Writing, Phonics, and Grammar
What is a good writer?
Writing, much like reading, is something we continue to use throughout our adult lives. Also like reading, it is a skill that requires practice, practice, practice! Writing, especially for language learners, can be an intimidating feat. It is not uncommon for language learners to become reluctant writers early on in their language development.
This is why I teach students that when writing, you get the opporutnity to express yourself in creative ways and be true to your authentic self. Providing enough structure for language learners to feel successful, yet creating an envrionment where they can be creative is a delicate balance that I maintain during our writing instruction.
Common Core State Standards align from kindergarten through Grade 12. Writing units are typically broken up into four categories: narrative, informational, and opinion. In our small group instruction, we learn and practice strategies for developing their writing in these three units. Our lessons range from practicing ways to brain storm ideas, creating strong topic sentences, or ways to add details to our stories.
Grammar during writing
Writing is also the most natural time to implement individual phonics instruction. Uninhibited writing provides ample time for students to practice using their knowledge of English phonics. This is also ample time to engage the children in writing conferences. This helps build their knowledge of English while simultaneously reflecting on their writing and setting goals for what they need to practice.
Phonics in KG and Grade One
In the early primary years, phonics in an integral to the fundamentals of reading. Explicit teaching of alphabet sounds and word families is key to develop these skills. My approach to phonics instruction is through the use of rich texts, poetry, word games, and picture sorts. This way children are receiving the instruction they need while having fun playing games and puzzles.