Writing tips for the primary classroom

Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Writing- some of you LOVE to teach it...others dread it.  It is definitely a tricky subject to teach.  Hopefully these hacks/tricks will save your sanity and help make your students a little more successful this year.

writing tips for the primary classroom

These are ideas that have worked in my primary classroom and I hope you are able to give them a try this year as well.

If you teach littles like Pre - K or K...I suggest you start with the very basics.  Soon after you teach them how to sit or hold a pencil they need to understand proper spacing.  My favorite way to do this is through my product:  Spaghetti and Meatball spacing.  It's perfect practice for little hands. 

writing tips for the primary classroom

This pack covers the basics and helps them understand that between letters in words you use spaghetti spacing and between words in a sentence you will need to use meatball spacing.

writing tips for the primary classroom
you can  grab this product ( here )

as you can see from this simple printable...they re write the word and add skinny lines between the letters.

writing tips for the primary classroom

this activity has them write a basic sentence and has them put meatballs between the words to understand proper spacing.

writing tips for the primary classroom

Before you know it your students will be saying don't forget meatball spacing when they are about to write in their journals...it's the cutest thing!  This product has several other pages that reinforce this idea along with posters and a little craft as well.  They are sure to remember this idea when you are done with the product in your classroom.

This next tip has been a winner in my first grade class for years...I need to bring it back now that I'm in second grade again.
I'm sure you've heard of the desk fairy visiting your classroom and leaving little certificates or stickers for those kiddos with clean desks?  Well this is the same idea but you call her the journal fairy.  She pops up unexpectedly here and there and leaves glitter in their journals while they are at recess or lunch.  Sometimes there may even be a little army guy or sticker too.  The kids love when she visits and when I mention it's been a while since she's come I see them step up their writing.  It's a great trick to pull from your teacher bag as needed.

teaching writing in the primary classroom

writing tips for the primary classroom

teaching writing in the primary grades

This really works friends!!!!  Kids need to re read their writing to become better writers and this will help them do that and even FIX mistakes...true story!
Have them re read their journal and use a highlighter, crayon etc., to highlight capitals and periods.  First of  all they love this and feel like 'the teacher' especially if you talk it up.  Secondly, they are basically proof reading their own work without totally realizing it.
As I walk around the room and watch them self correct it's truly amazing.  They will pause at their period and say out loud... OOPS!  I forgot the capital, then they are erasing away and fixing their mistake.  It's a wonderful writing hack that I've used with my partner teacher from back in the day for years!!! In fact, I'm pretty sure it was her idea!  See how important it is to collaborate with other?!?!  #teachertribe 
Once they become even more proficient you might hear them say something like oh my goodness that's a run on sentence how embarrassing!  LOL  It's so cute!

If you have a student that struggles with visual perception awareness or spacial organization this trick may work for you.  If your student often starts writing like the lower paper they might struggle with visual perception or spacial awareness.  This little trick helps them to remember to go all the way back to the yellow line to finish their thought and keep their paper organized and easy to follow.  It's a simple trick but it works!

writing tips for the primary classroom

This last tip is one that many of you use ~~ visual rubrics are always helpful to kids.  Have rubrics available and anchor charts with your writing expectations and/ or editing steps available for them to refer to...some kids like writing offices as well that have frequently used words, etc.  These all give kids more direction and confidence with their writing skills.
Lastly, remember to give them feedback and lots of encouragement.  Another tip that has worked for me in the past is to pair them up and give them 'talking sticks'.  They take turns reading their journal to their elbow partner, while they are holding their talking stick they can't be interrupted.  The partner gives them feedback ( that you have modeled and practiced with them often ) and they can hear if their writing sounds right aloud and fix any mistakes.  Then, they give their partner the stick and listen to them, it's a great collaboration tool and opens the door for speaking and critiquing one another.

writing tips for the primary grades
I hope these ideas have been helpful,
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blog posts and every Sunday night during the school year for my Sunday Night Snippets on Instagram.
Happy teaching...

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