Reading and Writing in Kindergarten
I am thrilled to be joining Share a Story, Shape a Future 2013 blog tour with other great literacy, children’s book, and education bloggers!
- Monday (Infants): Maria Burel at Once Upon A Story.
- Tuesday (Toddlers): Carol Rasco at Quietly
- Wednesday (pre-Preschool): Debbie Alvarez at The Styling Librarian
- Thursday (Preschool): Tif at Tif Talks Books
- Friday (Kindergarten): Terry at Family Bookshelf
My contribution is the connection between reading independently and writing for Kindergarteners … more specifically the idea of invented spelling as a necessary step that marries writing with reading.
The Importance of Invented Spelling: The Writing Connection to Reading!
We had the most amazing Kindergarten teacher — Ms. C — for all three of my kids. As rookie parents, she held our hand and guided us gently through the academic rigors of Kindergarten. Seriously, Kindergarten is the new First Grade. Ms. C’s goal was and is to get the kids reading by the end of Kindergarten.
She stressed the importance of writing as an important literacy step towards reading independently. In fact, invented spelling — you know that fabulous and funny spelling kids use when they first start sounding out words — is CRITICAL to teaching kids how to read independently.
“Froshus dobrmn pensr” is an example of invented spelling. What do you think the child is trying to communicate? Yes, ferocious Doberman Pinscher!
Listening to how words break up into pieces is a key element. She stressed letting your child sound out words that he or she wants to spell without assistance! Hearing the syllables is an important step as well as deciphering the consonant and vowel sounds. Yes, the misspelled words will look weird but that’s not the point. Think of it as learning to draw the figure. The first drawings will certainly not be anatomically correct!
The advantages of Invented Spelling are numerous and empowering!
- Independence. An inventive speller doesn’t have to ask for the correct spelling of every word he doesn’t know.
- Fluent and powerful writing. Children can elaborate their stories and play on paper without interruptions to look up correct spellings.
- Efficient instruction. To write “sun,” the beginner may say, “Sun. Sssssuuuunnn, ssss, ssss,” and write a S. Then, “Sunnnn, sunnn, nnn, nnn,” and he writes N, SN for sun. A teacher need not be consulted.
- Early control and responsibility. Children learn to take risks. The worst outcome of an unsuccessful invention is that communication stops temporarily. But if the invention succeeds, their message will reach its audience. Real rewards await the child who writes fearlessly about a FROSHUS DOBRMN PENSR instead of a BAD DOG. from Susan Sowers, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Create Your Own Book Crafts for Kids
Now that your child is fearlessly spelling away, it’s time for your child to write … for fun! Here are some ideas for creating your own book crafts that my kids have done over the years. If your child gets tired or frustrated writing out the entire story, take turns.
Staple paper or notecards to create a book that your child can write and illustrate.
Rip out coloring book pages and tben staple to use as the illustrations for a story.
Make a Fold-In Square book.
Cut two rectangle pieces of paper, both the same size. Criss cross them in to the shape of a cross. Glue the middle squares together. When the glue dries, fold the page flaps down. image from Artists Helping Children
Write a story for a wordless picture book. You can write in the book if the book owner is ok with that, or write on Post It notes on each page.
My daughter wrote out part of the first page of her story for wordless picture book Wave by Suzy Lee. She dictated to me and I wrote the rest of the story for her.
My daughter also made a book using a book kit that was gifted to her.
It was a bound blank book kit like this one.
Imagination Soup has a great and easy way to make a book with a paper clip and rubber band! How cool is that?!!
Most of all, creating a book should be fun! Let your child experience the joy of being an author! It’s a gift that will keep on giving! And treasure this invented spelling phase. It passes all too quickly!
p.s. Related posts:
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.