Spelling In Kindergarten

We don’t teach spelling in Kindergarten; rather we encourage children to write down all of the sounds that they hear in words while writing.  They are not perfect in this process; however, they are also not fearful of making mistakes.  Many children arrive in Kindergarten from homes where parents wanted to give their children a jump start on Kindergarten writing and have taught their children to spell words at home.  These children know a limited amount of words that they can spell and write perfectly and use these same words over and over again in their writing.  This does not make for very creative writing as the children only write with the few words that they know from their spelling words database in their head.  These children do not wish to make mistakes and have absolutely no risk taking with their work.  Kindergarten teachers would much rather that your child arrive in Kindergarten knowing some letters and sounds and leave the actual teaching of the writing process to us.  We are trained in encouraging the children to do their best throughout all of the stages of the writing process.  Very quickly, the stages of the writing process are:

  • Scribbling
  • Writing letters and shapes mixed together
  • Writing random letters in any order (that makes no sense)
  • Writing using only beginning sounds with the rest of each word containing several random letters
  • Writing using beginning and ending sounds
  • Writing using beginning, middle and ending sounds
  • Writing the words as they should be spelled

If you do not allow your child to progress developmentally through all of these stages, the end result will not be as you wish.  Children who come to me at the scribbling, or random letters stages of development turn out to be much better writers than children who come to me knowing some spelling words.  Please do not teach spelling words to your child in Kindergarten.

Re-posted from 2009

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Filed under Alphabet, First Grade, Improving Reading Skills, Kindergarten, Language Arts, Parents, Writing

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