Basic Tools for Beginning Writers: How to Teach All the Skills Beginning Writers Need--from Alphabet Recognition and Spelling to Strategies for Self-editing and Building Coherent Text

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Pembroke Publishers Limited, 2008 - Education - 136 pages
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This practical book offers effective and creative activities that help young students master the skills they need to grow as writers. Among the topics discussed, the book thoroughly explores the important beginning steps, such as:

  • putting pencil to paper;
  • identifying and printing letters of the alphabet;
  • exploring sound-symbol matches.

Basic Tools for Beginning Writers recognizes that story and image are good ways to introduce students to concepts. The making of a simple word such as "go" is told as a story, the combining of onsets with rhymes seen as a slide, and the learning of the alphabet is shown as a rap or jive. Game formats designed to stimulate learning incorporate all aspects of language--talk, phonemes, words, and sentences. Throughout the book, teachers will find "Making It Simpler" and "Increasing the Challenge" sections to help adapt activities to the needs of both struggling and more accomplished students.

Teachers will find many opportunities to incorporate essential skills in everyday routines that range from the four stages of the Morning Message to techniques for promoting printing, writing and reading in learning centers.


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Putting Pencil to Paper
Identifying and Making Letters of the Alphabet
Incorporating Basic Tools into Routines and Play
Phonemic Awareness and SoundSymbol Matches

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Betty can't remember a time when she didn't want to be a teacher. "I wanted to have a big red pen and mark papers when I was in third grade, and when I was a young adult I knew that working with children would make me happy -- and it has! I love making children smile and I love that look of concentration and pleasure that comes when they first try something new and find out they can do it."Betty was born in Bella Coola, British Columbia, and holds a bachelor's degree in education and a special education diploma. She has thirty years' experience in kindergarten and primary classrooms, in learning-assistance positions, and as a consultant for students with learning disabilities. She is currently a literacy consultant, workshop presenter, and literacy advisor for One to One, a nonprofit tutoring organization.She believes that effective professional development should be ongoing and school based. "I think the first step is always to be inspired to do something different and that may happen by hearing a speaker talk enthusiastically about their ideas. When colleagues in your school setting get inspired and meet regularly to turn ideas into action, that process describes good professional development."Betty writes her books from her own experiences and makes sure that she gets the "skeleton" of the book right. "The fun part is fleshing out the ideas."In her free time, Betty enjoys reading, sailing, writing, and being a grandmother.

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