Stage 1- Pictures, pictures, and more pictures. These writers are making pictures of everything! To begin with they might be unintelligible but as they grow as writers people and places emerge from the scribbles. Remember to always ask, "What can you tell me about your drawing?" instead of "What did you draw?".
Stage 2- Letters appear all over the place. Random letters here and there without making any sense... except for the fact that the child knows that letters and words have meaning. Big idea!
Stage 3- 'Mom, how do you spell ...?" will become a constant. They now get that those letters need to go in a certain order and that they have sounds.
Stage 4- American novel is slowly in progress! These children know how to spell and have the grasp of some of the great concepts of writing.
Mariah has lots of great spaces in her home for her own children to write. Mine are slowly learning not to color on the walls...again. But my students have this great set-up in our classroom:
They have enough room for a group of students to work during our literacy centers. They have markers, crayons, colored pencils, letter stamps, magnetic letters, and direct access to all of our sight words. One of the student's favorite things to do at this center is in the green folders down on the floor.... free write!
I put together these folders for the students to use ALL year. Each month I add a cover for that month and more paper that is appropriate for their current writing. It's great for them to see what their writing looked like at the beginning of the year to now.
Mariah also places readers in stages:
Stage 1: Read to your child. As teachers, we know that this is SO important. Talk about the story, what happened, even the pictures. It all helps build comprehension later on!
Stage 2: Your child officially has a favorite go to book that they know word for word, right? Awesome! Have them "read" with you! Let them fill in the blank, letter search, or even word search!
Stage 3: They can read! The letter knowledge and phonemic awareness have clicked and they are ready to hit the ground running!
Stage 4: Reading to learn. This is the stage that is vital for students in school. Not only can they read and remember.. but the comprehend and learn from everything that they read.
In Kindergarten, we are working on moving students from Stage 2 to Stage 3. I do alot of work on CVC words, sounding out, and working with the children's phonemic awareness. CVC mats are excellent for these skills! Below is a new one that you can add to your collection and pull out at the beginning of the year:
Don't forget to leave a comment on any of this week's posts to be included in the giveaway on Saturday for Mariah Bruehl's newest e-course!