Many children are natural story tellers, the challenge for teachers is how to transition from an oral code into a written code. In my research I am seeing some really exciting ways that early years educators are using ICT tools to support and guide emerging writing processes.
Writing needs to have an authentic purpose to encourage students to engage in the task. Creating a class blog to share stories with parents, friends and students in other classes can provide the authentic context needed to inspire young writers. These blogs can be password protected so that only the parents can have access or they can be open to the public. Each school and district will have its own policies on how to publish student work and some require parental permissions.
Are you a blogger?
There are some blog sites designed for teachers. I use Edublogs for my blogs. This is quick and easy to use and you don’t need any web design skills. The basic site is free for educators. To see how you can set up your own classroom blog use this link Edublogs
Here are some links to great classroom blogs Classroom blogs
This classroom blog documents how a classroom teacher is using blogging to connect her six year old students with classrooms around the world.
Skype is another free tool that can be used to connect classes and provide an authentic context for student writing. These two classes used a mystery Skype project to share their stories online Mystery Skype. This gives the students the motivation to write stories to share with friends.
Students creating e-books is a great way to stimulate writing. There are a number of e-book platforms that you can use on iPads and tablets. We have used book creator app very successfully in the TIPS Project.