Monday, March 22, 2010

Emergent Writing for Children

Our resources are great for children who are in the beginning stages of writing. They include worksheets, printouts, and activities for the children to do in order to begin the writing process.

1. Kid-Zone
http://www.kidzone.ws/preK_wrksht/dynamic.htm

Teacher can use this website for children who are starting to write. The worksheets on the website start out with simple straight lines and then go into more complex drawing. The purpose of the activities is to develop the student’s control of their small muscles in their hand. Developing these movements will help the children make more precise movements when forming letters and improve hand/eye coordination. The worksheets start with tracing horizontal and vertical line then going on to curve lines. The worksheets begin with the student tracing the line. Towards the end of the worksheet the student has to try and make the line by themselves. After going through the different line worksheets there are pictures that the students can trace and then color. Teachers can coordinate the worksheets to another part of their lesson plan, such as if the students are reading a book about pigs they can trace and color a picture of a pig. Teachers have to make the worksheets fun so the kids are more excited to work on there writing skills. I think kids need to start with small steps as they begin to write. Kids need practice making straight lines and curves because it links to being able to write letters. All letters have either line and/or curves in them. If kids are familiar with making lines and curves then writing letters will come easier to them. This activity can be used in any classroom because all languages have a written form. All students, no matter what language they speak, will have to write in some language.

Evaluated by: Ashley Chumchal

2. Enchanted Learning
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/essay/writing.shtml

The website EnchantedLearning.com is a wonderful tool for parents or teachers to use with children to help them learn how to read and write. Enchanted Learning has tons of easy ways to teach children how to read and write. The goal of the site is to, “produce children's educational web sites which are designed to capture the imagination while maximizing creativity, learning, and enjoyment.” (Enchanted Learning). The lessons the website provides are enjoyable and easy to follow. This website has materials based on themes, languages, grade levels, and many more. The website makes it easy for a parent or teacher to use the lesson plans already provided to help their child or student start the writing process.

The website is great because it provides writing activities for children who are early to fluent writers. The user of the site can use the activities provided to move along in the writing process. Besides printouts, the site has other activities as well to aide in the writing process. It has activities to aide in writing letters, short books, reports, essays and writing prompts. There are many worksheets that could be used for homework or in the classroom as well as at home. They give you examples for topics that interest children and many printouts that would spark a child’s interest in writing.

Although the website has many activities, it does not explain the importance of teaching children how to write. There isn’t any focus on how emergent reading and writing go together and the site is also had to follow. There are many items to click on and it’s easy to get lost within the site. The site also has a fee if you wish to use all the resources within the site not just the sample pages.

Overall, this site is a great resource for activities to use at home or in the classroom to help students learn to write. With activities like this, children are sure to have fun while gaining the skills they need to write.

Evaluated by: Callista Young

3. Read-Write-Think
http://www.readwritethink.org

www.readwritethink.org is a great resource for teachers, students and parents for emergent reading and writing. This website offers new approaches to teaching literacy, opportunities to connect with local literacy leaders, classroom resources, professional development resources and parent and afterschool resources. There are four tabs located at the top of the page, including classroom resources, professional development, about us section and parent and afterschool resources.

The Classroom Resources tab provides lesson plans for grades k-12 including standard lessons, mini lessons, units, recurring lessons, learning objectives for students, and themes. The student interactive link also provides activities by type, theme and learning objectives. There is also a link for calendar activities and printouts of multiple literacy activities.

Strategy Guides
Professional Library
Meetings & EventsOnline
Professional Development

The Professional Development tab provides links for strategy guides, accesses to a professional library, local and national meeting and events, and online professional development that provides web seminars.

The About Us section provides information about IRA, NCTE and Verizon thinkfinity. This section also provides community stories, news and national and state standards; every lesson plan on readewritething.org has been aligned to the IRA/NCTE standards and to each individual state standards.

The parent and afterschool recourses tab provides an activities and projects section, games and tools section, tips and how to section, printouts and podcasts. All organized by Grade level.

The readwritethink.org website has an incredible amount of useful information and resources. It is organize very well and easy to find what you’re looking for. It provides activities and resources for all grade levels. Easy to follow activities for parents, multiple printouts and lesson plans for teachers that are in accordance to the national and state standards. Each lesson or activities also provides examples and information on how this activity will help your students and what exactly they will be learning. It is also associated with the International Reading association (IRA) and National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) so the information provided is valid, trusted and up to date.

Evaluated by: Jennifer Porton

4. Kids’ Space
http://storytrain.kids-space.org/index.html

The Kids’ Space website is very creative and awesome resource for emergent writers. In the website, children are exposed to write stories and submit them which could be posted on the website. It involves participants from different countries, which makes writing more meaningful and fun. The website encourages children to write stories of their own, giving a sense of ownership, self-esteem and motivation. Children post either or both of their writings and drawings, therefore, kids who enjoy arts could have more fun in writing. It is also very interactive because children share their own original stories with others all over the country. Even children who have not acquired a proficient level of writing skills can enjoy writing with a little help of an assistance, which gives a purpose of learning writing. All of the writings from children are protected and monitored carefully by editors from the website.

In Kids’Gallery, there are abstract, animal, fantasy, people, scenery, etc. In each section, there are drawing, and kids get to come up with a story from the picture. The pictures are created by children from all over the world, which is just fascinating. They will more likely to have fun making up a story with the picture that other kids drew, thus, motivating them and giving them a fun reason for learning to write better.

In Story Book section, kids can read what others wrote and also can submit their writing. In one activity, kids write stories using certain pictures. They make the title, name the object and write the story. In another activity, children write a folk tale that they either heard or read. And children can read the stories of folk tales from all over the world.

Evaluated by: Yire Lee

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