Teaching early writers: Teachers responses to a young child's writing sample

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Learning to write is integral to literacy learning, while success with literacy is reported to leadto success at school and in life generally. How teachers respond to children's early attempts atwriting (often a mix of drawings and print) helps to form children's attitudes towards writingand the paths their experimentations follow. The aim of the study discussed in this paper wasto examine early years' teachers' responses to a sample of writing from a young literacy learnerin the early stages of the first year of school. Many of the decisions teachers make, are based onteachers', on the run analysis of, and responses to, children's work samples. A teacher survey(N=228) provided three different forms of data: demographic information, responses to questionsusing a 5 point Likert scale and open ended responses to a sample of early 'writing'. The findingssuggest that some teachers are focusing on print conventions and accuracy when reviewing youngchildren's writing samples, and seemingly undervaluing their drawings. This may unintentionally,be making learning to write at school unnecessarily difficult for some children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-191
Number of pages10
JournalAustralian Journal of Language and Literacy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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