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By the end of K, how should a kid be writing?


daniela_r
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This has been a really interesting thread. My rising first-grader may not be quite up to the level expected at Bill's school (though pretty close), but she's been a strange one to teach, as she's (so far) incapable of oral responses such as narration or answering comprehension questions. As she's begun to write, her sentences have been very "bookish" and dissimilar to speech. No "I" sentences or fragments, and a little odd in quality. Spelling is good for her age, but she'll generally simply refuse to write a word rather than risk spelling it wrong, which has slowed her down quite a bit. She reads at a very high level, but her oral difficulties have really gotten in the way of writing.

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DS took K in a private school, and his writing expectations were about the same as what Bill described.  I seem to recall spelling tests with up to five words.  My son had homework every night; of course, we discovered he was a 2e dysgraphic by the beginning of 2nd grade.

 

Currently for fun, my 5yo DS staples blank sheets of paper together and fills them with love notes to Mom and Dad.  She writes her name, her friend's names, and strings of capital letters and numbers.  She likes to give cards and notes to her friends.  I spend a lot of time air writing with her,using the whiteboard, and writing letters in rice and shaving creme.   I basically impress correct letter formation and pencil hold with her.

 

K starts officially in three weeks.  I'd like to push to the higher standard, but I'm taking a look-see approach.  By next May, I expect her to string a couple of brief sentences together and know how to write the lower and capital letters.  She sounds words and is already spelling some on her own.  I just remembered that she asks me to spell words aloud to her as she writes.

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I am a bit confused. There seem to be conflicting descriptions of the high standard.

 

When you say string some sentences together, does that mean completely independently coming up with several sentences and writing them mostly correctly without assistance? Or does that mean copying some sentences that they narrate or are assisted in spelling?

 

At first I thought my 5 yr old was way below that standard. But then I realized she frequently makes up multi step instructions and writes them out. However, the writing part takes a lot of guidance. But there is no way I could say, "write 3 sentences" and end up with a finished product.

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I am a bit confused. There seem to be conflicting descriptions of the high standard.

 

When you say string some sentences together, does that mean completely independently coming up with several sentences and writing them mostly correctly without assistance? Or does that mean copying some sentences that they narrate or are assisted in spelling?

Generally in our Kindergarten the kids would be asked to make a drawing on some general topic (say, "Things I like to do," or "My Family," or other such ideas). After the kids made drawings they were asked to string some original sentences together that loosely fit the topic. Not a "tight" paragraph, but more-or-less on theme.

 

By the end of the year neat handwriting was expected. So was (generally) good spelling, but it would not have been atypical to see some "phonetically based" spellings that were in error, and some plain misspellings in the mix.

 

The sentences would not have been narrated, based on prompts, or assisted with spelling (at least until after-the-fact, when parent or teacher might help the child correct).

 

At first I thought my 5 yr old was way below that standard. But then I realized she frequently makes up multi step instructions and writes them out. However, the writing part takes a lot of guidance. But there is no way I could say, "write 3 sentences" and end up with a finished product.

The "guidence" comes from asking "kid friendly" questions.

 

A made up example: "What is your favorite food?"

 

(Mock answer)

 

My favorite food is vegetables. I like broccoli and kale. I also like eating cheese pizza. For a snack I have apples. But my favorite food is vegetables.

 

80% chance "favorite" is spelled correctly (because it is in the written assignment), good chance vegetables might be misspelled. Maybe cheese, apples, or pizza. Broccoli, almost for sure.

 

I made this one up, but it would be pretty typical (including the (essential) repetition of the opening statement at the end.

 

Bill

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Hopefully this example attaches.  

DS is between K and 1st.   This is from his history notebook a few weeks ago. We are studying SOTW 1 and he wanted to write about mummies.  Sentence is original but a summary of information from a section of the book How to Make a Mummy Talk.  He dictated the sentence to me and I wrote it down with correct spelling.  He copied.  We loosely use WWE techniques. 

 

post-21680-0-86876900-1373255479_thumb.jpg

 

BTW, this example is notable in that DS has been very motivated to do work for his history journal.  He was excited by both the topics, drawing the pictures, and writing the text.   

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  • 1 month later...

My expectations would be they should be able to string together a number of sentences on a generally related topic, with neat printing, proper use of initial capitals and ending punctuation. I'd expect a mix of spelling, with mostly correct spelling mixed with some mistakes.

 

Bill

This is spot in for what most Kindergarten kids are aptly doing by the end of Kindergarten in our school district. These are 6 year olds.

 

The beauty of homeschooling is that the public school standards don't apply. :D

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OP, my personal expectations are correct letter formation, being able to write simple sentences via copywork, not independently, and understanding the capital letters only begin sentences and names.

 

Glowing reports aside, I can promise you that there is zero correlation between K writing and quality writing when older. My kids don't write anything independently for schoolwork until 3rd grade. All writing instruction is done via copywork through the primary grades. when they start independent writing, they fully grasp writing as a process and what constitutes good writing. And, my "apparently not getting a quality or high expectation education" children are all excellent writers. ;) :)

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