• Exploring Teachers' Literacy and Language Supports during Writing in Prekindergarten and Kindergarten Classrooms

      Hindman, Annemarie H.; Wasik, Barbara A.; Smith, Michael W. (Michael William), 1954-; Neugebauer, Sabina Rak (Temple University. Libraries, 2019)
      Early writing ability for young children is essential for later literacy and academic achievement. Early writing, especially composing, with young children offers rich opportunities to foster both emergent literacy and language skills simultaneously, which may help boost overall growth for children in poverty. This study examines early writing supports of teachers in prekindergarten and kindergarten classrooms within an early writing framework that includes language, as well as literacy, supports during early writing instruction. Fifteen teachers’ writing instruction was examined during two instructional contexts: morning message and small-group in the fall of the school year. Results suggest that, in general, teachers used morning message to reinforce emergent literacy skills related to the alphabetic principle and concepts of print. Teachers’ language (i.e., translation) supports during writing were sparse. However, during small group writing activities, teachers’ supported child language related to pragmatics/discourse at higher rates, specifically, guiding children’s attention to topic. Additionally, a unique relation emerged between teachers embedding language supports within writing instruction to their overall global classroom quality. Results suggest that composing with young children may be an optimal context to support child language growth. Few teacher background or control factors were systematically linked to quality writing in the classroom; however, teachers who spoke using more complex syntax also used more abstract writing supports (i.e., explaining and connection), suggesting linguistic features may be connected to teacher approach during instruction. Implications for professional development are discussed.