1 Shows motivation to engage in written expression
a Child demonstrates understanding of the connections among their own ideas, experiences, and written expression.
solving problems using written expression (e.g., helping the teacher to write classroom rules)
creating an alternate ending to a story
describing feelings about an experience through written expression (e.g., drawing pictures or writing)
asking for assistance in documenting a recent experience.
Create charts and graphs to capture children's ideas.
Provide time and materials for children to create and dictate a story or play.
Encourage children to illustrate and dictate their thoughts and ideas (e.g., teacher writes child's description of their own drawing).
Work as a group to compose a song or poem about a current event or classroom event.
b Child intentionally uses scribbles/writing to convey meaning (e.g., signing artwork, captioning, labeling, creating lists, making notes).
signing their name to a drawing
writing a few letters or mock letters as a caption under a drawing
writing a "recipe" on a pad of paper when playing in the dramatic play center set up like a kitchen
using the writing desk in the dramatic play center to write notes, prescriptions, letters, and drawings.
tracing letters in the sand at the sand table
building a block structure to represent the fire station in a story and asking the teacher for help writing "fire station"
responding "This is my house and my dog. My dog is yellow" when asked to describe their drawing.
Include writing materials in all areas of the classroom; model and encourage their use.
Put a writing desk in the dramatic play area. Stock it with pencils, markers, crayons, paper, envelopes and stickers. Model writing a letter to a friend or family member or make a grocery list.
Encourage children to create signs for dramatic play or block play.
Model signing name to art work or writing a shopping list for the grocery store and encourage children to do the same.
Allow children to "sign-in" each morning to record their attendance.
2 Uses scribbling, letter-like shapes, and letters that are clearly different from drawing to represent thoughts and ideas
a Child independently uses letter-like shapes or letters to write words or parts of words.
filling a paper with random marks and then "reading" the marks to the teacher or a peer
making letter shapes using paint and brushes at the easel
using a stick to make letters in wet sand on the playground
writing a "story" that has distinctively different symbols for drawings (illustrations) and scribbling or letter-like shapes (text)
using markers and pencils at the art table to label their drawing, writing an "r" next to a rainbow and their initial next to a figure.
Provide opportunities for children to use rubber alphabet stamps to print their own names.
Create journals and regular opportunities for children to write in and "read" from their journals.
Provide children opportunities to match magnetic letters to printed words on picture cards.
Provide children various opportunities to write letters in different media (e.g., sand, paint, buttons, shaving cream, chalk, and clay).
b Child writes own name (e.g., first name, last name, or frequent nickname), not necessarily with full correct spelling or well-formed letters.
signing in using their first name on classroom attendance sheet
labeling belongings with their initials
practicing writing their first and last names.
Provide children with a model of their name in writing to encourage independent identification and production.
Provide sign-in sheets on which children can print their names.
Post a two-part chart daily with a question and picture symbols on which children must sign their name under their choice (e.g., "Do you want white or chocolate milk at lunch?" "Which do you like better–chocolate chip cookies or oatmeal cookies?").
Have children sign their name to artwork and other creations, including dictations, photographs, and charts.
3 Demonstrates age-appropriate ability to write letters
a Child independently writes some letters on request.
writing their names on request
writing recognizable letters (e.g., "m" and "p") in the sand or on the sidewalk with chalk
using magnetic letters to write a friend's name.
Model formation of letters and provide opportunities for children to practice writing letters.
Provide a variety of materials to practice writing letters (e.g., sand, shaving cream, and finger paint).
Create a class newsletter, having children dictate stories.
4 Demonstrates knowledge of purposes, functions, and structure of written composition
a When writing or dictating, child uses appropriate writing conventions (e.g., a letter starts with "Dear"; a story has a beginning, middle, and end).
scribbling a list starting at the top of the page
dictating a story and, when finished, saying, "the end"
writing their first and last names and leaving a space between the two names
composing an email to a friend on a computer
using a sticky pad in the art area to make an invitation for a friend to eat beside them at lunch
writing letters on an envelope, putting a sticker on it, and "mailing" it to the teacher when playing at the writing table.
Write thank you letters along with the children after field trips to the fire station, zoo, or bakery.
Write a to-do list and encourage children to write their own.
Prompt children to provide a clear beginning, middle, and end to their stories when taking dictation.