Writing is necessary, but writing practice is drool inducing for little ones. If it’s not the first letter in their name (or the first letter in their name), they’re not interested.
Every morning, my students grabbed their daily writing paper. With writing paper nestled inside plastic pouches, children used dry erase markers to write their name. Throughout the year, I saw their writing develop. Still, this daily practice was not fun. Also, I didn’t want my students to associate writing as simply a task.
Wanting my students to enjoy writing as an fun and creative, I thought of other ways my students would enjoy letters. All letters. Every letter. Not just the ones in their name.
My assistant and I got paint out of the cupboard. Some paints were water color. Other paints sparkled. Eight trays of paint, eight cups of water, and eight pieces of construction paper were prepared on the writing table (not the art table).
“Painting?” one student asked as he approached the table.
“No,” I said. “We’re writing.”
“Yep,” I said.
My student was cautious, but he couldn’t hold back a smile. He was eager to see where this letter paint activity was going to go. Soon, he was writing and painting. More students joined as colors hit paper. At the end, all of the students had participated in writing activity.
Although this may seem like a simple twist on a daily activity, it was a big enough change for students. They saw the writing activity as new and exciting. They wanted to explore. Sometimes, teachers are married to their activities. Sometimes, the marriage is too much, stifling new perspectives and creative twists. There’s always a new way to do something.