Let’s turn our attention to writing!
The range of art materials we make available have different purposes. For writing specifically, the best tools are golf pencils and pebble crayons. Pebble crayons are difficult to hold and require students to use a tripod grip in order to make marks. Golf pencils (or short materials in general – short colored pencils or short thin crayons also work) encourage students to grip the tool at the base, rather than towards the top.
The students are using pencils with erasers right now to write their votes for our class name.
Awareness of writing and its purpose
Our foundational writing goal for the Green Room is to have an awareness of why people write. Students need to learn why writing is important before they can feel motivated to try it themselves. As mentioned in Back to School Night, teachers model different forms of writing during the day:
– Writing down quotes during meeting
– Brainstorming with a list
– Note-taking during Open Time
– Making signs in the classroom
Students learn that writing is a communication tool and that it can help convey their thoughts, ideas, plans, and feelings to others.
Writing will eventually become something that students are required to do, in ways that are more adult-directed than student-directed. Our goal right now is to encourage playfulness and joy in writing, to set the groundwork for a positive relationship with writing.
Children write down their menus as they serve food in the kitchen.
Children make signs to help our classroom.
Children label their artwork in order to help others know what they’ve made.
Children proudly sign their name to their artwork.
When we begin thinking about writing letters, we will begin with the letters in each child’s name. These letters are special and important.
Some students are at the stage where they can write some or all of the letters in their name. At this stage, we encourage refinement, such as writing in a straight line, forming medium-size letters, and making sure all letters face in the correct direction.
Most of our students are just beginning to try writing letters. At this stage, we think about the lines and curves that make up a letter. They do this in hands-on ways, like building letters out of loose parts or the wooden letter pieces. This work then translates to the more abstract letter-making that is writing.
Some students are not ready yet to write letters. They are still building the muscles needed to make precise lines, or they are working on identifying letters. At this stage, we notice letters and draw students’ attention to letters in print. We build the muscles needed for writing by working with clay, playdough, and tools like pipettes or scoops.
P.S. – We can’t wait to show you the amazing writing your kids have been doing to vote for our class name. Look for an update next week!