Kindergarten writing is a balancing act. Not only does it take time, strength, and encouragement…it also takes patience. Many of these young five and six year olds come in knowing how to write a limited number of capital letters and their first name. The simple act of picking up a pencil is a challenge for a child who is just developing the fine motor strength to write for a sustained amount of time. While handwriting mechanics are a necessary portion of our writing curriculum, it is also important to introduce a writer’s workshop to enhance creativity.
It starts with small moments. Children can relate to personal narratives based on key events from their lives. There is no need for a script or formalized writing techniques; it simply does not matter to them at this point in their young writing lives. What they do need is a vivid imagination! We talk exclusively about how to paint a picture in our minds and use it to create a picture of events on paper. Over the course of our writer’s workshop, pictures are formed, labels are added to pictures and words are created.
My job as an educator during writer’s workshop is to encourage the consistency of the process. It is my goal to find a way to make every child believe that once they feel they have completed a piece of writing, they have only just begun!
*image courtesy of Vassilis / flickr creative commons