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Scaffolding young writers

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Young children need opportunities to hear and produce text.  Listening to rich text and discussing ideas occurs during interactive read aloud.  (refer to our inquiry cycle for more information about this practice). 

Generating text can happen during writing workshop and center time.  Young children can dictate stories to an adult, and then act out the story with peers.  They can also write stories independently (prior to mastering letter formation and/or phonics).  Both literacy practices and routines scaffold young writers and foster writing identities.

Activity:  Watch video (6:11) of teacher providing and then withholding scaffolding to support one child’s early understanding of narrative structure

Prompts for discussion:

  1. What teaching moves did this teacher make that would foster his identity as a writer?

  2. How did the teacher model writing process during the conference?

  3.  How did the teacher provide guided practice support the student during the conference?

Deep dive:  Listen to author and teacher Vivian Paley (18:52) share her thinking and describe her method of implementing story telling and story acting in PK classrooms. 

Optional:  Teachers who are interested in further discussion can review the Implementation Guidelines and share Sample Volunteer Guidelines.

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These tools were created as part of the Literacy Improvement in Rural Education through Collaboration (LIREC) project funded by the U.S. Department of Education