February/March, 2014
"Write" Stuff

I never thought my grandson would write. The neighbor’s four year old granddaughter could write words with chalk on her driveway, but K.J. just scribbled. All of a sudden he turned five and glory, hallelujah! He could hold the pencil and control it and write! My daughter made a profound statement when that happened. She said, “You know, children take it in and take it in and take it in …and then something comes out!” That should be our mantra as early educators. We must provide children with experiences and opportunities to learn, but we can’t force them to “perform” before they are ready. It’s also significant to remember that each child learns in her own way at her own time. Some walk early, some talk early, some write early…but eventually they will all be successful.
This month you’ll find lots of ideas for getting children ready to write. Although the focus will be on pre-writing activities, most of the ideas can be adapted for letters, numerals, shapes, words, and other skills. A key principle for early childhood is to go from simple to complex and from concrete to abstract.
If you want children to develop writing skills, you have to offer them a wide variety of engaging experiences where they can learn as they play. The road to Common Core State Standards will be much more fun with these songs and multi-sensory materials.
Let’s get started with this free song download called “Pencil Grip.” Click here to download the free song.
Pencil Grip (Tune: “Where Is Thumbkin?”)
          Where is Pointer?
          On the top.
          Ready to write.
          Start at the top.
          Where is Thumbkin?
          On the side.
          Ready to help
          Your pencil glide.
          Where is Tallman?
          On the bottom.
          Keeps the letters
          Where you want ‘em.


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