Interactive Writing is a Kindergarten – Grade 2 teaching/learning activity that promotes a strong reading/writing connection.
It helps children who are learning to read and increases their learning to write. As children work through text, their own writing helps lay the foundation of understanding necessary for successful beginning reading.
Interactive writing promotes the “building up processes” and the “breaking down processes” Marie Clay described. Interactive Writing promotes the reading/writing relationship for the following reasons:
- It promotes strong letter learning and phonological and orthographic awareness important in being a successful early reader.
- It promotes word recognition. Pieces of interactive writing are read and reread many times during writing and after writing.
- It provides a strong base of sight words from repeated readings.
- It helps children develop many ways of learning new words which increases vocabulary and leads to fluency.
- It helps children develop spelling patterns similar to the decoding/phonics strategies children use for reading.
- It “slows down” the process of learning new words so children can understand the principles behind the writing of words. Understanding the processes related to the construction of words helps students develop the kind of knowledge they need to take words apart as readers to develop letter/sound relationships.
- It fosters the ability to analyze words efficiently and rapidly, an important element in successful early reading.
- It helps readers become aware of the common sequence and spelling patterns of words.
- Word identification based on both rapid visual and phonemic information leads to checking meaning and context.
- Rereading what they have written helps young children coordinate meaning with visual and phonetic information. With meaning and context as background knowledge, children focus on processing the text. Learning new words becomes more rapid.
- It introduces the kind of reading students will do by introducing them to the structure of the text they will be reading. They learn the ways sentences are put together to provide meaning.
- The direct instruction in writing provided by the teacher and the opportunity to read and reread the more complicated text usually written facilitates fluency in reading.
- Children have opportunities to read both narrative and informational texts.
- At the same time children learn how to write, they become writers who use language for learning, communication, and enjoyment. As they go along, they start becoming readers “who consume, use, enjoy, learn from, and even evaluate written texts.”