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.

Frustration Free Creative Writing

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Boy with notebookWhen young children first begin to write stories they often get frustrated, and need help spelling the "big words." Here is a way to help your child overcome this obstacle and let creative writing flow.

You will need:

  • A standard sized notebook
  • And pencil or pen

Together, talk about subjects that interest your child. For example, your child might like Planets and Space.

Here's what to do:

  • At the top of a notebook page put the heading "Space."
  • Brainstorm, together with your child, words that relate to space such as Earth, Saturn, rocket ship, astronaut, etc.
  • Print each word, on a separate line of the page. Be sure to use one capital letter and the rest lowercase. You or your child could draw a small sketch, next to the word to help identify it, if needed.
  • Add headings and words to new pages, for new subjects. Dinosaurs, Trucks, Ballerinas, Skateboarding, Reptiles, Airplanes, could be some examples.
  • Keep the notebook in an easily accessible place, and together add to it often.

The word list reminds your child of what she wants to include in her story, as well as subtly introducing referencing and dictionary skills.

And, not having to worry about spelling the difficult words, frees your child to focus on the story details.



#2 Martha 2011-07-15 18:47
What a wonderful way to spend time with your child and hone her skills at the same time. Thank you!
#1 Julie Arney 2011-07-15 15:06
These are some nice tips! Thank you for them as writing papers can make children mad and put off writing to last minute. Thanks as a parent. :-)

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