Thursday, November 5, 2015

Meaningful Writing in Preschool

“The expert at anything was once a beginner.” ― Helen Hayes

It's hard to believe that we are nearly 2/3 of the way through the school year in Japan! In just the past 2 months since returning from summer break, and beginning our learning adventures with Mother Goose Time curriculum, I have seen so much growth and development in so many areas of my students. One skill that I particularly enjoy teaching, and observing as it develops, is writing. 

Since I had several not-yet-3-year-olds at the beginning of the year, and one child that already turned 5, the range of development was quite broad. But, we have moved from hand-over-hand guidance with some, to everyone learning to making their own meaningful marks on their paper. The MGT little journals offer lots of opportunity to hone writing skills with activities that combine numbers, letters, words, and shapes, with lots of room for individuality. 

They traced 5 square blocks, then turned it into a picture
Same child's journal from September (top) and October (bottom)
Beginning to label his own work

Writing is not limited to paper and pencil, though, and it's not just about "practicing" letters in isolation. The literacy cards and art projects in the MGT curriculum can be used to promote writing in so many different ways that are meaningful, engaging, and fun. 

When it comes to literacy activities, I am never at a loss for ideas, but having an framework and suggested ways to use materials in the MGT teacher planning guide makes it SO much easier to actually implement the things I want to do. 

Rings of a Tree Trunk - Scaffolded Writing Technique (3 yr old)
I also really appreciate the versatility of materials, so I can use them in a way that works for my class, if not exactly as recommended. For instance, we had an "in house" Pumpkin Patch Party, with no outside guests, so I used the provided sign-in sheet in place of our regular sign-in page for students to write their names independently. They usually have a lot more space to work with, so I was impressed by how well the were able to adjust the size of their writing. 

The orchard postcards they wrote yesterday were perfect for showcasing their different stages of writing development. They were so proud of the finished product and couldn't wait to take it home and give it to the person for whom it was written. I almost didn't want to send them home, they were so cute! 

We had "Nut Day" (walnuts & chestnuts) so I couldn't pass up the opportunity
to teach them about buckeyes, too! O-H-I-O!!

These beginner writer's will surely be experts in no time at all!

No comments:

Post a Comment