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.
Most of us probably do it without even thinking much about it, but our young writers might not have developed this important habit.
Just like Dory, in the movie Finding Nemo, young writers can easily lose their way and forget where they were headed, especially if they stop for too long and lose their momentum.
Welcome to the next stop on Melanie Meehan’s Every Child Can Write blog tour! Today’s focus is on Chapter 8, which has excellent ideas for educators when it comes to teaching striving writers about spelling and conventions. Be sure to comment on this post for a chance to win your own copy of Every Child Can Write! (You are going to want a copy of this book ASAP! It is THAT good!)
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.
More than other skills, most caregivers tend to worry about spelling and conventions when it comes to their child’s writing. I get it. Those skills are right there at the tip of the writing iceberg. Those skills are concrete and obvious. Those skills are the ones that they recognize and know how to fix when they sit with their child. So how do we talk to caregivers about spelling and punctuation? Here are three ideas that you may find helpful.
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.
Do you differentiate your students’ spelling lists by giving them personal spelling words? If so, you can take those lists a step further by providing them with portable word walls for their writing folder and/or for at-home use.
The same kids who are successful with spelling patterns during word study time are sometimes not applying that spelling pattern to their independent writing. Why?
How do you approach teaching writers to spell? Mark Weakland’s book Super Spellers: Seven Steps to Transforming Your Spelling Instruction might have some new insights for you!
Many kids go through a perfectionist stage. They will sometimes freeze up, choose not to write, or select different, easier words to spell. Here’s what you can do.
Proper use of conventions and the aesthetics of writing pose unique challenges in an elementary writing workshop. Here are solutions to eight predictable problems you may be facing with your students.
A well-planned word wall allows students to quickly access familiar high frequency words from word study instruction. As they are writing, they can simply glance up, find the word, and continue … Continue Reading Three Favorite Word Wall Games
A short and sweet reminder, from a student point-of-view.
How can we encourage our youngest writers to use brave spelling? How can we help them overcome their fear of getting it wrong?
If you are a young kid, and you are trying to spell a word, what do you do?