Most children begin their writing career by scribbling and drawing. Grasping the crayon or pencil with a full fist, a young scribbling child is exploring with space and form. He is creating a permanent record of his ideas and thoughts. These first scribbles can be proud accomplishments! Thick markers, crayons and unlined paper are good writer’s tools for this stage.
LETTER-LIKE FORMS and SHAPES
At this stage of writing development, children begin to display their understanding that writers use symbols to convey their meaning. Writing begins to include shapes and other figures. A writer in this stage will often write something and ask, “What does this say?” There’s little orientation of forms and shapes to space. Tubs of markers, crayons and paper remain good writer’s tools.
As a child’s writing continues to develop, she will begin using random letters. Most children begin with consonants, especially those in their name. Pieces of writing are usually strings of upper-case consonants, without attention to spaces between words. At the beginning of this stage, there remains a lack of sound-to-symbol correspondence between the words they are trying to write and the letters they use. Different types of paper, including memo pads, envelopes, lined paper and some smaller pens and pencils are good writer’s tools at this stage. Tubs of foam letters and letter magnets are also handy.
LETTERS and SPACES
As beginning writers practice their craft, they are learning many concepts about print. When a child points to individual words on a page when reading, and works to match their speech to a printed word, a concept of word is developing. A concept of word is the awareness of the purpose and existence of spaces separating words that are spoken and words that match printed words. Children begin to write beginning and ending sounds. They may also be able to spell some high frequency words correctly. As students transition to more conventional writers , they will begin to write words the way they sound. Punctuation begins as writers experiment with forming sentences.