Analyzing Students’ Writing Development

This semester students in READ 6325 explored a variety of professional development resources.

By:  Paula Garcia

Every student develops their learning skills at different stages throughout their education. Writing is a process that is complex involving the hand, eye, and both sides of the brain.  Learning to write takes practice and develops at an early age in a child’s life. 

Writing is a skill that children can acquire with parental strategies within the home environment.  The professional journal titled “Parental strategies to scaffold emergent writing skills in the pre-school child with the home environment” found in Early Years Vol. 30, No. 1 written by Michelle M. Neumann and David L. Neumann gives information on the different stages a child needs to acquire once he or she is ready for the next phase.  Through this analysis, we have encountered and experienced the different writing stages and how some children spend more time at a certain stage than others.  This article also provides parents with the main writing strategies that they can use to scaffold emergent writing.  The strategies mentioned in this article are simple strategies that provide many rich opportunities for writing skills.  These home strategies include pointing out print in the child’s environment, songs and nursery rhymes, tracing letters, scaffolding word writing to name a few.  If any parent or person wants to learn more about the writing stages and strategies on how to scaffold emergent writing, this would is an outstanding journal article to read and put to use.

Once a child becomes proficient in writing, then the time to learn about the writing process also known as the Writing Wheel has arrived. “Teaching the Writing Process to the Students with LD,” is an article written by B. J. Scott and Michael R. Vitale which explains and discusses the writing process. This article can be found in the section Intervention in Schools, and Clinic, Vol. 38, No. 4.  By reading this article teachers will be better prepared on presenting the writing process to students with learning disabilities or any other students to develop their proficiency in writing. The writing process entails five writing stages which are: prewriting/planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. The Writing Wheel is a figure which shows the five stages of the writing process and visually guides students and teachers through the writing process. Teachers will find this article useful as a teaching tool to help students with or without LD to produce quality writing products.  Writing is a complex process, but with the use of the Writing Process or Writing Wheel students with or without learning disabilities will engage in writing becoming better writers and teachers will feel competent writing teachers.   

A professional book that can be useful to teachers especially those in charge of writing is “The Revision Toolbox, Teaching Techniques that Work” by Georgia Heard.  Georgia Heard in her book explains the difference between revision and editing. Heard makes sure that she clarifies that revision does not necessarily indicate bad writing.  She offers numerous teaching techniques/strategies that enable students to reorganize their writing to make it more sophisticated by assuring that revision is part of the writing process.  Georgia Heard, a writing teacher recommends strategies that not only to improve students writing but reassures students the enjoyment of writing. 

An organization that is appropriate for writers especially those working with children is the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrator).  This is a non-profit organization that focuses on children’s book writers and illustrators.  The organization helps other writers to exchange knowledge between other people that have the same interest regarding children’s book. With more than 22,000 members worldwide, SCBWI is the largest children’s writing organization in the world.  In order to become an SCBWI member, there is an $85 due for the first year and $70 each renewing year. The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators have many benefits for its members. It provides online discussion boards, discounts and services like health insurance, awards, grants, conferences, and publishing information.  Since 1971, SCBWI is an organization dedicated to writers and illustrators of children’s literature.

Writing is an important stage in a child’s life, and everything should be done in order to emerge the writing skill.

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