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Writing in Nursery


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Hi all

I teach in a school nursery and just wanted to know how others in a similar setting organised writing activities.

We have the usual writing area and the children have lots of opportunities to mark make both indoors and out. I was curious to know how you may organise more formal writing opportunities where by you teach certain writing skills and how are the groups of children organised?

We have run writing activities as a whole group e.g. 13 as part of a family group but this is getting harder to organise. Any ideas/examples would be very much appreciated to give me a better idea how to progress.

Thank you for any help in advance.

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We have a concrete floor outside on which we show children interested in writing how to form letters,

using chalk. Then the child paints over it with water, following the lines, using anticlockwise movements

and retracing vertical lines, until the chalk writing disappears. Eventually the water writing disappears too,

if sunny!


Forming letters in brightly coloured sand on small baking trays is also popular.


One of the good things about these two activities is that children can use the resources for free mark

making too, so all can be part of the same thing and the step is not a big one from doing mark making

to letters, which a child may feel if the situation was more 'formal' with pre-printed letters.

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I forgot to write that it is very important, in my opinion, to inform parents how the letters should be formed

and that upper case shouldn't be used yet. We have already had to help children unlearn habits, particularly

with the 'a' - a clockwise 'o' with a tail. And the 'i' tends to have a large dot on top, even amongst capitals...

he importance given to children being able to write their own name, no matter how - I've never understood it.

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thanks for those ideas - I supposed what I meant was if you do any group activity writing in for a purpose as opposed to gross and fine motor practice? We are being observed shortly and a criticism in the past was that the activity which we did went on for too long (although the children were engaged in writing a 'story' about a superhero. Just wondered if people do a more formal writing activity at all?

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To "provide more formal writing opportunities where by you teach certain writing skills"

for children at a nursery, other than letter formation? Since it's not that, then I assume

you mean emergent writing. Can that involve teaching writing skills? I'm no expert (at all!)

but can only see writing from left to right and top to bottom, and writing on lines, possibly

with space between the marks if they know about the unit of a word.

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