Nellie Edge writing-to-read “heart words” invite kindergartners to write heart-connecting sentences such as “I love you…” early in the year to build circles of writing mastery! (I see the…, I like my…, I can …, I have a …) When several sentence starters are automatic (with good handwriting), the brain has the memory space to fearlessly encode sounds to print for unknown words. Building engaged and motivated writers supports phonics proficiency.
- Writing provides powerful, authentic phonics practice
- The best way to assess phonics knowledge? Look at student writing
What Are the Research-Based Principles That Guide Our Teaching of Writing-to-Read Heart Words?
- Children learn best when you give them a crystal-clear achievable target to work towards and you acknowledge and celebrate their success: Each new colorcoded set has 16 words! Student, parent, and teacher all know what the next learning target is! We teach for mastery. (See Dr. Hattie's research: Visible Learning.)
- The brain is a musical brain: singing releases happy chemicals. We sing, sign, spell, and write “heart word” sentences for mastery.
- Multisensory instruction with fingerspelling accelerates learning of “heart words” and phonics-based words for ALL learners.
- Emotional engagement is the key to powerful learning: We make writing real and personally motivating.
- ABC Phonics Immersion with fingerspelling is part of a comprehensive writing program that allows us to systematically reinforce phonemic awareness and phonics instruction throughout the day.
“I love you” Becomes the First Circle of Kindergarten Writing Mastery, followed by “I see, I like, I can, I have…
Three things young writers know for sure:
- If I practice writing “heart word” sentences with good handwriting every day, my writing is going to get really good!
- The more I practice phonics-based spelling, the better I get!
- If I keep listening for sounds and stretching through words, soon I will be able to fearlessly tackle any unknown word!
Kindergartners are absolutely able to write and illustrate 8-page books by the end of the year!
All students deserve a comprehensive writing program!
Nellie’s “Thank You” gift this month:
“This is such a great, motivating way to build young writers! I am amazed at the children’s art.” -TPT quote
These gifts are ways to thank our loyal blog readers with some of our best resources. Watch for a link to your next monthly Nellie Edge Thank You Gift!
We appreciate your feedback on our TPT products: we enjoy responding to every comment! We are a small and growing TPT store, so your current 5-star reviews inform others about our resources and increase our exposure.
Simply a couple of sentences, short and sweet (about 50-100 characters), is all it takes. Thank you again.