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Monday, March 14, 2011

Life Long Writers… Here We Come!


Smiles, grins, and applause followed each reading of each book the children had worked so hard to publish.  It was as if I had walked into a bubble of pride, when I entered the classroom, and students were sharing their All About books with parents and visitors.  After the last applause, I introduced myself to the parents, whom were still beaming from excitement.

“Hi, I’m Mrs. Alfonso, the literacy coach.  I have been working with your children, as they have worked so hard writing their books.  You must be very proud of them.”  To the one mom, who came by herself, I said, “You must be …” “Berto’s mom,” she finished my sentence.  “You must be very proud of him!  He is a great writer!”  “Yes,” she responded, “He has already written two other books at home.”  You couldn’t contain her smile.

Last week and this week, in passing, I have discovered two children writing for fun at home, working on genres they have been learning about in writing workshop, at school!  A little boy and a little girl.  Money can’t buy that!  These two children are the epitome of what I desire to accomplish in each child, each day - independent, life long writers!  Oh, and did I mention, both children are English language learners?  If you are a teacher, a parent, or a significant other, won’t you join me in accomplishing this goal for all little writers?


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Creating Life Long Writers: Writing Independence Beyond the Classroom!

     I had just finished conferring with a little writer and was writing my conference notes, when a little whisper pleasantly surprised me.
“Mrs. Alfonso," she said softly,  "I made a  little ‘How To’ book.”
“I know,” I responded, “and you did a great job!”
“No, I made another one at home!"
I had to mentally rewind that, “Did she say, ‘at home?’”
     How exciting!  She was on her way to becoming the epitome of what I hope to accomplish in all of my students, independent writers outside the classroom, writers for a life time.  Whether you are a parent, a teacher, or a significant other, won’t you join me in accomplishing this goal for all little writers? 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What Motivates Writers?


“Oh, my goodness you have to see Steve’s writing, Mrs. Snell.  Maybe this is one that you should read to the class during share time today.  It has amazing voice to it!  You know “voice” is very difficult for young children to grasp.  Children need to hear other children’s writings to understand what we mean by “voice.”  Steve did an amazing job!  I am so proud of him.  Look!”  Mrs. Snell’s jaw drops, as she hears me bursting out of my skin, as I read Steve’s writing to her.   She then whispers in my ear, “Oh my, this is the child that usually hates to write.  He writes absolutely nothing most of the time! I can’t believe how motivated he has been!”

What motivated Steve?   CONFERRING DAILY with this child, that’s what motivated him!  Children feel their work is valued when you encourage them EVERY DAY, and act like their writing matters.  When we make it a DAILY routine to talk with writers about their writing, they know we care, they want to please, and like Steve, they take pride in work that they never even knew they could produce.  Whether you are a parent, teacher, or significant other, you too can make a difference in a little writer, just show the little writer that you care!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Reading Supports Writing

Scribbling is a beginning writing stage that eventually will progress into “shaking letters” that children will experiment writing.  So, if you want a child to become a successful writer, it is important that you teach the child his letters and sounds.  Reading supports writing.  There is no bone about that!dollySanta058

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Toddlers Training as Writers

Miguel, Jr. , Age Two, The Aspiring Writer
Bring out the paints, clay, playdough, sponges in the bath tub, and anything your toddler's little hands can squeeze!  Help your toddler develop those tiny fine motor skills hand muscles. Here is my son, Miguel, Jr. at age two, the aspiring writer, in his scribble writing stage.  Go get them, writer!

Writing Babies: "How soon, is too soon?"

Annette, a few days old.
The writing for independence adventure begins at birth.  "Yes, at birth!"  When you allow your baby to grip your fingers and play with toys that are gooshy and mooshy, you are helping your baby develop fine motor skills muscles your baby will need to write.  It is never to early too start!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Why A Blog About Little Independent Writers?

"Little Independent Writers" is a blog where educators, parents, and other interested parties, can dialogue concerning how to create, mold, shape, and support little writers for a life time of independence and success, while supporting each other in accomplishing this goal.  Often for young children, writing is the last language domain to be acquired, because of its complex process and need for well developed fine motor skills, or development of tiny muscles in the hands. Speaking, listening, and reading, usually are acquired first which are also much easier to teach, maybe because they come more naturally for most people. It is my hope that we can share ideas to not only help develop little independent writers, but also lead them to succeed, as they become life long learners, and we become more effective teachers.