Glossary

Alphabetic Principle: The relationship between letters and their sounds.
Developmental Spelling: Spelling patterns that young students demonstrate as they move toward correct or conventional spelling. Also referred to as emergent, invented, or temporary spelling.
Emergent Writing: A view that literacy learning begins at birth and is encouraged by having children participate early in a range of literacy and language activities. Scribble writing is now recognized as a valid, systematic, important developmental step through which children move on the way to correct or conventional writing.
Environmental Print: Common words and messages that guide us through our world (e.g. signs, advertisements, labels, directions)
Genre: Categories used to describe written materials that are based on their shared structure, organization, and/or perspective (e.g. first person narrative, biography, historical fiction, poetry, non-fiction)
Guided Writing: The teacher works with the whole class or a small group of students who have similar needs and coaches them as they write a composition.  The teacher reinforces skills, engages child in questioning and discussion, acts as a guide. The child does the writing, practices the strategies, and builds independence.
Journal Writing: A collection of student writing produced over time (often in a notebook.) Can contain correct or emergent spellings and illustrations, can be open-ended or structured by the teacher. Occurs on a regular basis to practice writing instruction that occurs in other settings.
Narrative: A text genre that tells a story. Generally includes the elements of character, setting, plot, and theme. Varieties include first-person narratives, fictional stories, and biographies
Independent Writing: Writing that students initiate through daily journaling, writing assignments, or notes to classmates, teachers, and/or parents. Independent writing is the result of good instruction and provides students with the opportunity to practice their writing skills. Independent writing gives students the opportunity to write about their interests and to write for many purposes, using different genres as appropriate for the grade level. Students write independently for various purposes and audiences. Through independent writing, students come to understand the writing process (generating ideas, drafting, revising, editing.) Time is organized for students to write independently and to receive individual or small-group instruction. Students may be provided with time to confer, consult, and share with others. Child chooses topic, practices at his/her independent level, and has time to practice.
Interactive Writing: This writing provides an excellent opportunity for students to participate collaboratively in the construction of written text.  In shared writing, the teacher and the students work together in the construction of a common text, and students are then encouraged to edit and revise. Through interactive writing, students share in the actual scripting of the text. Teacher and student choose the topic, share the pen, and compose together.
Modeled Writing: The teacher demonstrates the act of writing by thinking aloud as he/she composes a text in front of students. This allows students to hear the thinking that accompanies the process of writing, such as topic choice, how to start the piece, looking for a better word, revising and editing.
Shared Writing: This writing provides an excellent opportunity for students to participate collaboratively in the construction of written text. In shared writing, the teacher and the students work together in the construction of a common text, and students are then encouraged to edit and revise. The teacher scribes.

Write Aloud (Think-Aloud) Writing: The teacher uses words to describe what she/he is doing to model any part of the writing that we want to teach. We use think-alouds to model choose a topic, referring to the Word Wall, stretching out words, using capitals, using punctuation, editing, staying on the topic, and so on. (Also see Modelled Writing)

Writer's Workshop: A formal strategy to teach the writing process from planning to drafting to editing to final copy. The teacher may offer writer's workshop numerous times throughout the week. In workshop, students write for many purposes and use different genres. The use of literature as a model of the writer's craft is an important part of the writer's workshop. The teacher provides formal instruction through the use of mini-lessons that emphasize both content and form.
Writing Center: The teacher provides a varied, large supply of pencils, colored pens, erasers, tape, sticky notes, interesting stationary, envelopes, and dictionaries. The teacher may also establish a message board or post office where children leave messages they have written for others to read.