Writing is a critical part of a balanced literacy program for first-graders. Some children have been read to since birth and have learned to write in kindergarten; other have not. In first grade, the most basic concept that children must grasp is that writing is "talk written down." For many first-graders, writing is their easiest route to learning to read. Early in the year the major goal of the writing time is not to teach writing, but rather to use writing as a way to launch children into successful reading. As long as the students are thinking of what they want to say and using whatever letter-sound and word skills they have at that point to represent their ideas, then there is a successful "writing approach to reading" in the classroom. As the year goes on and more children become readers, the writing time does indeed become a time when the major goal is to teach children how to write.
We have 3 very talented 5th graders who help us during writing time. We are happy to have Kaleb Mount, Evan Howser, and Tori Rone give up their recess to help us become the best writers that we can possibly become.