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From scribbling to writing:supporting pre-writing skillsin young children The Early Literacy Specialists of Eastern Ontario
Language, reading and writing skills develop at the same time and are intimately linked. Preschoolers don’t have the skills required to write: they lack eye-hand coordination, pencil grip, dexterity, muscle strength in hands and fingers.
Fine motor skills • Fine motor skills are defined as small muscle movements which occur in the fingers, hands and wrists in coordination with the eyes. • Improvements depend on the gradual development of motor systems as well as the opportunity to practice fine movement skills.
Myelin is a dense, fatty substance that helps neurons send and receive messages faster and more clearly. The myelination process occurs in the first 2-3 years of life. Also, the continued development of the cerebellum affects the timing and coordination of motor tasks. The brain connection
Basic fine motor skill building activities • Play doe • Puzzles (includes self-correction) • Vertical painting and drawing (on big paper) • Cutting practice with scissors • Pasting and tearing • Building with blocs • Dressing dolls / self
At what age does a child become right or left handed?
Answer: By the age of 6 or 7 • I takes many years for handedness to become fully expressed in the brain. • Both genes and experience play a role in hand preference. • Switching back and forth is normal. • At 18 month, about 50% have stable hand preference.
Writing skills “Scribbling has been described as a type of ‘motor babbling’ and as the child matures, the forms that arise from scribbling gradually become transformed into printing and writing” Craig, Kerms & Digdon, 2001
Can be random marks on paper Marks can be large, circular and resemble drawing When the intention is to convey a message, it’s early literacy! The developmental Stages of WritingStage 1: Scribbling
Letter/number like forms emerge Child often uses same three letters Often letters from own name Writer can talk about own writings Stage 2 : Letter-like symbols
Some legible letters evident Developing awareness of sound-to-symbol relationship but not matching most sounds Usually capital letters No spacing Stage 3: Strings of letters
String of letters with beginning sounds to represent words Start to see difference between letter and word Message makes sense and matches the picture Stage 4: Beginning sounds emerge
Matches some sounds with consonants Begin to see spaces between words Often mix upper and lower case letters Start to use punctuation Concept of sentence emerges Stage 5: Consonants represent words
Spelling for Macaroni can be Ma c r ni beginning and end sounds are present Some words spelled correctly Other words spelled the way they sound Writing is readable Stage 6: Initial, middle and final sounds
Uses invented spelling ( iz for is shows phoneme awareness) Writing is readable and approaches conventional spelling Some words in standard form and patterns Uses visual memory for spelling Stage 7: Transitional phases
Most words are spelled correctly Writers starting to understand root words, compound words, contractions and punctuation Stage 8: Standard spelling