The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) outlines the stages of emergent writing skills and promotes understanding of the research framework that has been developed to explain emergent writing practices.
How do we then promote emergent writing practices at Galilee? If you visit our Bluebirds class, you will catch Mrs. Spritzer and Mrs. Armstrong in action providing our littlest learners with a variety of activities to strengthen their fine motor and emergent writing skills in active and engaging ways.
In addition to tabletop activities like the ever important Play Doh and shaving cream exploration, you will witness a variety of vertical work surface activities in use.
When the Bluebirds are painting at the easel, they are not only having fun and creating, they are developing their core strength, spatial awareness, and grasp patterns. Standing close to the work surface enables the child to concentrate on that important hand eye coordination necessary for future writing as they move through preschool and beyond.
Easels are wonderful additions to any play space! If you have an easel but you are worried about paint messes at home, a simple piece of drawing paper will do the trick with an assortment of implements such as Crayon Rocks, chalk, or markers. No easel? No problem! Simply tape some paper to a door or wall (recycled paper grocery bags are a great resource) and let the creating begin!
Magnet boards are another enticing activity for our Bluebirds. They share playtime and problem solving with friends while using both hands to cross the body's midline which is so important for future writing skills. Grab a set of magnetic alphabet letters the next time you are at the Dollar Store and create a vertical work space of your own on your refrigerator!
Chalkboards are another useful tool. This sweet little bird is taking advantage of the chalkboard center to bring her imagination to life. She's not thinking about the dexterity she's developing to hold a pencil or cut with scissors, but her teachers certainly are by setting her on the path to success by providing a vertical work surface. The small broken chalk pieces also lend themselves to little fingers learning the pincer grasp.
At Galilee Christian School teachers like Mrs. Spritzer and Mrs. Armstrong know that there are no limits to creativity when providing outlets for emergent writers to develop their skills. Going vertical will only expand your preschooler's horizons!