SchoolFamily Voices

Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.

Practical Ways to Encourage Writing For a Purpose

Writing well usually begins with writing for a purpose. Here are three simple activities to give writing meaning, and encourage your child to connect the importance of writing and reading to everyday life.

  • Give your child their own large calendar with space in the date box for writing. Encourage him to write down upcoming activities and events. Have your child check the calendar daily. This gives purpose and importance to writing, while subtly teaching organizational skills.
  • Have your child make a “shopping list” for you. Dictate the things you will need at the store, such as milk, eggs, bread, butter etc. Even if you can’t read a thing on your child’s list, bring it with you to the store. Let her know how helpful the list was when you were shopping!
  • Make a simple lunch together with your child, for example a ham and cheese or peanut butter and jelly sandwich. When you are done with lunch, have him write a “recipe” for how you made the sandwich. Next time you make lunch, get the recipe out and let your child try to do it on their own, following the recipe.

In my next post I’ll share some tips and activities for helping your young child begin to write creative sentences and stories.

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