Many caregivers believe that grammar, usage, mechanics, and spelling is what matters most when reading their child’s writing. Children’s writing should be readable, not perfect. What matters most RIGHT NOW is that kids are engaging in the act of putting words on the page or on a screen. Therefore, we can teach young writers how to use a personal editing checklist to help them make their writing more readable anytime they finish crafting a piece of writing.
The truth… I’d rather not talk about spelling. There are more important things in a writing workshop, than to talk about spelling. Spelling well is a good thing. When we edit what we write, it is profusely important, but it has nothing to do with growing a writer.
When we focus on spelling or grammar correctness, the growing writer becomes stifled.
Are we putting additional stress and pressure on kids to write words? With purpose and joy, kids can go from compliance to engagement and become the kinds of writers who add words as powerful information to their books.
Teaching students to take the risks necessary to be inventive spellers means I have to respect the stage of development of the student. I can’t expect the students to know (or use) something I haven’t taught. It also means communicating to parents about what it means to use inventive spelling and its role in developing writers and readers.