“Every Mark on the Page: Educating Family and Community Members About Young Children’s Writing”, by Kate Foley Cusumano
The article listed above has great insight and explanations into the mind of young children who are learning to write. For those guardians who worry about their child’s pace of writing progression, this article may help.
One of the first things a teacher should know before stepping into a classroom is to never underestimate a child. Many times the children have the ability to handle progression the guardians may think is too fast for them and they also may have specific reasons for why they write a certain way. Here are a couple of examples.
· Drawings Followed by Writing- A lot of early writers will have drawings that precedes their writing. This helps children see what they want to write. This is their “planning” stage.
· Backward, Forward, Upside-Down- I still remember when I would get my “b’s” and “d’s” mixed up while writing. A reason why an “s” may be backward or a “q” will replace a “d” is because they experiment or “explore the limits” with letters.
· Same Letters, Different Arrangement- When children experiment will letter arrangements they are showing signs of progression. It shows that they understand that 26 letters are arranged to make many words. Over time they will understand the limits of arranging.
What teachers and guardians can do is give support and positive feedback. This can give children confidence to keep writing and keep trying. Kate Foley Cusumano gives a few suggestions on how to do this. Some of these include resisting from correcting spelling mistakes, letting them see writing (texts, magazines) everyday, and thinking of fun writing activities such as providing captions to scrapbooks.
Thank you to Kate Foley Cusumano and her article.