Collaborating with colleagues is a great way for professionals to exchange successful ideas. Recently, I met with my college friend, Elaine Scott, who is a retired first grade teacher. Of course we were "talking shop" and she shared a simple technique to encourage reluctant writers that was very successful in her classroom. These ideas can easily be used by parents to encourage writing at home.
- "Save the fronts of greeting cards," she advised. "You can use them as a springboard for writing." Using these cards provides a topic. (Not to mention you are recycling!)
- "Have your friends save their cards too. You would be surprised how fast your collection adds up," Elaine continued. "Seasonal cards can be used the next year."
- Place the card on the top of construction paper with a writing page underneath. Children can then choose what paper they like, and write about what is on the card.
- "You can also use them to teach parts of speech," Elaine added. For example, by placing the card on top of a paper with three columns underneath labeled noun (naming word,) verb (action word,) and adjective (describing word.)
For some children "getting started" is the hardest part of writing. They don’t know what to write about, and this causes anxiety. Thanks, Elaine for these simple and effective ideas to help young children become good writers!