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Already Ready

Nurturing Writers in Preschool and Kindergarten

By Katie Wood Ray, Matt Glover
Foreword by Lilian G. Katz

Already Ready shows how, by respecting children as writers, engaged in bookmaking, you can gently nudge them toward a lifetime of joyful writing. Katie and Matt guide you through fundamental concepts of early writing to grow their abilities and refine their thinking

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From the very first chapter of this informative and inspiring book, a clear picture emerges of how even three- and four-year-olds’ capacities for serious authorship can and should be supported.
—Lillian G. Katz
Coauthor of Young Investigators: The Project Approach in the Early Years
By the time they reach preschool or kindergarten, young children are already writers. They don’t have much experience, but they’re filled with stories to tell and ideas to express—they want to show the world what they know and see. All they need is a nurturing teacher like you to recognize the writer at work within them. All you need to help them is Already Ready.
Taking an exciting, new approach to working with our youngest students, Already Ready shows you how, by respecting children as writers, engaged in bookmaking, you can gently  nudge them toward a lifetime of joyful writing. Katie Wood Ray and Matt Glover guide you through fundamental concepts of early writing. Providing numerous, helpful examples of early writing—complete with transcriptions—they demonstrate how to:
  • make sense of children’s writing and interpret how they represent sounds, ideas, and images
  • see important developmental signs in writers that you can use to help them grow further
  • recognize the thinking young children engage in and discover that it’s the same  thinking more experienced writers use to craft purposeful, thoughtful pieces.
Then Ray and Glover show you how little ones can develop powerful understandings about:
  • texts and their characteristics
  • the writing process
  • what it means to be a writer.
You’ll learn how to support your writers’ quest to make meaning, as they grow their abilities and refine their thinking about writing through teaching strategies such as:
  • reading aloud
  • working side by side with writers
  • sharing children’s writing.
Writing is just one part of a busy early childhood classroom, but even in little doses, a nurturing approach can work wonders and help children connect the natural writer inside them to a life of expressing themselves on paper. Find that approach, share it with your students, and you’ll discover that you don’t have to get students ready to write—they’re Already Ready

Additional Resource Information

(click any section below to continue reading)



I. Building Understandings About Young Writers

1. What It Means to Be a Writer

2. Composition and the Importance of Making of Picture Books

3. Rethinking the Meaning of Writing Development

4. Understanding Dimensions of Composition Development

5. The Child’s Image of Self as Writer: Managing the Balance of Initiation and Demonstration

II. Teaching Practices That Nurture Young Writers

6. Understanding the Teaching Context

7. Supporting Young Writers Through Read-Aloud

8. Understanding Side-by-Side Teaching

9. Building a Repertoire of Responsive Actions for Side-by-Side Teaching

10. Supporting Young Writers with Share Time




“One of the things that I loved about this book are the examples and visuals of preschool writing. If you are new to education you may not see the writing preschoolers do as real writing. Ray combats this idea, saying that she believes anyone, regardless of age, who is creating or making a product that they believe is writing and who has a message is writing—and their writing should be valued.”

—Nicole Addy, 7/14/08

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Email if you would like to contact Katie Wood Ray directly about professional development support.

PD Resources From Matt Glover