April 10th is National Encourage a young writer day. This is a great way to encourage your children to read and write. There are so many different things that can be done in a classroom to help a child become comfortable and interested in writing. This day is somewhat near and dear to my heart. I love stories and loved to hear my teachers read them out loud, and one of my dreams of a child was to have my own book that would be in the hands of all the teachers around the world.
As I grew older in school I struggled with reading and writing and now choke a lot of that up to that I wasn’t given many environmental opportunities to learn about reading and writing other than being read to here or there. I have tried to increase the awareness of the importance of reading and writing to my own children and help them be able to succeed. I have found there are several things as a teacher that can be done for very young children to help foster the love of writing and that can be carried out as children become older and start to be able to do reading and writing on their own.
The ideas that I am going to give you today are not just ideas that you could in a preschool classroom, but you can carry out into the older classrooms as well. Here are several ideas that will help you increase the love and awareness for utilizing their imagination and creativity:
1.READ, READ, and READ some more to them.
Children need to be read to. Reading to a child all the time will help them increase their cognitive abilities and brain development. Reading will also expand their vocabulary and their love for reading.
2. Be Engaged.
Talk to your children about what they have drawn or wrote. Have them explain what their thoughts were and what it is about. Be positive and tell them how interested you are in their work or learning more if they are writing a big story. Ask questions and get them to dig deeper into the story and their thoughts.
3. Create a quiet space
Make an area in the classroom that they can sit comfortably at a table by themselves or with one other person with plenty of supplies. Plenty of paper, pencils, crayons, or colored pencils. Make sure that this area is away from loud centers and an area that others are not allowed to bother whoever is in that area.
4. Share your own writings
Share with the children your stories and what you write about. Of course, it needs to be child appropriate and easily understood. So maybe during writing time for them you are writing a quick story your self.
5. Give them writing prompts
You can give writing prompts to any child. They may not be able to write a big story about it, but they can draw pictures of it. Pictures are the first step in writing. You can find great writing prompts at Scholastics through Scholastic Story Starters.
6. Act out Stories
Have Children read their stories and make skits out of it or a puppet play. This can be a lot of fun for the children. This, of course, is something that may be for older children but it could still be a lot of fun.
7. Classroom Book or Story
This has always been my favorite. At any age making a storybook of the classroom is so much fun. I like to keep the books that are made every year and put them in the book center for the next years classes to see. I have several out for them all to see. This helps the children see that they can make stories too and see what their friends before them have made. We would take a class picture and put in the back of the book also so those after them could see that it was a class full of students their age made a book. The students are always amazed. The students make the pictures and the stories. All I do is type it up and have it made into a book that they created.
8. Start a Classroom Blog
Now, this activity may take some time, especially if you’re not too familiar on how to make a blog. ( Trust me, I wasn’t). There are many articles and youtube videos that can help you set this up. After you get the hang of it is easy. This is a great way to get your parents involved and interested in what they are doing in class. This is even a great way for parents of younger children to see what is going on. Feature a new story of a different child every week in the blog. Write a bio about the child and what made them interested in writing that specific story. With younger children, they can tell you the story, and you can type it then post the pictures that they have made to go with the story. You can also do a classroom vlog and have the children act out the stories as well.
9. Give the children a journal or notebook.
Kids love this. Explain to them that this journal is a way for them to write down what they are thinking, what they see, what they want to remember or any story ideas that they come up with. This is an excellent way for parents to see their child’s growth. Have them write something in it every day. You will be able to see the change from the beginning to the end.
10. Let them see you read and write.
Yes as a teacher you are going to read to the class, and they are going to see you write things down but do they ever see you doing these things in enjoyment. When you read, read with enthusiasm and show how much you enjoy the book. When they see you write, read the great stories that come from it. This is going to put value in reading and writing and encourage them to do so their selves.
You can get a free classroom blog through edublogger as well as great examples of what other classroom blogs look like.