Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Kindergarteners Writing At Home

Last week we started having kindergarteners write at home, as part of our homework assignments. I believe writing at home, several times a week, helps students grow as writers. In half time kindergarten, we don't have as much time to sit and write as the full day kindergarten students. Writing at home, to help make up for lost time, is incredibly helpful as kids develop as writers. Over the past few years, I have observed, that having one on one support, in the home environment, has made a HUGE impact on confidence and ability of our kindergarten students.

Here are some examples of the writing kids have turned in this week.

"I had fun in the snow week."

"I built Legos in my room."

"I made 2 baskets at basketball today."

Kids should write at home, at least 3 times during the week.  As your child writes, try to encourage him/her to say the word slowly and write the sounds they hear.  In class, we use our letter sound cards for support.  Often times, kids will ask, "What does an 'm' look like?"  They may know the sound, but they are not able to recognize the letter.  Proper spelling is not as important as being able to sound out a word, the best they can, and writing the sounds they hear.  Sight words, on the other hand, ARE important to spell correctly.

I will send home 3 writing papers at the beginning of each week.  They need to be turned in at the end of each week.  (The first week, the papers were delayed in coming home because the printshop was backed up after the snow storm.)  Don't worry if your child hasn't turned any papers in yet.  Just turn them in as they go.

The goals of sending writing home as a homework assignment are to have consistent practice,  receive one on one support if your child needs it, and learn to enjoy the writing process.  If this isn't fun, FEEL FREE TO WRITE SOMETHING THAT IS FUN.  Have your child draw a picture and write a sentence to send to Grandma.  Write a mini-book and illustrate it.  Take photos on a walk around the neighborhood, glue the pictures into a book, and write about it.  It is important to keep writing fun!  If your child enjoys writing on their "homework sheet" and it makes them feel like a big kid, keep it up!  If your child would rather do their chores, brush their teeth, or pick up their room, please change up the assignment and do something your child enjoys.  You can send their assignment to school, or just write a note.  It's up to you!

Happy writing!
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