• Kid Writing

    Kid Writing is part of the Kindergarten Curriculum that introduces and advances young children in the world of writing.  Some children come into Kindergarten with a prior knowledge and ability to write some letters and sound out words.  Others have not been exposed to this.  Kid Writing meets all children where they are and helps develop them from there.  There are eight conventions of writing developmental on the scale: 

    1.  Emerging: A child makes uncontrolled or unidentifiable scribbling

    2. Pictorial: A child imitates writing and draws a picture that's somewhat recognizable


    3. Precommunicative: A child writes to convey a message using letter-like forms and/or strings of random letters. Can print their own name and sometimes an occasional known word.
    4. Semiphonetic: A child correctly uses some letters to match sounds; typically has the beginning letter in a word correct and can write left to right. 
    5. Phonetic: A child spells some high-frequency words correctly and has words represented by beginning and ending consonant sounds.  They may include some vowels, but they are often not correct. Can write one or more sentences.
    6. Transitional: A child can correctly spell many high-frequency words in sentences.  He/she can use vowels, although they may not be the correct ones.  They begin to use simple punctuation and can write more than one sentence.
    7. Conventional: A child correctly spells most high-frequency words, writes more than one sentence, uses larger correctly spelled vocabulary and phonetics for spelling advanced words. He/she uses complex sentence structure and uses capital and lowercase letters correctly.  Punctuation is used in correct places and words are spaced appropriately.
    8. Advanced: A child has accumulated a detailed vocabulary and uses advanced print conventions accurately (quotation marks, commas, apostrophes, etc). Writing is organized into paragraphs. 
    It is my goal as a Kindergarten teacher to have your child writing on Level 7 by the time they leave Kindergarten. You'll be amazed how much they'll grow and learn throughout the year!


    What is Kid Writing?


    Kid Writing is a highly successful approach to early literacy which was developed over the course of 10 to 15 years first in Eileen's and then Isabell's classrooms (authors of the book Kidwriting). Because of the successes they were experiencing with this approach, they started a support group for teachers who wanted to make the transition from traditional, phonics workbook based classrooms to exciting classrooms based on cutting edge research. The teachers in the support group urged Eileen and Isabell to write the book because they and their students were experiencing such phenomenal successes. Published by the Wright Group, Kid Writing is an outgrowth of Eileen's doctoral dissertation at the University of Pennsylvania in 1995.


    Is Kid Writing research based?


    Throughout the book are research citations with full documentation at the ends of chapters.  One of the strongest studies on this process is the research done by Dr. Richard Allington with the Children's Literacy Initiative Project that shows - without a doubt - that early writing is important and that the Kid Writing approach in particular is highly effective.  There are also three national reports calling for writing daily in kindergarten and grade one:  The joint position statement of IRA and NAEYC, Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children report from NIHCD, and the new early literacy standards from New Standards.

    How do I know when a child is ready to write independently?


    When children are able to stretch out words using sensible phonetic spellings, they are ready to write independently.  If you suspect that a child is ready (based on the ease with which he does his assisted kid writing), ask him to stretch out a word and tell you each letter just before he writes it down.  If he is able to do so without missing any of the important phonemes, he is ready.  You also may want to say something like:  "I know you can figure out how to write the 'My mom and I' part of your story.  Go write that part, then come back to me and I'll help you figure out the rest."  This way, the child becomes independent through a gradual weaning process, rather than an abrupt withdrawal of support.


    Remember, there may be some backsliding when you first allow a child to write independently, but she will continue to learn during the adult writing phase and the mini-lesson phase, so her writing will continue to improve. 


    One more thing - when a child has written independently and misses an important letter, praise her for her excellent kid writing, then read the kid writing back to her (emphasizing the sound of the missing letter) and ask her to listen for a missing letter.  In most cases, the child is able to figure it out and place it in the word.  We like to call this "emergent editing"!

    *Taken from www.kidwriting.com
    Kid Writing: A Systematic Approach to Phonics, Journals, and Writing Workshop By: Eileen Feldgus and Isabell Cardonick