Writing can be a very tricky skill to build a foundation of in early learning, as it includes many different skills in one. The development of writing is not just about ABC’s and 123’s. Fine motor and social emotional development, specifically self regulation, plays a critical role in the development of writing. In many early learning classrooms children are encouraged to write with pencils on lines, when clearly the majority of the children are not developmentally ready for it. As educators of young children, it is pertinent that we can speak to the reasons we embed specific strategies to support foundational skills in the classroom. Embedding fine motor activities such as play dough, lacing, beading, etc. in the writing center or during writing time is developmentally appropriate, as is providing writing tools such as large chalk, pencils with foam curlers for handgrips, large markers and crayons, highlighters, etc. As the educator in the classroom, we have to be able to speak to WHY these are necessary to embed in the fine motor/writing center or time.
Further, it is important to note that there are activities which DEVELOP fine motor, and activities which USE fine motor. If we are asking children who do not have a strong fine motor ability to do something, such as coloring, crafting, etc which are activities that USE fine motor, children will become frustrated and possible shutdown from the anxiety. So children who are still developing fine motor should be working on lacing, play dough, cutting, etc to support them with developing the tripod grip in their hand. One of my favorite activities to have in the “fine motor/writing” center is to have a bucket of different sized balls (golf ball, spiky larger ball, tennis ball, etc.) Children then use their middle finger, index finger, and thumb ONLY to walk the ball up the side of their body from their knee to their shoulder. This is an activity which strengthens the tripod grip, a muscle that can become very taxed in a short amount of time for children, and must be developed and strengthened.
Teaching writing or supporting writing in a developmentally appropriate way can be done with ease, if we know our children and their skill levels well, and work with them to develop fine motor first, to support them then in the actual skill of writing. Supporting ALL children in accessing writing can be a hefty task to differentiate and meet the needs of everyone.
To begin this assignment, read through the resources provided, including “Stages of a Child’s Writing“, “Supporting Children with Disabilities“, “Promoting Preschool Emergent Writing”, “Invented Spelling” and “Supporting Muscle Development”, all attached.
As educators of young children it is our role to support parents in understanding what developmentally appropriate practice should look like for young children. For this this assignment you will create a presentation using a presenting tool such as, powerpoint, Prezi, etc. to create a presentation aimed at teaching parents what writing development looks like for young children.
The presentation should be at least 12 slides plus reference and include information about:
1. The purpose of writing development
2. Writing Foundations for children at 48 & 60 months
3. Fine Motor Importance and Integration
4. Activities & Writing Tools to support children
5. Ways parents can help at home
Attached are the Preschool Learning Foundations & Curriculum Frameworks for your reference (Volume 1: Language & Literacy includes Writing and Volume 2: Physical Development includes Fine Motor) PLF
PLF Volume 2.pdf
Promoting Preschoolers’ Emergent Writing NAEYC(1).pdf
Supporting Children With Disabilities.pdf
Supporting Muscle Development for Writing Handout.pdf
Stages of A Child’s Writing.pdf
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