• strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/active5/public_html/drupal6_multisite/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/active5/public_html/drupal6_multisite/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/active5/public_html/drupal6_multisite/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/active5/public_html/drupal6_multisite/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 159.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/active5/public_html/drupal6_multisite/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 24.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/active5/public_html/drupal6_multisite/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/active5/public_html/drupal6_multisite/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.

Writing Development

Writing begins much earlier than most adults expect. The three-year-old writing a capital “T” on every piece of paper he finds is declaring to the world through writing that he – Tyler – has been there!

In The Art of Teaching Writing, Lucy Calkin shares that darkened letters, oversized print, and capital letters add voice to a young writer’s words. Further, learning to separate writing into words, and then spelling those words correctly, is a growth process. The youngest children often spell by using only the first and final sounds of a word, perhaps even using just one letter.

Gretchen Morrison, K-5 literacy coach in a large St. Louis County school district, is very familiar with the writing development of primary students.  Working currently with first grade writers, Morrison shared the following observations were normal for beginning writers:

  • Capable of telling their stories due to their oral language skills
  • Write with a sense of beginning, middle, and end to their stories
  • Add details to writing through illustrating
  • Exhibit letter reversal
  • Demonstrate errors in capitalization (example: capitalizing an L in the middle of a word)
  • Use non-standard spelling, though increasingly transfer correctly spelled sight words into writing

During a recent interview, Morrison continued that holding primary students to a ridged format stifles their work.  Rather, teachers and parents working with their own children should honor the student’s generalizations and learning.

Morrison offered the analogy that beginning writers are like clowns in a circus act, balancing multiple spinning plates. Just as the entertainers get one plate spinning at a time, young students need to work on one writing skill at a time. 

"We can set them up for success when we give clear, concise teaching points based on the student’s current ability. Requiring them to fix every single mistake will kill their writing spirit.”

Gretchen Morrison
K-5 Literacy Coach