Now that I have my son, I am eager to learn more about the early phases of learning to read and write. In my quest, I have come across some epiphanies, "light bulb" or A-ha! moments, that I would like to process by writing down. In all honestly, I am a little ashamed to share some of these insights because I feel that I should have intuitively known them, but for the sake of full disclosure, I am sharing them all:
- Writing is a precursor to reading. What!?! I always thought reading came first because writing is a much more difficult skill to master. However, my research has shown otherwise! The amount of research supporting the correlation between writing and reading leads me to believe I have been approaching my interventions and accommodations for struggling readers and writers all wrong! Looking at my son's development, though, I can see how this is true. When he was resistant to learning his letters during our read-alouds, and even more resistant to "read" because he didn't know the letters, I began finding fun ways to encourage his letter recognition, such as writing on our Menu Board. He seemed more eager to learn how to write letters than he was to read them. Now that he has engaged in writing activities, he is showing more of an interest in "reading", whether by taking a picture walk, reading from memory, or a using combination of both:
- The teaching of reading and writing (in keeping with my research, perhaps I should change the order of my words to "writing and reading") proves most effective when done with authentic, meaningful activities. From some of my less scholarly, but no less relevant, research, I have found ways to tap into my son's natural curiosity and inspire him to want to write and read. Rather than just memorize letters and sounds, we are using real-life experiences. I knew I disliked using the "spelling-a-word-ten-times" strategy with my elementary students for a reason!
- Children are never too young to start learning how to write. I've always held the belief that a well-written person is usually a well-read person (although, this tends to conflict with my recent findings that writing develops reading....hmmmm), but I didn't realize this applied to infants and toddlers. The simple act of reading out loud to my son from birth (actually, since utero) was planting the seeds for his development as a writer.
I'm sure many of you already knew most of this information, but I hope you found something of value here. I would love to hear any more insight and wisdom from those of you with experience in emergent writing and reading to help me discover what develops first, reading or writing?
This is just one Slice of Life shared at Two Writing Teachers. Stop over and read some more!