Learn how to nurture student writers in the early elementary classroom.
From the time that a young child picks up a crayon and makes marks on a paper to when an older child puts the finishing sentence on an autobiography or a poem, a young author is developing the skills that will be used for a lifetime. In this course, you will examine the developmental stages of writing, from scribbling to the standard spelling stage, so that you can foster your students' skills and gently nudge them to grow as authors. This course is full of practical ideas that you can use to motivate students in your classroom.
You will look at tools such as the writer's workshop, the six traits of writing, and genre studies for ways to teach students about writing. You will see how each of these tools can be used by teachers to encourage early elementary writers. As your students become better writers, they will become better readers, and you will see how well reading and writing instruction work together to support each other.
The course also covers ways to support the writers who struggle, whether due to a lack of motivation, fine motor skills, or ideas. And of course, you will explore techniques for getting parents involved so that they can help with writing at home. By the end of the course, you will have a new enthusiasm for teaching that will ignite your students' love of writing.
- This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac device.
- PC: Windows XP or later.
- Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
- Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
- Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
- Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
- Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
1 Growing Young Writers
What makes teaching writing so important for our K-3 students? Your first lesson introduces the relevance of writing instruction in early elementary school. You will learn some practical ways to grow writers in our classrooms and talk about providing role models and celebration and meeting students at their developmental and skill levels.
2 Growing Talkers
This lesson delves into the connections between oral language and writing. You will learn how varying literacy experiences at home affects young children’s work when they first enter elementary school. You will also examine strategies for helping students move from oral language to writing.
3 Growing Scribblers
This lesson explores the developmental stages of writing, starting with the scribbling stage and moving on to the letter-like symbols stage. Then you will visit a kindergarten classroom and a resource room to get some great tips for working with these young writers.
4 Growing Explorers
This lesson focuses on the strings of letter stage and the beginning sounds stage. And as you did in the last lesson, you will visit a kindergarten class and resource room to see how our teachers work with students in these two stages.
5 Growing Risk-takers
When it comes to writing, our young risk-takers are ready to make bold choices when they put their pens to the paper. This lesson introduces two developmental stages: consonants represent words and initial, middle, and final sounds. You will also learn strategies help your students achieve success.
6 Growing Butterflies
This lesson explores the final two stages of developmental writing: transitional and standard spelling. The standard spelling stage is our goal for all students, although they'll always be works in progress as they move toward this goal.
7 Writer's Workshop
There are many ways to hold successful writer's workshops. And this will be the focus in this lesson: examining the writer's workshop as a tool to meet your students’ diverse needs. You will also learn the three components of a successful writer's workshop: the mini-lesson, writing time, and sharing time.
8 The Six Traits of Writing
What does great writing look like? There's no easy answer to this question, of course. And that's just what this lesson focuses on — defining and teaching great writing traits. You will learn the six traits of writing: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions.
9 Conferencing With Students
This lesson focuses on writing conferences. You will be introduced to the different conferences types and how to effectively conduct your own conferences with students at varying developmental levels. You will also learn about rubrics and how to use them to assess student writing.
10 Navigating Roadblocks
How do you help students who struggle with some of the physical aspects of writing? In this lesson, you will learn how to navigate roadblocks such as trouble with fine motor skills, posture, and stamina. You will also explore specific tactics for reversing letter reversals.
11 Getting Into Genres
This lesson is all about genres: narrative, expository, procedural, persuasive, and transactional. You will learn how genre study motivates students and increases writing and reading comprehension skills. You will also examine the components of each genre and incorporate them into their classroom instruction.
12 Teamwork Gets It "Write": Building the Home-School Connection
The final lesson focuses on working with parents to support their young writers at home. You will learn how to have productive conferences with parents about their children's writing. You will also examine answers to some common (and often tough.) parent questions.