Writing is a time of our day that often gets squished to the end of the day, especially in kindergarten. So often we think, “Well, they aren’t reading yet so they aren’t ready to write much. They can just draw pictures.” You’re right, they can draw pictures, but have you ever thought about how that is an important part of the writing process as you writers? Sometimes, as teachers, we unknowingly limit our students simply because we aren’t placing enough scaffolding on the table to encourage students. Encouraging young writers takes a bit of thought–more thought than just, “what are we going to write about this week?”. It requires intentionality.
“Try It First” Dictionaries
So often my little writers would say, “but I can’t spell it” or “I don’t know how to write it”. TO this I would always respond with, “Did you try it?” or “Can you read that word? If you can read it, you can write it!” My fabulous teammate introduced me to “Try It First” Dictionaries.
Before I would help a child stretch out a word to write, I would have them first try to write it in their dictionary. Then, we would look at what they did, chat about it, and then try it together. These little dictionaries were a game changer in our classroom and encouraged students to not be afraid to try writing! Click the image below to grab one FREE!
“We Are All Writers!” Lesson
At the beginning of the year, one of my favorite mini-lessons to do is around the theme of “We Are All Writers”. We talk about ALL of the different ways that we may see writing. This is especially valuable for our new writers. We celebrate ALL stages of writing! This is my favorite visual to make with my students.
Also within this lesson, I am sure to establish that they are more than “just kids”, they are WRITERS and AUTHORS! Words have the ability to empower our little learners so much! I love to speak this truth over them in the classroom!
Model, Model, Model
During my first few years of teaching, I would often find myself talking about writing, which is fabulous and an important part of the writing process, but it’s not all my students needed. They needed to SEE me writing. They needed to hear my process and then see it play out through interactive writing. Modeling what good writers think and do is important!
Grab some chart paper, a marker, and show them how to be a writer and how you love writing! (And if you truly don’t, you fake it, because friends, they will believe you and feed off that energy!!)
How do you encourage your little learners to write? Writing quickly became one of my favorite subjects to teach when I focused on encouraging young writers!