Tips from My Teacher Days: Getting Started With Writing

Tips From My Teacher Days

get started writingWelcome back for Part 3 in my Getting Started Series. Last week I presented how to get started with Reading. My goal is to provide you with a simple easy to follow plan, to make teaching and learning less overwhelming. Each week I will provide one tip. While I know I could go into more details and give you more ideas to do with each subject, my intent is to keep it as simple as possible. This week I will show you simple tips for getting started with writing at home.

Don’t Worry

Writing with young children can be overwhelming. Where should you start? What should you focus on? What if they are on different levels? There are so many questions and that is okay. Educators spend their entire career learning and studying the best ways to teach writing.

Teacher Tip: 
Do not try to conquer the world in one day! 

Help your learner develop a love for Writing, and only focus on “correcting” one things each session

For more on the writing curriculum I was trained in, Check out Lucy Caulkin’s Writer’s Workshop

Getting Started With Writing

writingWhat do I need?

*Various Writing Materials

*Colored Pencils

* A Journal

To get started, all you really need is paper and pencil… but to make it inviting, I enjoy adding all of the other materials for the learners.


  • Find an inviting place to write
  • Encourage writers young and old to write about what they love

What do I do?

*Encourage children to write about something they care about.
*Model writing on your own paper by showing them how you would write about something that happened to you.
*Talk about ideas before expecting them to write.
*Start by allowing children to draw a picture. (even older children will benefit from a drawing)
*Have children Label their drawing with as many words as possible.
*For younger children you can write the words for them, but I encourage you to guide them.

What am I looking for?

*Does the picture match the words?
*Did my writer include themselves in the picture?
*What details can I encourage them to add?
*Are they able to label each picture using letter/sound knowledge or word skills they have?
*Does your child feel confident in their drawing and writing?

What do I say? What Questions Can I ask?

Simple Writing

*Tell me about…

*Why did you include…

*I notice you added…

*What do you think you could add?

*What are the sounds you hear?

*Tell me more….

*What are some words you know?

*How can you draw that?

*Picture it in your head?

*You can do it. Don’t get stuck. We can fix it later.

10 writing phrases

Don’t forget to download these 10 writing phrases as a printable!

While I know there is so much more to writing, I am simply providing a starting point. This lesson is intended for any age. With younger writers you will focus much more on the picture. As the children progress in age/ability you will want to focus more on the content. Instead of the labels being useful to create 1 sentence, they will be a guide for completing paragraphs.

I plan to write posts in the future about specific strategies I have learned over my 12 years of teaching experience. What would you like tips on? For now, I will be continuing the getting started series. You get to decide what you see next:

Social Studies
Project Approach
Organizing Materials
Fostering Independence

You decide!

I can’t wait to hear what you would like to see next. I am open to any and all suggestions. Follow me on FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestInstagram or subscribe by email. I can’t wait to hear your ideas.

Did you see the other Posts in the Getting Started Series?

simple mathsimple reading lesson

Getting Started with Math
Getting Started with Reading


Discover how to get siblings to get along even when all they do is annoy each other with the Sibling “Get Along” Poster Pack!

14 thoughts on “Tips from My Teacher Days: Getting Started With Writing”

  1. Pingback: Tips from My Teacher Days: Getting Started with Reading | Lemon Lime Adventures

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  3. I love how every post in this series starts with “Don’t worry.” It seems obvious but it’s a reminder I think we parents need to hear. A lot. My daughter is going to kindergarten in Sept. so I’m all worried that she doesn’t write well enough or know enough…”don’t worry” is a timely reminder!

    1. This is such a lovely comment! I almost took “Don’t worry” out but I felt it was really important. Especially if someone hasn’t followed along from the beginning. I love the comments you leave and the feedback. It really makes my day!

  4. Great suggestions for getting writing workshop up and running. Lucy Caulkin’s is a guru in this field and I love her work. I also love Katie Wood Ray’s work on writing workshop too. I loved that you encouraged writing about what you care about and NOT to writing to a prompt. Off to pin now!

    1. This is the sweetest comment. I love that you recognize the references. I was in the classroom for 12 years and I am trying to stay true to all of the philosophies I learned in the classroom. I look forward to teaching my boys writing, however they are both very resistant.

  5. I love the “What do I say?” section — too often we let that critical voice we have for ourselves leak out in our work with children. They grow into their own talents so much better when we guide them to think with questions! Your list is so helpful!

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