I love teaching kindergarten because the kids go from barely knowing their letters in the fall to full on writers by the end of the year. However the journey is not always easy.
I've seen my kids be really excited during group, ready to get to writing then they get to their seats and..... nothing. They get stuck; they forget what they want to write about. They feel a little intimidated. I honestly believe the first step in writing is not only having a topic that you know about, but believing you can do it.
One of my effective strategies is …..
Visual writing prompts.
I love using visual writing prompts because it’s very user friendly. Of course I want to hear their stories, their voice, but for some kids they just have a hard time getting their ideas down. This is what I use with those kids to build their confidence.
I give them an engaging picture, something they know a lot about recess, sports, friends, then I ask them to color the picture and write a sentence.
|"I see the girl cleaning the table."|
The coloring aspect really helps the reluctant writer. They can sit down next to a strong writer and not stare at an empty page. They can start to color. I do a mini lesson on the rug first, we talk about the picture, I model writing, then they turn and talk to tell a friend what they will write. Then it’s back to the table to get at it.
When we started I got a lot of sentences like. “I see a girl.” But as we have progressed they have evolved into sentences like “The girl is going down the slide at the park. I think she is happy because she is smiling. I love to swing on the swings. The park is fun”
If you have students who struggle to get their ideas down, try this and let me know what you think. Here are some of my most popular prompts