I wanted to share a few strategies from Already Ready, Nurturing Writers in Preschool and Kindergarten by Katie Wood Ray & Matt Glover with those of you who are not reading this book because they are strategies that I feel teachers from any grade can use when taking an exciting, new writing approach with their students. Already Ready shows you how, by respecting children as writers engaged in bookmaking, (maybe not bookmaking for middle school and up but perhaps yes!) you can gently nudge them toward a lifetime of joyful writing. It’s not too late!
I have been listening to some of you that teach older students and find that what you still run into is that your students don’t have much experience but they’re filled with stories to tell and ideas to express. They need an opportunity to show the world what they know and see. All they need is a nurturing teacher like you to recognize the writer at work in them. Katie Wood Ray and Matt Glover provide numerous, helpful examples of early writing. Providing numerous, helpful examples of early writing, complete with transcriptions and they demonstrate how to:
- Make sense of children’s writing and interpret how they represent sounds, ideas, and images
- See important developmental signs in writers that you can use to help them grow further
- Recognize the thinking your young children engage in and discover that it’s the same thinking more experience writers use to craft purposeful, thoughtful pieces.
I know you might think this is too simple for your grade level, but in reality for some, it might be where you want to begin to set the pace in your classroom for your students to connect the natural writer inside them to a life of expressing themselves on paper. You may find that you don’t have to get students ready to write, they’re Already Ready.
Daily in our classroom my teacher uses strategies to show our little ones how they can develop powerful understandings about:
- the writing process we use the 5 Star Writing Approach. After a student has written a sentence or two about their book they read, they use this approach to see if: they used capital letters at the beginning of a sentence(e.g., they are given a correctly written sentence as an example, I see a dog.), they used punctuation to end their sentence(e.g., Where is the dog?), use finger space(we give them each a little space man figure to use), use their best handwriting and does my sentence make sense.
Here are a few examples of our students work that will be put into their first Writer’s Book.