Tuesday, June 9, 2009

engaging young writers


is written by Matt Glover and a well written sequel to Already Ready which I previously read and blogged. Matt Glover listens to young children and by listening is able to nudge children's writing development through book making. Listening is so important when nurturing our younger students. Their written expression will be at various stages and by listening, adults (being teachers and parents) are able to see the thinking, the details, and the thought our children put on paper which might appear simplistic at times.


This book focuses on what Matt refers to as entry points. To quote Matt, "Entry points are simply the angles from which we engage children in writing early on in their writing lives." He then dedicates a chapter to each type of entry point where he defines, provides narrative examples, and student work for the reader. There are three essential entry points; meaning, choice, and purpose. Essential entry points are fostered with deep engagement, emotional connections, time, ownership, and caring. When I think about my own best work or the work I enjoy, I am involved with some essential entry points and I can enjoy what I am doing. He follows with these types of entry points; invitational, story entry, experience, and interest.


While this book includes vingettes from preschool classrooms I found many more examples and text ideas to use in kindergarten and first grade. One unit he suggests to help foster meaning with kindergarten students is a focus on drawing to convey meaning. It makes so much sense, drawing will probably be how messages are conveyed in the beginning. He suggests mini lessons to help the children communicate better through drawing, which in turn helps them think and plan their writing. I am going to explore this thinking more.


I heard about this book from Carl Anderson when he was visiting here in Columbus, Ohio through The Literacy Connection's work. He highly recommended this book for understanding and fostering early writing and I couldn't agree more. I am confident I will refer to this during the upcoming school year.

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