summaries of their work; write letters, lists, maps, charts, and graphs.
Have writing materials in all centers
Include writing tools, various papers, and posters, books and theme-based word cards to support writing opportunities.
Display theme-related words in the writing center
Include meaningful, theme-related words children can copy for their writing posted or on cards.
Engage in group writing experiences
Model the writing process, support all children to become involved in offering ideas, post group writing around the room to support children’s writing and discussion of the posted activity.
Make writing a way to connect with families
Support parents to understand the importance of meaningful writing experiences.
Use technology to support writing
Support children to write using [tools such as] interactive boards, computer paint programs, and stylus pens.