Alphabetic Principle: The
relationship between letters and their sounds.
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
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
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
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
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
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.