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Kid Writing (Inventive Spelling)

Karen Kerins

I am a kindergarten teacher and I attended a workshop over the summer called "Connecting Literacy Content, Teaching, and Learning. During the two day workshop, kid writing was brought up. My feeling on "kid writing" was that it helps the students with their phonics skills. I have my class do "kid writing" weekly and we make their writings into books, send them home to be viewed by their parents, and returned for their portfolios. According to the speech therapist that was also in attendance, she felt it was not good for students to use "kid writing". Anyone have an opinion that they would like to share?

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Dear speach language doubter: Inventive spelling is okay!

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I got into teaching early writers due to seeing the MAGIC that happens when young writers progress along the continum from scribbling lines on paper to making letter/sound connections to finally complete paragraphs with all the conventions. I see really "off" inventive spellings as an opportunity to work 1 on 1 with students to ask them what word they are trying to spell...often they are mispronouncing or incorrectly articulating the word they are trying to spell. Ie. they say "chruck" instead of truck. Good teachers work with students to tell them how to correctly say the sounds they are mixed up on--sometimes these students are referred for more professional help to the school's speech/language professional for therapy.

P.S. I still have boxes of my 20 something daughter's early writings...they are treasures!

Student writing

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I am not familiar with "kidwriting," but I am guessing that it is very similar to "brave spelling" or "inventive spelling." I have a question that is more or less along the same train of thought. I am a kindergarten teacher and have been thrilled with the process that my students have made in their spelling so far this year. Many of them have come from scribbles to using actual letters and words. I have taught them that it is ok to look around the room and copy things that they see. I have modeled writing a morning message to them daily and I have also modeled a free-write journal entry daily. However, many of my students continue to copy unrelated words from around the room and make no attempt to form sentences or convey their own ideas. Should I be worried or is this simply a phase? If this is something that I should be worried about, how do I move them on in their writing?

Senior Manager of Video Programming, Production, & Curation at Edutopia

"Kid Writing" at Auburn Early Education Center

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I saw this first-hand when the Edutopia team visited Auburn Early Education Center, an all-kindergarten school, a few years ago.

At first I was confused as to why the teachers didn't correct the spelling, but the teachers explained to me that they first wanted to help the kids see themselves as confident writers, and could worry about corrections later, when they had successfully instilled a love of the medium.

This was a fantastic school with daily journal-writing and sharing. Check it out in action in this video:

Five-Year-Olds Pilot Their Own Project-Based Learning

Or click this link: http://www.edutopia.org/kindergarten-project-based-learning-video

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