Writing preserves, equips and allows us to understand and be understood. It is an essential tool that makes our learning visible and our ideas permanent.
So, as a teacher, I wanted to share four ways that parents can help their children write better in simple small ways on a daily basis.
Here they are
Spelling Practice & Dictionary Drills
It has been my experience that turning anything into a game gives you automatic buy-in. Plus learning how to use a dictionary and appropriately spell words is necessary so this is a no-brainer.
To do this all you would need to do is :
- Print a list of sight words for the grade that your child is in.
- Cut the words up and put them in a jar.
- Have a puller pull and state the words.
- Race to find the word in the dictionary, spell it correctly writing it on a whiteboard, and define it.
The first one to complete all 3 parts earns the point- first to 5 or 10 wins.
- For a bonus point, they can use the new word in a complete sentence right then or at random throughout the day in conversation.
That’s it and it is a fun way to spend some quality time while you practice using the dictionary, learning and spelling new words.
This a simple task that can be done daily at the breakfast table or as a warm up before getting the virtual school day started.
To complete this task a parent or older sibling “ dictates” or speaks in complete sentences and your child “ takes the dictation” or writes down what they hear.
Start with 2-3 simple sentences like “ Sam ran downstairs”. Then gradually increase the complexity of the sentences, taking a moment after each to check for spelling errors, punctuation marks, and capital letters at the beginning of the sentences.
If there are errors, take a few moments to correct them, discuss, and continue.
Make it fun: get a few multi colored dry erase markers and allow them to write on the table.
Kids tend to write how they speak. So, if text lingo or slang is all that children hear and use on a daily basis, it will also spill over into their academic or formal writing.
Conversations are key.
Speaking with your child in complete sentences, reading with them or watching new movies and having conversations about the characters, the plot or interesting findings will allow them to practice having meaningful and thoughtful conversation. They will also learn new words and how they should be used.
“ Children need to learn 2,000 to 3,000 new words each year from 3rd grade onward, about 6–8 per day.”
“In 1st and 2nd grade, children need to learn 800+ words per year, about 2 per day.” – Louisa Moats
Children with limited vocabularies will only be able to tell stories as vivid as their words allow.
PSA: Electronic entertainment does not encourage good communication skills.
It is proven that better writing comes from students engaging in level appropriate diverse books.
Reading at school is not enough.
In reality, students spend about 60-90 minutes reading during a typical school day and even that time is divided between guided reading instruction, independent reading, and shared reading instruction.
This simply isn’t enough uninterrupted reading time.
To ensure that your child is reading quality texts, choose diverse picture books, chapter books on or near their reading level.
Also, involve them in the process of selecting what they read.
Reading books that interest them will only increase how long they read.
15- 30 minutes is ideal.
When we teach children to write, the benefits of skill and confidence in crafting words will open doors for them and help lead them into their futures.Debra Bell
Get writing 🙂