Your kindergartner’s writing under Common Core Standards
Encourage your child to take notes on trips or outings, and to describe what she saw. This could include a description of nature walks, a boat ride, a car trip, or other events that lend themselves to note-taking.
Helping Young Children Develop Strong Writing Skills
Writing is an important part of our daily lives. It is, however, a difficult skill to learn and master. By getting a head start with some simple activities, you can help your child begin to develop her writing skills at an early age. By doing so you will be contributing to her future success as a student and as an adult while teaching her how to express herself.
Writing is practical.
Every day, we need to write in order to complete our tasks, whether we are filling out a form at the doctor’s office or writing an important letter. These tasks require us to write clearly, and organize information effectively.
Writing is an important element of a student’s education.
Whether students are writing by hand or on the computer, many assignments and exams require students to write short answers or longer essays as a way of assessing what they have learned. As students get older, they will be expected to show more sophisticated writing skills, and to complete more sophisticated tasks through their writing. In addition, many colleges and universities require students to write essays as part of their admissions application.
Writing can be an important element of an employee’s job.
Employees in many kinds of jobs are required to write on a daily basis. Perhaps they are taking phone messages and doing administrative work, or writing research reports and newspaper articles. Whatever the task, their ability to do their job well may depend on their ability to write. Many job applicants also must submit a resumé and a letter of application when applying to a new job.
Writing is an important form of communication.
Writing letters and emails is a common way of keeping in touch with our friends, relatives, and professional colleagues. Writing is frequently the final stage in communication when we want to leave no room for doubt, which is why we write and sign contracts, leases, and treaties when we make important decisions.
Kindergartners who can’t read or write yet, can…
Listen, speak, and draw! Think of these skills as big steps toward writing. Teachers and parents should read books aloud and should ask questions along the way about the book itself — the title, author, illustrator, subject — and about what happens in a story, and what your child notices about events and characters’ actions. Be sure to ask some questions that require your child to read between the lines, e.g. Who are the main characters in this story? Where was the frog sitting? Why do you think the dog is sad? Can you draw a picture to show something interesting that you learned? You can also ask questions about the illustrations.
When answering, your child should learn to use frequently occurring nouns and verbs and correctly use the most common “connection words” or prepositions — such as to, from, in, out, on, off, for, of, by, and with — to express their thoughts. They should also learn to answer questions using simple, complete sentences. Kindergartners also need to understand and use question words, including who, what, where, when, why, and how, when they speak or dictate writing so they’re familiar with these words when they begin writing on their own.
Kindergarten Writing Standards
Writing standards for kindergarten define the knowledge and skills needed for writing proficiency at this grade level. By understanding kindergarten writing standards, parents can be more effective in helping their children meet literacy goals.
What is Kindergarten Writing?
Kindergarteners are actively engaged in all aspects of language arts as they develop their oral language skills and begin to read and write. In kindergarten, children learn to recognize the letters of the alphabet and understand the sounds letters make. Kindergarteners become aware that letters can be arranged into words, that words have spaces between them, and that print is read from left-to-right and from top-to-bottom. Students in kindergarten learn to hold a crayon and pencil correctly and print the letters of the alphabet in upper- and lowercase forms. Teaching writing in kindergarten usually involves discussions on the meanings of words and encourage students to express themselves in complete thoughts. In kindergarten, students listen to a wide variety of children’s literature, respond to questions, and retell stories. Students learn to read some words by sight such as “the,” and write consonant-vowel-consonant words such as “cat.” While children develop at different rates, by the end of kindergarten, most children should be able to use their knowledge of sounds and letters to write simple sentences and write their own names. Students may also create stories with pictures and words, revise their writing with assistance, and then publish or share it with assistance.
Kindergarten: The Writing Process
In kindergarten, students are introduced to the writing process through shared writing activities, in which the teacher writes a story and students contribute to it orally. The writing process is also taught through interactive writing activities, in which students and the teacher compose text together. In kindergarten, students are taught to use each phase of the writing process as follows:
- Prewriting: Students generate ideas for writing through class discussion and by drawing pictures about their ideas for self-selected and assigned topics.
- Drafting: Students participate in drafting writing by drawing, telling, or writing about a familiar experience, topic or story, and by creating a group draft, scripted by the teacher.
- Revising: Students participate in revising the draft for clarity and effectiveness, by adding additional details to the draft and checking for logical thinking with prompting from the teacher.
- Editing: Students participate in correcting the draft for standard language conventions according to their level of development.
- Publishing: Students participate in producing, illustrating, and sharing a finished piece of writing.
Kindergarten: Writing Purposes
Kindergartners are introduced to different types of writing in a variety of ways. Teachers read aloud from children’s literature and discuss each author’s purpose with the class. Students also learn the different reasons for writing through simple writing activities. Writing lessons for kindergarten usually center on a shared writing activity, with the teacher acting as a scribe. As students learn, they progress from drawing pictures and writing individual letters to writing short sentences that tell a story or describe their experiences. Specifically, writing standards stipulate that kindergarten students will:
Kindergarten: Writing Evaluation
In kindergarten, students focus on recognizing various types of text, such as stories, poems, lists, signs, and information books. Kindergarteners are taught simple story structure and learn to distinguish fiction from nonfiction, including fact and fantasy.
Kindergarten: Written English Language Conventions
Students in kindergarten are taught Standard English conventions appropriate to this grade level. In particular, kindergarten writing standards specify these key markers of proficiency:
Words and Sentences
—Recognize and use complete, coherent sentences when speaking.
—Understand relationship between sounds and letters.
—Recognize sight words such as “the” and read simple sentences.
—Use letters and phonetically spelled words to write about experiences, stories, people, objects, or events.
—Write words and brief sentences that are legible.
—Write his/her own first and last name and other important words.
—Use end punctuation, including periods, question marks, and exclamation points.
—Capitalize letters to begin “important words.”
—Spell simple words independently by using pre-phonetic knowledge, sounds of the alphabet, and knowledge of letter names.
—Write consonant-vowel-consonant words (“cat”).
—Print uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet and recognize the difference between the two.
—Write from left to right and top to bottom of page.
—Recognize spacing between letters and words.
—Understand the concept of writing and identifying numerals.