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Introduction to families

        As your child's first teacher, you are responsible for introducing your child to reading and writing. My First Writing Dictionary can help you in the development of these critical skills.

        The first key element of this book is the listing of the 425 most commonly written words in the English language. These are words that children will invariably use when they read and write on their own. They are arranged in alphabetical order to facilitate your child's use of the alphabet and to help in the understanding of the relationship between letters and the sounds that they make (phonemic awareness).

        The second key element is the availability of spaces for up to 576 additional words that your child chooses. This is what will contribute to giving your child a sense of ownership of the book.

        The third key element is the space available for your child to add her or his own illustrations. This is included so that your child can integrate left and right brain activities.

        When your child needs to write a word and asks for help in spelling it, your first response will be to repeat the word and have the child restate it. Then ask, "What do you hear?" Help your child to hear the sounds in the word. Later she or he will be able to hear the sounds in sequential order. See if the needed word is already in the book. Have your child read the listed words. Say, "Take a good look. Now try to write it." After she or he writes it, have her/him check it. If the word is not already listed in the book, you now have a new word that can be added on one of the lines provided. 

The link between reading and writing

        Guide your child through the stages of writing. It has been said that if you can think it, you can say it; if you can say it, you can write it; and if you can write it, you can read it.    There is a strong relationship between learning to read and to write. They serve to reinforce each other. Once children begin to write, have them read what they have written. Stories, letters, invitations, thank you notes, and Valentines will take on much more meaning for your child once she or he has taken a part in their creation!