Writing Milestones: First Graders
What are the writing milestones for 1st graders? From invented spelling, to typical story writing abilities, here's what parents should expect from their child's fiirst grade writing:
Your first grader can revise his writing. He may work over time on the same piece of writing and he can work on "revising" or "polishing" his writing. He might "revise" his work by adding more detail to the original piece, adding more to an illustration, or correcting a mistake that he has detected.
First graders use a combination of "invented" and correct spelling. "Invented spelling," or writing words the way they sound, is a way for children to practice breaking words into individual sounds and remembering what letter or letters make that sound. "Vacation" is "vakashun," and "canoe" is "knoo." First graders can also spell many common words the correct way, such as "the" and "said," words that follow familiar patterns, such as "big" and "pig," and simple word endings, such as "ing."
Your first grader writes many times a day for different purposes. First graders write to express thoughts and feelings in journals, write stories, and make lists of facts about topics of interest. They also write for different subject areas. Your first grader might use words and pictures to describe what she sees as her bean seed grows or to explain a solution for a math challenge. At this age, children also like to include writing in their play, and many choose to write stories, lists, cards, and other kinds of messages at home.
First graders use only some punctuation. Although they are exposed to punctuation through reading, first graders usually are not yet able to use it consistently and correctly in their own writing. They may try to use periods, quotation marks, and question marks, but they may use them in the incorrect places. After all, they are not yet sure of where sentences begin and end.
Reprinted with the permission of PBS. © PBS 2003 - 2008, all rights reserved.
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