Writing Growth

Stage 1: Readiness

The student:

  • Scribbles

  • Notices print in the environment

  • Shows interest in writing tools

  • Likes to make marks on paper

  • Begins to recognize the power of print

  • Likes listening to stories, poems, etc.

  • Begins connecting writing/pictures with self-expression

  • Likes expressing himself/herself orally

Stage 2: Drawing and Exploring

The student:

  • Draws pictures with recognizable shapes

  • Captures more feeling in art through motion, color, facial expressions

  • Enjoys dictating or recording stories, poems, etc.

  • Begins dictating or recording stories, poems, etc.

  • May dictate or record stories to accompany pictures

  • Begins labeling and using titles

  • Plays with words and letters

  • Often orients letters correctly

  • Associates more letters than before with sounds

  • Writes letter strings

  • Feels confident to "write by myself"

  • Enjoys writing

  • Adds details that might have been overlooked earlier

  • Uses words or pictures to express personal feelings

Stage 3: Confident Experimentation

The student:

  • Feels more confident imitating environmental print

  • Writes more

  • Experiments with letters and rudimentary words

  • Shows greater attention to detail in letters and prephonetic words

  • Attempts longer expressions (two or more words)

  • Shows more awareness of conventions of print: spaces between words, spaces between lines, use of capital letters, up-down orientation, left-right orientation, use of punctuation

  • Begins using some capital letters, which may be randomly placed or used on words of personal importance

  • Begins to experiment with punctuation, though not necessarily appropriately placed

Stage 4: Moving Toward Independence

The student:

  • Becomes a keen observer of environmental print

  • Feels increasing confidence copying and using environmental print

  • Enjoys writing words, phrases, and short sentences on his or her own

  • Expands oral stories

  • Enjoys drawing pictures - then creating accompanying text

  • Writes longer, more expansive text or uses pictures in a series

  • Asks more questions about writing

  • Asks questions about conventions

  • Includes more conventions of writing in own text, including periods, question marks, commas, quotation marks, commas, quotation marks, capital letters - which may or may not be appropriately placed

  • Likes to share - may ask others to read text

Stage 5: Expanding and Adding Detail

The student:

  • Writes more - multiple sentences up to a paragraph or more

  • Experiments with different forms: lists, recipes, how-to papers, stories, poems, descriptions, reports, journals, notes

  • Begins using some conventions (spaces between words, capitals, periods, title at the top) with growing consistency

  • Shows increasing understanding of what a sentence is

  • Adds more detail to both pictures and text

  • Expresses both ideas and feelings purposefully and forcefully through pictures and text

  • Shows increasing confidence experimenting with inventive spelling - especially if encourages

  • Aims for correct spelling, and uses environment as a resource

  • Shows expanding vocabulary - especially if inventive spelling is encouraged

  • Increasingly uses writer's vocabulary to ask questions or discuss own writing - especially if traits are taught`