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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little-Pink-Hen View Post
    IMO Pre literacy and numeracy at this age is important. I don't expect my 3.5 students to be writing anything but have pre literacy skills meaning scribbling and pretend writing across the page that mimic writing left to right and down the page.
    I often say to my preschool children to write what they want, stories, recipes, what they drew etc and I don't actually expect writing just attempts and my older one will write a series of letters they know

    Your done a great job that your child enjoys reading and is learning words. But I wouldn't be stressing about doing more.

    I would be encouraging her to draw and write when she wants to draw and talk to her when you are writing about what your doing. Eg: if your writing a shopping list ask do you want to write one too? Tell her it doesn't matter if she doesn't know to just try and pretend.
    Agree with this post.
    Great she is so interested in reading but do encourage her to draw & make stories. Ask what she is drawing/writing & praise her with whatever she has done. ESP if the drawing/writing is even close to what she saying she drawn/written.
    No harm in teaching her how to form letters. You can make it fun by using string or spaghetti for her to make letters.

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  3. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little-Pink-Hen View Post
    IMO Pre literacy and numeracy at this age is important. I don't expect my 3.5 students to be writing anything but have pre literacy skills meaning scribbling and pretend writing across the page that mimic writing left to right and down the page.
    I often say to my preschool children to write what they want, stories, recipes, what they drew etc and I don't actually expect writing just attempts and my older one will write a series of letters they know

    Your done a great job that your child enjoys reading and is learning words. But I wouldn't be stressing about doing more.

    I would be encouraging her to draw and write when she wants to draw and talk to her when you are writing about what your doing. Eg: if your writing a shopping list ask do you want to write one too? Tell her it doesn't matter if she doesn't know to just try and pretend.
    Totally agree! I've just completed my language and multiliteracies unit for my bachelor of early childhood education and was fascinated to see some early samples of children's writing and how they progress over time.
    My 3.5 yr old often "writes" stories, lists and descriptions of pictures.. Obviously I can't read it yet but I just ask what she was thinking when she wrote it and she'll tell me.
    It's more about them learning the concept of print and writing than actually knowing words and letters.

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  5. #13
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    Thank you so much for all the replies - I wasn't sure if I would get any! OK, where to start! The teacher didn't say she was BEHIND in writing, but that she was concerned she wasn't progressing. Then she showed me the writing of former students, how they progressed and that by the time they went to prep they were writing sentences. I am now wondering though if this is typical or just a few "special" students, so next week I'm going to have a look at their current work on the walls where they had to write what their painting is about and see what the writing looks like.

    I'm not concerned about her being ahead in school. There are a few schools here where they supposedly pick up with them at their own level, so hopefully that's the case!

    Quote Originally Posted by meme View Post
    I am thinking that perhaps your pre school teacher said writing when what she really meant was writing behaviours that develop before writing? Kids do play writing, squiggles and pretend notes before any real writing. Does your DD do this type of play? Not that it is a problem if she isn't, but I am just wondering if that is what the teacher is looking for. Play writing develops stuff like, the purpose of writing ( eg writing a list, is different from writing a letter), and different styles, eg a pretend book will most likely have pretend words and illustrations, and most kids begin to mimic types of writing they have seen and practise where to start writing, what side of the page we start on how we write letters grouped together to make words and then words grouped together to make longer writing... ( although this is still being learnt for years after preschool, my 6 year old is still adjusting to this. ) . any literacy needs a balanced approach. I'm not a fan of learning words by flashcards because to me the most important part of reading is making sense of what is being read, and enjoying the experience. but yes, learning some words by rote/memory rather than phonics is important too. Also the mindset to be able to have a go and make mistakes. Which it sounds like your teacher is also a bit concerned about. there is lots of making mistakes in learning, and kids who need to be perfect have a hard time of it imo. I was one, and my kids do it too. so now we talk a lot more at home about mistakes we made and how we learnt stuff from them...
    Yes I think to start with it's about the pretend writing but DD knows what she's doing isn't real writing so she says she can't do it. Definitely some perfectionist issues going on there. She does lots of drawing, scribbling, so I'm going to encourage her to do more of that. She has always been very interested in learning, so it's not like I'm pushing her or anything.


    Quote Originally Posted by sweetseven View Post
    My DD4 was an early reader. She showed a keen interest in books and eagerly asked me to teach her to read. I did so by reading books with her, pointing at the words as I did so, and choosing one word per page (or section, or line) for her to guess/read. As she gained confidence, I left more and more for her. Each time, if she was hesitant, I would tell her after a few seconds, and she would repeat it after me. (Actually she repeated all the words after me.) She quickly progressed to reading along with me repeating after her instead.

    At three and a half, when she started preschool, she could ready at about a year two level. Back then they didn't do any reading in preschool or prep, and the only writing they did was their own names. Going to preschool and prep took up too much of her time and we were not able to keep up with her reading. After those two years she had dropped back a little, but quickly retrained once she started year one. And within six months was back to her year two reading level. From there she has always been an accellerated reader, and now in year six is having difficulty finding age appropriate books that are suitable for her reading/comprehension level also.

    However, irrespective of her ability to read, she had no ability to write at that time. She couldn't even colour between the lines. Her fine-motor co-ordination was slightly behind. It took the first six months of preschool for her to learn how to write the first letter of her name. By the end of her preschool year, she was attempting the rest of her name (two letters, one repeated) but it really wasn't legible. Halfway through prep she had finally managed to consistently write her name so that others could understand it. She did however learn how to colour in pictures in preschool. I see no problem with her writing these days.

    I've never before heard of the approach you suggested they use at your daughters kindy. Early writing skills I have seen taught in school (year one and prep) involve tracing then drawing patterns rather than letters. Sometimes it would be curves, other times zigzags. It was explained to me that these were pre-writing activities to teach the children the skills needed to form letters later when they start writing.

    Perhaps you could search for pre-writing activities like I explained above for your daughter. These might supplement the reading program you have been using.

    ----------------

    As for your daughter not being comfortable writing because she doesn't know how, that could be a personality issue also. My DD1 was like that. If she was told to draw a straight line, she would use a ruler. When a teacher instructed her to draw a straight line without using a ruler she objected that she couldn't. The teacher told her she had to try, and she just got frustrated by drawing an almost-straight line, rubbing it out, and repeating. It just was not something she could cope with at that age. DD1 ended up taking art right through high school (yrs 9-12) and performed really well in that class.
    Thank you so much for your reply. That is exactly how I've been teaching DD. Reading books, pointing out words. It was the approach recommended by Mem Fox actually. And she loves it. I feel sad to think that could be hindering her learning. I think I am going to continue with that but also do lots of phonics based stuff with her and make it like a game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs Molly Coddle View Post
    Writing is taught before reading in Steiner education. Perhaps you can google 'Steiner and literacy' or something similar? Having said that, they don't learn to read until they are 7. Letter formation etc happens before all of that. It is a really interesting concept and it does work well IMO.
    haven't heard of Steiner - maybe that's what this is? I'll check it out, thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Little-Pink-Hen View Post
    IMO Pre literacy and numeracy at this age is important. I don't expect my 3.5 students to be writing anything but have pre literacy skills meaning scribbling and pretend writing across the page that mimic writing left to right and down the page.
    I often say to my preschool children to write what they want, stories, recipes, what they drew etc and I don't actually expect writing just attempts and my older one will write a series of letters they know
    Yes they encourage them to "write" about what they have drawn and overtime this is supposed to turn into real letters and then meaningful text.

    Quote Originally Posted by PurpleButterfly4 View Post
    Agree with this post.

    No harm in teaching her how to form letters. You can make it fun by using string or spaghetti for her to make letters.
    That's a cool idea!

  6. #14
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    Another question...she knows the sounds of all the letters, but she has trouble blending them together.. so she can say "b" and "a" but most of the time can't put that together to make "ba". Any tips? Can't really progress with phonics until she can do that!

    What I don't like about the approach at her preschool is it seems to be so reliant on their writing. I don't want to wait around until she has the motor skills to write. I know that wasn't what the teacher meant as they are still talking about letters but the idea of not having her read anything anymore doesn't seem right.

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    She will blend and write when she's ready. She's only 3.5! What's the rush?

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  9. #16
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    It's not usual children to be writing sentences ath the start of prep. Some will be, but they will be very much the exceptions. It sounds like your pre school has very high expectations to me. Honestly it really sounds crazy IMHO.

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    Thanks for all opinions. It's a very advanced preschool although the kids are all just "normal" - not like you have to do a test to get in or anything. I love that they encourage all this early learning but I will try not to get stressed if she is taking longer to learn things

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    Montessori is another philosophy (besides Steiner) that likes children to "write" before they learn to read. But in our experience, at our school, the philosophy is seconded to "follow the child" ie If a child is more interested in reading, help her learn to read; if she's more interested in writing, help her learn to write.

    I had one of each - a very early reader who gobbled up words and language and wanted to write but didn't have the fine motor skills because she was so young; and my little one who has been writing for several months longer than she is reading.

    Daughter number one (who read at 3) refuses to try anything that she's not brilliant at; daughter number two (who is starting to read now, nearly 5) is much better with her hands and excels at anything kinesthetic, so writing and art-based activities are more her thing.

    At 3.5 they are still exploring their preferences but their basic personality will be set. Sit down with her kindy teacher, have a chat about the whole idea of reading/writing and how her specific personality and skills need to be served.

    Be aware that kids who are taught to read with flashcard systems are pretty obvious in a classroom environment where phonics is the rule - generally, they can't decode an unfamiliar sentence in the way a child who has learnt via phonics can. Perhaps the message the teacher is trying to send might be to de-emphasise teaching-to-read efforts for other, more play oriented efforts to bring forth her writing skills.

    If she wants to read, and is ready to, you'll find she effectively teaches herself anyway ... streetsigns, magazines, cereal boxes ... text is everywhere and the child tuned into it will learn! Give her books, share them with her, but perhaps steady up on the expectations - if it's going to happen that young (before 4 or so), it will happen naturally and with very little effort on your part.

  13. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by twotrunks View Post
    Sorry but I can't imagine a 3.5 year old being behind in writing - how ridiculous! I would chill out and Focus on play instead of Reading or writing Tbh.
    Agree with you!

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    Meme's reply is a great explaination of the sort of approach it sounds like the teacher is taking.

    Another pp mentioned Reading Eggs, and now that you've mentioned blends, I'll second the recommendation. You may find though that you want to start her right at the start - even if she 'tests' to start at a higher level - so she doesn't miss the introductions to blends. Also, when I subscribed I got the activity books as a bonus and these are great if you want her to play more with writing and having a go.

    I was a perfectionist and my mum would say every now and then she/teacher would start to worry that I wasn't getting something/progressing, but as soon as I knew I could do it, I would and I would do it 'perfectly' first try. So my work may not have shown the standard smooth progression including trial and error, but over time the jumping progress was clear. Just keep providing her with opportunities to read, draw and write (and sing and stomp and, and, and...) and following her lead.


 

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