Trading Spaces Tuesday with Guest Blogger, Nancy Alvarez from Teaching with Nancy

trading spaces badge

Today, I am participating in Trading Spaces Tuesday, and my friend, Nancy Alvarez at Teaching with Nancy is visiting to share a few writing tips with my readers.  I welcome her, and hope that you'll check out her blog when you get a chance. You'll find the link listed below with the other blogs participating in our swap. on for Nancy's ideas...

3 Tips for Supporting Young Writers

Children go through a series of predictable stages as they learn to write. As teachers there are many things we can do to support and help students develop into confident writers.

1. Visuals

As a teacher how many times have you asked your students to draw a picture about something and then write about it? Or, ask them to write something and then draw a picture to go along with it? Each writing assignment is appropriate, but not for every stage of writing development. Did you know that research shows that about 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual? Young learners need the support of pictures and drawings to help them form ideas and make sense of information. Allowing students to draw a picture before they write is a developmentally appropriate practice for early elementary students.

2. Choices

Students that are given choices about assignments are more motivated to learn. When asking students to write, provide them with a set of choices to choose from. Choices increases student engagement and makes the assignment more meaningful to them.

3. Author's Purpose

It is never to early for students to begin learning about author's purpose. Teachers often teach author's purpose unconsciously by the types of questions they ask such as: "Why do you think the author wrote the story?" By providing students with prompts and clear writing expectations, teachers support the development of students' very own author's purpose. A clear purpose for writing guides students' writing and helps them stay on topic.

Putting It Into Practice

Below is a free K-2 writing resource for you to use in your classroom to support students with their writing. This writing activity incorporates the use of: visuals, choices and a purpose for writing. Write About It! Winter Edition comes with 18 picture prompts and four writing prompts for students to respond to. Each writing prompt gives students a different purpose for writing.

Write about it winter edition
Have fun writing about winter!
My New Signature
Thanks so much for visiting today, Nancy, and sharing your thoughts on writing and your freebie. My blog has been focusing on writing lately, so I'm so glad you were able to share your experience with my readers.  In case my readers want to catch my post too, you can find me over at Thinking Out Loud blogging for Jana about vocabulary.  

You may also want to visit our joint venture, Adventures in Literacy Land for day 2 of introductions and giveaway opportunities.  



  1. I remember so much of that from our classes! It is true that young students are helped so much by drawing a picture first. Thank you for the reminder!

    Reading Toward the Stars

    1. Tell a story to get a story. I see that as very beneficial in the modeling process too. It scaffolds their thinking about the story framework.

  2. What a wonderful post Nancy and thank you for the free writing pack :) Carla, thanks for doing these guest blogging trading places ideas...I am learning so much! Kylie

    1. I think everyone's done a great job coming up with posts with substance. I've enjoyed reading them too.


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