Monday, July 16, 2012

Playful Learning Chapter 1: Nurturing Young Authors

Playful Learning Chapter 1: Nurturing Young Authors

I believe that children are born with a natural love of learning and spirit of curiosity. If you give any three year old a pad of paper and some crayons, they will create a masterpiece for you. They won't tell you they have nothing to draw and they won't ask you for ideas. In each one of their sweet heads, there are so many ideas swarming around. I love how the author walks you through the stages of writing. My youngest (4) is at the stage when she's asking me how to spell things. Her ideas and enthusiasm are so plentiful that it is amazing to sit back and watch her create. 

As I read this chapter, I kept asking myself what happens between the stage of my 4 year old, full of excitement and creativity, and the stage of a 9 or 10 year old. In my teaching experience, students would often groan when it came time for writing! Mariah Bruehl is spot on when she says that the physical environment plays an important role in getting kids ready and excited about writing. When I was teaching, I found that adding something as simple as gel pens could spark an interest in my fifth graders. All kids have creative minds but we sometime get so bogged down in teaching how to write that we kill our students' unique ideas and creativity.

I encourage you to think of ways that you can make a writing center that is engaging for your students. I provided a few pages that I've made that were inspired by this chapter.

 If you're thinking of setting up a writing center, check these out:


  1. i don't have the book yet but i placed your book study button on my sidebar on my blog with the in picture and in words book study and the daily five book study. i am going to order the book and then catch up with your book study. it looks awesome!
    Carole Dawn

  2. It's just the small simple things that make a difference for sure! My first graders LOVED it when I gave them stickers to use. And they loved it if they could sit in the teachers chair. I think we just tend to over think things and overlook simple solutions!

    Rowdy in First Grade

  3. I'm just making my way through Chapter 1 and am very inspired. I LOVE this book. Although most of her ideas seem to be aimed at parents, they're certainly work in the classroom, too. I'm looking forward to setting up a writing centre ... I've never actually done that!

    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

  4. I loved this first chapter! I had never really thought about all the stages a child goes to when they develop their writting skills. My 3 year old daughter is currently in the early phase of stage 2. The other thing that really caught my attention was the need to add written words to their pictures. I haven't been doing this but I am sure going to start now! Can't wait for the next chapter!