This summer I sat down with our state standards to get ahead of the Back-to-School frenzy. Writing is one of my 3rd grader’s weak skills, so I decided to focus a lot on that. I’ve been trying to incorporate some writing strategies into our summer schedule, so she can be more comfortable with writing before school starts.
Are you in the same boat? Writing can be a real struggle for some kids, especially if they struggle with reading. A lot of times these kids get so frustrated with writing. They throw fits or just refuse to write a single sentence. (Tell me you can relate!) Unfortunately, forgetting about the problem is only going to make it harder for both of us when school starts. So, in order to make Back-to-School a smooth transition, we are working on some writing strategies this summer.
If you know much about me, you know that I love researching the best techniques and practices for learning. Every day, I take a few moments or hours to plan, research, or design ways for my kids to get the most out of the learning process. Because of my intense look at writing this summer, I have a few writing strategies I’d like to share with you.
Writing strategies can come in many different ways. They can be as formal as a written lesson plan, or it can be as easy as a trick to remember something.
- Kids should write everyday. This could be as simple as writing in a reflection journal. Everyday writing is important because of the amount of practice involved. Observing your child’s writing can also help you identify difficulties your child is having. This will allow you to design lessons to fit their individual needs.
- Teach your kids the writing process. When kids know the order of writing, they will be more comfortable in their writing. A lot of times, kids can’t come up with something to write about. One topic of writing could be to write about what they have learned for the day. Help kids pick ideas, organize their thoughts, and then start writing.
- Respond to their writing. Kids are more motivated to write if they are writing to an audience. After kids write in their journals, write back to them about what they wrote. At this time you are not correcting their writing. You are only responding to what they have written.
- Teach children how to spell most commonly used words. Most of the time, students don’t want to write because they can’t spell. They choose words that they can spell, which can make their writing less powerful. When you check or respond to their writing, make note of the words they misspell. Instead of using your spelling curriculum, teach your kids their misspelled words. When they know how to spell, it will make writing less cumbersome.
- Teach your kids to type. Your kids can start typing as young as 1st grade. They should continue to add typing to their curriculum and be proficient by 4th grade. A good program to try is Typing.com.
Are you writing with your kids this summer? What’s working for you? Let us know in the comments!