Jennifer Hallissy, author of The Write Start

JenniferHallissy   TheWriteStart_01

You probably know Jennifer Hallissy as the mother of two who blogs at The Write Start. She is now also the author of a great new book, The Write Start: A Guide to Nurturing Writing at Every Stage, from Scribbling to Forming Letters and Writing Stories! Join me in learning more about Jennifer and her ideas for sharing a love of writing with our children.

***Note: Readers will have a chance to win one of two copies of Jennifer’s new book at the end of this interview.***

JEAN:  Jennifer, I loved reading your book! You have so many ideas for encouraging our children to enjoy (and be proficient at) writing. What a wonderful resource! Okay, first question – Why do you feel it so important to raise our children to be writers?

JENNIFER: Thank you so much, Jean. And you know I'm such a fan of your blog!

I think writing is essential in the lives of young children for so many reasons. Writing goes hand and hand with learning. The best way for children to process and own information that they’ve learned is to write it down. Writing is a wonderful tool for self-expression, too. It is an amazing way to document thoughts, feelings, and ideas to share with others, or to get to know yourself better. Writing is also a great way to make connections between people – to say “thank you,” “I’m sorry,” “I love you,” and “I miss you” in a meaningful way. Writing is also what I call a “cool tool for school.” When writing comes naturally for children, they tend to enjoy it more, and likewise find their schoolwork and homework to be more of a pleasure than a burden. 

Writing also helps children, and all of us, think. We use writing to help us remember, organize, plan, or figure something out. When children get into the habit of thinking on paper, they will always have a smart strategy for thinking something through — right at their fingertips.

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JEAN:  If you could tell parents to do one thing to encourage their children as writers, what would it be?

JENNIFER:  I think parents can make a huge impact in the lives of their little writers simply by being good writing role models. We can do this just by calling attention to some of our own daily writing habits. Make a point to say, “Wow that’s cool – I have to write that down!” Your jotting a note makes an impression on children. It’s a great example of what I call the writing reflex: Think it. Write it. Remember it.

So tell your kids when you’re making a list (“If you want anything from the grocery store, let me know… I’m making the shopping list!); recording something on the schedule (“Soccer practice is at 4:30? Let me write that on the calendar!”); or writing a note to someone (“What a thoughtful gift! I have to write her a note to say ‘Thanks!’”) Letting your kids know when and how you write is a little gesture that can really encourage them to write themselves, for all sorts of practical and productive reasons.

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JEAN:  Can you tell us a bit about your background as an occupational therapist and how you came to value and promote children’s writing?

JENNIFER:  As an occupational therapist, it’s my job to help kids master the skills they need to be successful at all of their daily tasks. Children are referred to occupational therapy for a variety of different reasons; however, one thing that I found that almost all the children that I worked with had in common: they were reluctant writers.  Unfortunately, they struggled in school because they resisted anything having to do with writing. The good news is that when I helped my reluctant writers backtrack and work on some foundational skills, the skills that support writing (like how to hold a pencil, how to maintain a strong posture, how to use one hand as a stabilizer while the other hand works) their writing skills and their interest in writing took off! This made me very excited to spread the word about supporting children’s writing early on, before the struggle could set in, giving parents some simple know-how so they could set their kids up for writing success right from the start.

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JEAN:  The Write Start contains 52 “playful” writing activities – will you share one or two of your favorites?

JENNIFER:  One of my all-time favorite activities for all ages and stages is playing “Letter Store.” We set up a storefront, using a puppet theater or cardboard boxes, and stock the store with alphabet blocks, wood letter pieces, alphabet puzzle pieces, or alphabet magnets. We also accessorize our store with a couple of empty shopping bags, a toy cash register, play money, and maybe a little bell to summon the shopkeeper. I play the customer first, and, depending on the child’s stage of development, I might ask to buy a certain letter of the alphabet, or, for older kids, the letters to make a word, or even a simple sentence. We play out the whole transaction, exchanging money, packaging it up, checking the purchase, returning any unneeded items… it’s learning disguised as fun, and I’ve never met a kid who didn’t love this game!

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Another activity I absolutely love is starting kids early with a little journaling ritual. I introduced my kids to a small scribble journal as pre-writers. Now my son draws a picture in a big sketchbook every day, labeling it with a word or two. With journaling, it’s great to start super-simple, wherever your child is at, and make it a regular ritual. This way, kids get used to tucking their ideas in between the covers of a book, a habit that can be a constant companion to them throughout their whole lives.

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JEAN:  What are your preferred writing tools for little kids?

JENNIFER:  Some of my favorite writing tools, in no particular order:

Easels: Easels are great for kids to use for writing and artwork. Working at a vertical surface strengthens the shoulder muscles that promote stability when children write, and promote the wrist position that supports a mature writing grasp. We have a very inexpensive IKEA easel at home that has survived use by dozens of kids at my old office as well as my two prolific painters at home, and we drag it out to the backyard every chance we get.

Play Dough: Manipulating play dough is a fun way to strengthen the muscles involved in writing. We make our own, and you can find play dough recipes everywhere (I loved your holiday one, Jean!). You can even turn play dough into a writing activity by shaping letters out of play dough “snakes” or using alphabet cookie cutters.

Scissors: Cutting with scissors helps develop the small muscles that are so important for establishing an efficient writing grasp. My favorite scissors for beginning snippers is the Total Control scissors by Fiskars, which helps little kids master the most effective scissor grasp.

Chalk and Chalkboards: I’m crazy about chalkboards, and we have them all over, in all sizes. And when I can’t find exactly the chalkboard I want, I make it using chalkboard paint (like your great chalkboard wall, Jean.). The craft store is a great place to find inexpensive little chalkboards. We use them every day, for leaving notes, making signs, labeling things… you name it!

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Sand: There is no better way to practice letter formation than writing letters in sand! Sand stimulates all the tactile receptors in the fingers, sending tons of information to the brain, saying, “This is how you make an ‘A!’”

Broken Crayons: Don’t toss all of those broken crayons you have lying around! For kids who are working on mastering a mature grasp of a pencil, tiny tools, such as broken crayons, help them get comfortable with using a tripod grasp.

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JEAN:  You go into detail about the importance of scribbling and drawing to future writing ability in your book – can you talk a bit about the role scribbling plays and why we shouldn’t undervalue it?

JENNIFER:  I’m such a champion of scribbling! Scribbling is to writing as babbling is to talking, and crawling is to walking. Scribbles are basically children’s first steps on the road to writing. While scribbling, children are building all of their important writing muscles. And they are exercising their self-expression at the same time! There’s a lot going on when kids scribble, developmentally speaking, so it is important not to rush them through this stage and to resist that urge to encourage representational drawing and symbol-writing before they are ready.

I’m also a big fan of drawing for similar reasons. Those small little writing muscles get a big workout while children are drawing. And the creative muscles get a workout too! Drawings are children’s first stories. Early drawings tell a tale that children will soon elaborate on with words. Children who love to draw will start by signing their pictures with their name, labeling their drawings with words, and, later on, by adding a narrative to their pictures, just like they see in picture books. As their skills develop, they will continue to use drawings to illustrate their stories and to help them visualize what they intend to write about. Even older children can use drawing to stir up their creative juices before writing – drawing is a great way of brainstorming an idea or mapping out a story. It can help you “see” what you want to write in your “mind’s eye.”

And to think, it all starts with those little scribbles… I love those messy masterpieces!

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JEAN:  Thank you, Jennifer! What a wonderful reference you’ve written for parents and teachers! I can’t wait to try some of your activities with my own kids. And to use your ideas to update Maia’s writing desk as well!

Giveaway:

TheWriteStart_01Readers who leave a comment to this interview by Friday, January 14th at 12 midnight EST will be entered into a random drawing for one of two copies of Jennifer’s book, The Write Start: A Guide to Nurturing Writing at Every Stage, from Scribbling to Forming Letters and Writing Stories. That's right – there will be TWO winners!

The random number generator chose numbers 89 and 222:

#89 Erin

What a great interview with wonderful ideas! I'll be checking out her blog as well. Thank you for the chance to win! – ej

#222 LJ

Where can I get good, tablet-sized chalkboards? All the ones I'm finding online (amazon, Discount School Supply) have terrible reviews. Apparently the surface is not really slate or good for chalk– more of a plastic-y material that chalk doesn't adhere to. Any specific store suggestions? Thanks so much! The book looks amazing!

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327 Comments

  • Reply
    erin besson
    January 10, 2011 at 7:31 am

    This book looks like a great resource – thanks for sharing!
    Erin

  • Reply
    Kate
    January 10, 2011 at 7:36 am

    I love her blog. The book sounds wonderful!

  • Reply
    Krista
    January 10, 2011 at 7:44 am

    I love your ideas and have used many of them in my preschool classroom xo

  • Reply
    sara
    January 10, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Wow, I would LOVE to have a copy of this book! I teach preschool and this would be a great addition to our library. Thanks for the great ideas!

  • Reply
    Jehan
    January 10, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Great post! We are off to get chalkboard paint!

  • Reply
    Erin L.
    January 10, 2011 at 8:06 am

    I love ideas for encouraging writing. I really want to get my 4yo into keeping a journal. We would love this book!

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    jill
    January 10, 2011 at 8:12 am

    As a teacher, I felt like I had the skills to teach my children writing. Now that I have three boys under 5 I realize that I haven’t a clue with little kids! :) This book would be such a helpful resource for our family. Thank you for introducing me to this book!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Runyan
    January 10, 2011 at 8:28 am

    I have been looking for some ideas to help my son who is 5. He is having trouble with his pencil grasp and really gets frustrated when I try and work with him. I think this book will be a valuable tool. Thank you for the information! Jennifer

  • Reply
    Helen
    January 10, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Thanks for introducing me to this- I would love to read her book!

  • Reply
    Maria
    January 10, 2011 at 8:35 am

    This book sounds fabulous! I have a 7 year old who dislikes writing and a 2 year old who can’t wait to start! I’ve already marked it in my ‘wish list’!

  • Reply
    Annette Standrod
    January 10, 2011 at 8:50 am

    awesome! I would love to own that book. [email protected]

  • Reply
    Keri
    January 10, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Great ideas! My daughter started journaling this year in kindergarten, but I think I’ll start it with my preschooler as well.

  • Reply
    Jesse
    January 10, 2011 at 9:12 am

    I’ve enjoyed so many ideas from Jennifer’s blog over the past two years, incorporating them at home with my child, and also in my childcare classroom! Thank you for all the inspiration! the book looks amazing!

  • Reply
    Bonnie
    January 10, 2011 at 9:21 am

    As a grandmother of seven, I am constantly looking for ways to educate myself, so that my activities with my grandchildren are fun and meaningful. The interview was inspiring. I would love to own this book and share it with my daughter who is a first grade teacher.

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    Abigail
    January 10, 2011 at 9:29 am

    I can’t wait to get my hands on this book, it sounds wonderful!
    both my husband and I are avid writers (although i have to admit that my husband’s handwriting is atrocious!), I hope that my son grows up to be one too!

  • Reply
    Jerilyn
    January 10, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Great interview – definitely need to get my hands on this book!

  • Reply
    Stacey
    January 10, 2011 at 9:40 am

    great tips and sounds like a wonderful book! Enjoyed the interview!

  • Reply
    Marci
    January 10, 2011 at 9:47 am

    I love the quote “Scribbling is to writing as babbling is to talking, and crawling is to walking.” I will have to remember that analogy.

  • Reply
    The Orchard
    January 10, 2011 at 9:55 am

    That book looks amazing! Would love the chance to win it.
    Thanks,
    Tricia

  • Reply
    Amy
    January 10, 2011 at 9:56 am

    I love her blog and would love a copy of this book. Thanks for another great interview, Jean.

  • Reply
    Wendy
    January 10, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Many tools and ways to learn writing for kids. Glad I found her blog. Thanks for wonderful giveaway!

  • Reply
    Celeste
    January 10, 2011 at 10:11 am

    I loves these ideas–great interview, and the book really sounds wonderful!

  • Reply
    Erin
    January 10, 2011 at 10:23 am

    What a wonderful book! I’ve got a 4 year old who loves to read, but is much more reluctant to write. I’d love to figure out more ways to make it fun for her!

  • Reply
    My Boys' Teacher
    January 10, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Her blog is fantastic, I’ve been reading it for a couple of years. I cannot wait to read the book!

  • Reply
    Holly
    January 10, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I have never enjoyed writing, it is laborious to me. So I want my children to learn to enjoy it. Just from what I have read and the pictures, I would have loved to learn this way. It looks like a great book.

  • Reply
    Nicole
    January 10, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Wow. Great interview. Lot’s of fun ideas to try with my four year old. Just added the book to my Amazon wishlist! Thanks!

  • Reply
    Kristina
    January 10, 2011 at 11:00 am

    This sounds like it would be an awesome resource. I ove reading your blog.

  • Reply
    Katie
    January 10, 2011 at 11:01 am

    This is right where we are…thanks for the inspiration.

  • Reply
    Lili Hill
    January 10, 2011 at 11:07 am

    What wonderful ideas! I have a 13 month old who we’ve just introduced to crayons. I had not given a thought yet to encouraging writing as I was so focused on encouraging speech! Great suggestions in the early years to come!

  • Reply
    Kelly
    January 10, 2011 at 11:07 am

    This book looks awesome! Love all the ideas!

  • Reply
    Cooperating 4 Boys
    January 10, 2011 at 11:13 am

    I NEED this book… win it or not, I am going to have this book. I am absolutely pasionate about writing with my children. Check out my latest blog post about writing with my children (Montessori inspired).
    Thanks!
    Jennifer

  • Reply
    frivolitea
    January 10, 2011 at 11:13 am

    For older kids here in Asheville there is a fantastic writing instructor named janet Hurley. Her company is called “True Ink.”

  • Reply
    Liz
    January 10, 2011 at 11:17 am

    This sounds like a great book!

  • Reply
    Shannon
    January 10, 2011 at 11:24 am

    I am so excited to read this book! Great interview!

  • Reply
    Adelle F.
    January 10, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Sounds like a great book and tool for helping children have success!

  • Reply
    kate
    January 10, 2011 at 11:47 am

    This would be a great resource for working with my 3 year old. Hope I win.

  • Reply
    Sandra
    January 10, 2011 at 11:55 am

    What a great book, it would be great help in my work as a nanny. I really hope to win this book!

  • Reply
    Jeni
    January 10, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Great interview. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Amy Adams
    January 10, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    I love the Write Start and am so interested in this book. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Reply
    Julie
    January 10, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    looks fab!

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    Anna Tesch
    January 10, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I love everything about this. Sometimes as parents we can get so distracted with the “big” things that we forget how important the “little” things are. The simple advice to not throw out the broken crayons! Love. Love.
    Thank you!

  • Reply
    Mountain Mama (Wesley Jeanne)
    January 10, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    I’ve followed her blog on and off for a while–such great ideas. MY six-year-old got a locking diary for Christmas and *she* suggested we have Mommy-Daughter journal-writing time.
    Great interview! Can’t wait to read her book.

  • Reply
    allison
    January 10, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    I have been incorporating creative fun with writing more & more into the lives of my two girls in kindergarten…this book would be a great tool as I continue.

  • Reply
    Summer
    January 10, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    I love this interview! Thanks for bringing this to us Jean!!

  • Reply
    Lindsay
    January 10, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    looks like another wonderful resource to have! i love her writing stations in the photographs…beautiful! i’ll definitely have to check out her blog. thanks for the chance.

  • Reply
    Adriana Ochoa
    January 10, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Love the idea of multiple chalkboards….will have to do that one…..and sign up for her blog…..

  • Reply
    Kat
    January 10, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    it’s so funny how different my kids are when it comes to reading/writing. My son (now 10) STILL hates writing, his handwriting hasn’t improved much since about grade 2. Reading however, is a passion. This boy can WHIP through books and has a great level of comprehension.
    My daughter (age 5) is in LOVE with letters, loves loves LOVES to write- is always asking how to spell things, makes “fancy letters” by adding curliques and other flourishes but takes no interest in reading at all. She loves to be read to though, which is just fine by me.

  • Reply
    Ashley B. Chandler
    January 10, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I have been reading her blog for a few years now and am thrilled that she is writing a book. My 4 year old daughter is an amazing reader, but a bit of a reluctant writer and drawer which frustrates her former art teacher mama. Just seeing the ideas in a book would interest my girl

  • Reply
    Annette
    January 10, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    What a great resource for our kids, thanks for the great interview!

  • Reply
    j. jun
    January 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    I learn so much through this interview. She made writing really fun!

  • Reply
    Kathie
    January 10, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Great interview and book. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Reply
    Julie
    January 10, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    I checked this out from the library and just reading it is not enough, it is one of those books you just have to have on hand for reference. I also love the alphabet store idea for when you have children of different ages. Perfect for 2 year old just learning alphabet and 5 year old practising spelling.

  • Reply
    Jamie
    January 10, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Exposing children to reading and writing from the start is vital! Great interview… Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book.

  • Reply
    Carly
    January 10, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I love the journalling idea. My four year old is starting to draw very creative pictures and I’d love to get her labelling them with one or two words. My two year old draws the occassional picture too (that actually looks like what he says it is – a spider, which can also be a sun, and a happy face). I’m totally going to start this. Thanks for the wonderful resource!

  • Reply
    OmMama
    January 10, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    These are great ideas. We use sugar instead of sand, because I tend to always have that in the house, but my little loves tracing his letters. I love the letter store idea. I wonder if it would work with things that start with a certain letter, for a little older child.

  • Reply
    Chandra
    January 10, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Interesting interview! I am not worried about it yet, but my son does not yet understand letters nor have any interest in learning them. So, this would maybe give me some fun ideas to help him learn at his own pace and keep it fun.

  • Reply
    Sary Stroll
    January 10, 2011 at 8:30 am

    This book sounds amazing! I have a 6 year old son with special needs and this would be a great resource in our journey to writing!

  • Reply
    Jenny Rebecca
    January 10, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Can’t wait to try some of these activities with my 3 1/2 year old!

  • Reply
    Marissa
    January 10, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    I’m so grateful to have read this. What a gift for our babies!

  • Reply
    Meka
    January 10, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Great interview! So many inspiring ideas!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    January 10, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    All those ideas are so great. I can’t wait to try them and would love to read the book and learn more!

  • Reply
    April
    January 10, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    I cannot wait to read this book, I really want some ideas for my daughter is taking such an interest in writing lately.

  • Reply
    Karla
    January 10, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Very interesting interview. Thank you for the ideas.

  • Reply
    Summer
    January 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    What a cool book, and great interview. I always find interviews in this series helpful. Totally pulling out the colored pencils for my little guy today! Thanks.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    January 10, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Your interview and book confirms my belief on early writing. Your interview and this book motivates me to encourage more writing fun at home! I really hope to win this book!

  • Reply
    Anne
    January 10, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    The interview was great! My 5 year old is just starting to write little journal entries, and my 4 year old produces many many wonderful drawings though doesn’t show much interest in letters yet (. . . except her own name!) I’d love to have the book and use the ideas with them!

  • Reply
    Helen
    January 10, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Love her blog, love the look of the book. Would love to win. Would be a great resource to use with my 4 year old.

  • Reply
    Mar
    January 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    At home we have been using some of the great ideas commented in the interview. Instead of the sand(we have wood floor)we use bird seeds or tea leaves(delicious aroma) to draw or write. It’s fun to change the color, the smell and touch of our writing material. Thank you for your inspiring blog.

  • Reply
    Alex
    January 10, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Thanks for introducing me to Jennifer! I’ll be following her blog and hopefully reading her book! LOL. Also, I’ll have to share it with my sister who is a new Early Childhood Educator.

  • Reply
    Laura
    January 10, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Thank you for a glimpse into this book. I am going to have to get it for my two little guys.

  • Reply
    kristin cozzolino
    January 10, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    All those ideas sound so great. I look forward to trying them and learning more from the book!

  • Reply
    Karen
    January 10, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing! Sounds like a great resource to have, especially for homeschool.

  • Reply
    Carissa
    January 10, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    I loved her analogy to scribbling. My husband is a music teacher and I am an artist and we are always talking about how random marks/scribbling and random banging on pots and pans are precursors to the formal side of both our fields!

  • Reply
    Cristina
    January 10, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    This book is exactly what I am looking for. Thank you for highlighting on your blog today :)

  • Reply
    Jenny
    January 10, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    As a mom of 3 little ones and an elementary teacher this would be such a wonderful resource. thanks.

  • Reply
    Sandra
    January 10, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    This looks like such a great book! I’d love to get my hand on one. Plus, now I have a new blog to read! Thanks Jean for sharing!

  • Reply
    Andie
    January 10, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    I have found so much inspiration reading “The Write Start” I first found the blog linked to this one! Jennifer’s ideas remind me so much of the wonderful OT’s I worked with as a special ed teacher! I can’t wait to read this book!

  • Reply
    Isil
    January 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Great ideas,thanks to both of you.My 4 year old is into writing at the moment.I can’t wait to read this book.

  • Reply
    Jennie
    January 10, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I find this information so important. I tell my parents all of the time it is o.k. to let the child scribble this is the first step in writing. I look forward to reading this book.

  • Reply
    Barbara Zaborowski
    January 10, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    I had to laugh out loud when I read about the letter store. What a wonderful idea! Even after teaching for so many years, the world is still full of new ideas. I love it!

  • Reply
    Marianne
    January 10, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    My 1 year old son was just scribbling this morning, and I was over his shoulder “encouraging” him to make circles instead. Ugh, there I go again! Looks like this book is just what I need. Thank you for writing it Jennifer. Jean, thanks for the giveaway.

  • Reply
    Amber Baker
    January 10, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Wow – what an amazing resource. I definitely want to get this book so I can help my two little boys learn to enjoy writing.

  • Reply
    Jill H.
    January 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    This book is gonig on my must read list, thanks for profiling it!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    January 10, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Great ideas and insight!

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    Megan Cumberpatch
    January 10, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    What a wonderful book, I can’t wait to read it and try out some of her ideas.

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    January 10, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Comment, comment, comment! I’d love to win, as this sounds like a wonderful book. I’m headed over to check out her blog.

  • Reply
    Erin
    January 10, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    What a great interview with wonderful ideas! I’ll be checking out her blog as well. Thank you for the chance to win!
    ej

  • Reply
    STovar
    January 10, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    How exciting!…I have been looking for ways to encourage my little ones to begin expressing themselves through writing!…LUV the tidbits I saw and will definitely look into getting this book :)

  • Reply
    alie
    January 10, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    I have a reluctant writer and could really use this book. :)

  • Reply
    Linda B
    January 10, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I love her blog and can’t wait to see her book!

  • Reply
    Dawn Lange
    January 10, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    This book looks really interesting!

  • Reply
    Faye E. Hunt
    January 10, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    What a super-fantastic resource! I’m very inspired. Thank you for this interview.

  • Reply
    MaryAnn F. Kohl, art book author
    January 10, 2011 at 11:46 am

    I used a similar approach for teaching my own kids (and classroom teaching too) called “language experience”. Kids learned to read from their own writing, from their own idea and their own words. I’m so pleased to read about Jennifer’s ideas and techniques and philosophy. I’m totally in favor of her approach! Her book sounds wonderful.

  • Reply
    michelle
    January 10, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    looks wonderful, thank you!

  • Reply
    Bea
    January 10, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Her blog is wonderful and so inspiring! Winner or not, I will definitely be owning this book!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    January 10, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Wow, these books look great! Thanks for the wonderful interview.
    Mary

  • Reply
    Mel
    January 10, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    I would love to read this book. I am a fan of her blog. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • Reply
    Charo
    January 10, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Yes, I do believe that is a great book. Reading and writing are skills that every child can get them if they are meaningful. The write start drives us in this way.

  • Reply
    corey
    January 10, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    As a mom of pre-schoolers who is planning to homeschool, this would be a great book to help me incorporate more writing into their days.

  • Reply
    Kimberly
    January 10, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    I love her blog and would LOVE to have her book!

  • Reply
    corey
    January 10, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    typed in my wrong blog url…sorry…that’s not me. I’m at enjoying-each-moment.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Adriana
    January 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    I love how this info is so accessible now!
    What great practical tactics for our little ones :)

  • Reply
    Brandy
    January 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Oh I just LOVE Jennifer’s blog! It’s packed full of wonderful ideas and I am sure her book is too!

  • Reply
    April
    January 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Oh! I would love a copy of this book. Wonderful interview.

  • Reply
    Jill
    January 10, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    I have really enjoyed your interview with Jennifer Hallissy! I volunteer in my child’s Kindergarten classroom and work with the kids on handwriting. There is such a wide spectrum of abilities in her large class and *The Write Start* would be a wonderful addition to our collective toolbox!

  • Reply
    Josephine
    January 10, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Hello,
    Wonderful interview. Whether I win this or not, I’m going to buy the book. So important a topic! xx

  • Reply
    Josephine
    January 10, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Wonderful interview. Whether I win this or not, I’m going to purchase the book. It’s so important a topic! xx

  • Reply
    Véronique
    January 10, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    As speech therapist and mum of 3 young kids, i’ve read this interview with interest, the blog discovered is now in my favorites and, of course the book must be inspiring
    and thanks for your sharing !

  • Reply
    Melanie
    January 10, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    What a fantastic book! As a reading teacher, I would love to know more about early readiness skills for my own daughter.

  • Reply
    Yulia
    January 10, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    The suggestion to model writing yourself is a great encouragement for me as a mom to continue showing my kids good habits that will accompany them through their life.

  • Reply
    Lauren
    January 10, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Love it! Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Reply
    mamaraby
    January 10, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    I had never heard of her book before – looks like a wonderful resource!

  • Reply
    Emma @ paintsandpuddles
    January 10, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Oh my God! I need this book. My son is Autistic and as a result has all sorts of developmental delays – including fine motor skills such as pencil holding, and using scissors. He’s quite bright, but is SO frustrated at his lack of ability drawing/writing wise, and I’ve been at a total loss as to how to help him. Please please please enter me, and thanks for the interview.

  • Reply
    Tracy
    January 10, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    What a great interview. Her book sounds amazing.I would love to read it.

  • Reply
    stephaniefromtexas
    January 10, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    love LOVE her! thank you for the fantastic give away.

  • Reply
    Beth Lehman
    January 10, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    this is so fascinating to me as a reading teacher!! my own children are beyond the early stages, but i know so many families who would benefit from knowing how to encourage writing early on!

  • Reply
    amanda
    January 10, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    thanks for all the wonderul ideas-this book looks like a great tool!

  • Reply
    Sara S
    January 10, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Wonderful post! I never thought of playdough as a way to help pre-writing.

  • Reply
    Anna
    January 10, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    It looks great! I look forward to implementing some of your ideas into the classroom!

  • Reply
    ailikate
    January 10, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    I am really looking forward to this book, I think I have a learn to read by writing kid and I’d love more ideas to play with. And I really want to find those scissors near me!

  • Reply
    Kim
    January 10, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Love the activity ideas, especially the scribble journal. Sounds like a great book!

  • Reply
    Yelena
    January 10, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I just added this book to my Amazon wishlist to be bought ASAP. My 4 y.o. is a reluctant writer and we’ve worked with OT some time ago. Unfortunately, we had to stop his PT and OT sessions last year and ever since then I’ve been trying to come up with fun writing activities for him. Also, thank you for explaining that many of the writing difficulties arise from lack of basic skills, such as proper grip and posture. It gives me some much-needed direction.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    January 10, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Wow, thanks for sharing this great find! Would certainly be an exciting addition to our homeschool library!

  • Reply
    Kate
    January 10, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    Would be very interested in reading this book — I’m sure it would have ideas to encourage my already-writing children (7- and 6-year-olds) as well as my younger one who is just starting to write at almost 4. Thanks for the interview and the ideas!!!

  • Reply
    Liz Schwab
    January 10, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    What great inspiration! As a professional writer, I am thrilled to see this! I’d also like to remind everyone of what fun it is to make letters or words in shaving cream. Messy fun is always the best kind!

  • Reply
    Rosa Maria
    January 10, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Great interview! I do want to read her book! Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Reply
    Lauren Brown
    January 10, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    We plan on homeschooling our two children…I love your ideas and thoughts!

  • Reply
    Katherine
    January 10, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    What a great interview, my children have not begun writing letters yet and I haven’t thought much about their writing yet either. This interview has given me some wonderful ideas and I’d love to read the book.

  • Reply
    Dwayna
    January 10, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    I adore those alpha-rocks! What age would you suggest a child on the scribble journal? My daughter still young enough to put everything in her mouth! Wondering what age I could *hope* to hand her crayons?

  • Reply
    Shawn
    January 10, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    I love Jennifer’s blog so I’m happy to see she has a book out! My girls are now at a perfect age to really start using these techniques. As a writer myself, there has been no greater joy than to see my girls learning to write and read this past year! Now they are turning five in about 12 hours and, well, this year will be a big writing year!!

  • Reply
    Susan
    January 10, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    I hadn’t heard of this author before – thanks so much for sharing. This looks like an excellent resource!!

  • Reply
    Bethany
    January 10, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Her blog is so inspirational! I would love to read her book.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    January 10, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Sounds like a great book. My son has never been particularly interested in drawing and I’m always looking for new ideas to get him to practice those fine motor skills.

  • Reply
    Janna
    January 10, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    I just added this book to my wish list today! But of course it would be fine if I won it too. ;o) I’m excited to check out her blog!

  • Reply
    Charlotte
    January 10, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    I’m really proud of my 3 1/2 year old son who can type his name on the computer … but this is making me think that I really have to keep pushing the writing too. As important as computers are these days, you can’t go past a handwritten note or thank you card.

  • Reply
    Julia
    January 10, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    I remember some of my first writing being a journal entry about our cat having kittens. Your interview reminded me how writing should bring children joy and satisfaction! I imagine your book will inspire parents to help their children accomplish this!

  • Reply
    Jill P
    January 10, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Great interview. Thanks for the chance to win Jennifer’s book…it looks fabulous!

  • Reply
    Andrea
    January 10, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    This book looks like a great resource. Thank you for offering up this chance to win. Am definitely going to check out her blog too.

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    January 10, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    I LOVE the idea of the alphabet store! Can’t wait to try it.

  • Reply
    Rachel
    January 10, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    i hope i win this one!!!

  • Reply
    brenda
    January 10, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    fantastic- as a teacher I need every parent to read this…

  • Reply
    Michelle
    January 10, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Sounds like a great book. Would love to read it! Thanks!

  • Reply
    Iris
    January 10, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    Thanks for the inspiring interview! My almost 5-year-old daughter is drawing all the time, and she loves writing words if I tell her the letters. I’m sure we would have a lot of fun trying out the activities in this book! Thanks for sharing, and for the opportunity of the give-away.

  • Reply
    Miri
    January 10, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    crossing my fingers! thank you!!!

  • Reply
    Heather
    January 10, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    This book sounds so interesting!!

  • Reply
    Julie L.
    January 10, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Thanks for the interview and the chance to win! I’m off to check out Jennifer’s blog.

  • Reply
    Leslie
    January 10, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Thanks for interviewing Jennifer. I love reading her website/blog. And would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have her book!

  • Reply
    Tracie
    January 10, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    This sounds like such an interesting book…thanks for the great interview and introducing me to it. I’d love to read this book!

  • Reply
    Pam
    January 10, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    I see a game of Letter Store in my near future. The whole book looks great!

  • Reply
    Megan
    January 10, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    I am a middle school writing teacher,but am often looking for age appropriate ways to encourage my 3 and 5 year olds to write. This book looks fabulous!

  • Reply
    Emily O.
    January 10, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Thanks for the great interview! Loved the ideas about the chalkboards – another thing to add to my shopping list at the craft store!

  • Reply
    Carrie @ Rhubarb Sky
    January 10, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    This sounds so fantastic. . .

  • Reply
    megan
    January 10, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    I was so excited to see this competition is still open – I just followed a link to your blog, and so many amazing ideas came up in the interview alone. *crosses fingers*

  • Reply
    Emily
    January 10, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    I love this! I have a kindergartner who is learning to love writing & as a writer, I hope to encourage her to keep it up.

  • Reply
    Trese
    January 11, 2011 at 12:19 am

    This book sounds wonderful. I would love to have a copy!

  • Reply
    Christine
    January 11, 2011 at 12:34 am

    What a great resource! Thanks for sharing this interview!

  • Reply
    Maryeliz
    January 10, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    I enjoy The Write Start blog and would love a chance to win the book. Thanks for that… and for the interesting interview, too.

  • Reply
    marcela
    January 11, 2011 at 1:27 am

    This books looks great! Thanks to both of you for the chance! Will cross my fingers.

  • Reply
    Sharmon
    January 11, 2011 at 2:34 am

    Love the alphabet store. Such a fun way to learn.

  • Reply
    Etta
    January 11, 2011 at 7:10 am

    I would LOVE to win this book. My 3 year old is more interested in writing and drawing right now than anything else – I want to encourage this passion as much as I can – this book would be a great help!

  • Reply
    Kendra
    January 11, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Great book! I’m wondering if she has any advice for the parent of left-handed kids?? Would love to read!

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    January 11, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Thanks for the interview – would love to have a copy of the book!

  • Reply
    Natalie
    January 11, 2011 at 8:22 am

    This book looks really interesting! I have just subscribed to The Write Start blog, as well. I plan on homeschool my 17 month old daughter and my twins who will be arriving soon, and this book and blog seems like it will have a lot of great ideas to help me!

  • Reply
    toasted
    January 11, 2011 at 8:22 am

    This sounds really great – now, I wish someone would write a book about making numbers and counting appealing , fun and exciting! My nearly five-year old daughter has some kinda block to it all..she gets to four and then just sprouts random numbers.

  • Reply
    Haley
    January 11, 2011 at 8:35 am

    The book sounds wonderful, and I’d love to get some more ideas for scribbling and pre-writing with my almost-2-year-old!

  • Reply
    molly
    January 11, 2011 at 8:37 am

    We just got this book and I’m so excited to start reading/using it. Thanks again for another great interview.

  • Reply
    Maris
    January 11, 2011 at 8:40 am

    I have used some ideas from her blog but having them in a book sounds great!

  • Reply
    Danette
    January 11, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Cool! Can’t wait to set up a little writing station! Thanks.
    Danette

  • Reply
    Heather N
    January 11, 2011 at 9:20 am

    The book sounds great. Writing is such an essential skill! I look forward to reading her book. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Reply
    Anna
    January 11, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Great interview! Thank you :)

  • Reply
    Peggy
    January 11, 2011 at 9:50 am

    I wish I could say I’m a long-time fan of Jennifer, but I only heard about her today! However, after reading this interview, I can predict that I will be a fan for a long time to come-as long as she writes, I’ll read it!

  • Reply
    Julie
    January 11, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Just scanning the text of the interview gave me some awesome ideas to incorporate into my preschoolers’ activities. I definitely want to read the book for ideas to develop a “writing life” for my children and foster their creativity and self-expression.

  • Reply
    laura
    January 11, 2011 at 10:15 am

    thanks for letting us know about the book!

  • Reply
    Linda DeBono
    January 11, 2011 at 10:22 am

    I love the idea of an alphabet store and I am going to set one up! I agree that encouraging writing is so important for parents to do as well as modeling it for our children. I would love to win a copy of this book!
    It looks like it has great ideas to implement right away with some great explanations to back it up.

  • Reply
    anne
    January 11, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Sounds like a wonderful resource and I would love to use the ideas with my granddaughter!

  • Reply
    Maureen
    January 11, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Enjoyed this interview – thanks! Maureen (jnomaxx at hotmail dot com)

  • Reply
    Heather
    January 11, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    My three year old has recently showed interested in learning to write. She has always been into drawing and expressing herself with writing utensils, but I have struggled to fine activities to help encourage writing actually letters! I love the Write Start blog and would love to have a chance to win this book! Thanks for another great interview!

  • Reply
    Brandi
    January 11, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    I would love one of these books! How awesome!
    branmaxson1 at yahoo dot com

  • Reply
    gisele
    January 11, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    What a great interview, I really learned a lot! Thank you for the generous offer to win a copy of the book.

  • Reply
    kristin
    January 11, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    This interview was inspiring! I would love to get a copy of her book.

  • Reply
    Stacey
    January 11, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    What a great resource this book will be. thank you for the opportunity!

  • Reply
    Anna
    January 11, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Great interview! Thank you! :)

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    January 11, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    What an amazing book – I will definitely be adding it to my list to read/purchase! The interview was so interesting!

  • Reply
    jessica
    January 11, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    As a homeschooling mama of 5 I can say that all the scribbling and drawing ARE writing! It is amazing to me how fast my littlest ones develop those skills when they have open access to pencils, crayons, paper, and magna-doodles. It is fun for me to see at a glance through the rooms of my house all the stages of writing– my 1 year old “drawing” snowmen over and over, my 3 year old stringing lines of letters together and telling me what they say (or asking how to sound them out), and my 10 year old on the couch with the lap top working on her fantasy novel. Writing can be such a natural thing when it is just part of everyday life.

  • Reply
    Amy Fields
    January 11, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    I would love to win a copy!! Thanks for the great post!

  • Reply
    Laura
    January 11, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    This is right up my alley. It looks like the type of resource I’d use over and over for the kids in my life!

  • Reply
    andrea
    January 11, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    love love love it! this book looks great!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    January 11, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    I love this topic! I need to start reading her blog!

  • Reply
    anu
    January 11, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Cool ideas! would love to win this!

  • Reply
    Lauren
    January 11, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    I love giving my toddler pen and paper. She feels so grown up and already knows how to hold the pencil correctly and make fine movements. I love all these ideas!

  • Reply
    Kara
    January 11, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    I love these creative ideas! As the mother of a young (8 months – really young) son, I will definitely have to check this book out!

  • Reply
    Aly
    January 11, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    I’m a big fan of the blog and the book sounds fantastic too!

  • Reply
    Amy Chen
    January 11, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    I can’t wait to try out her ideas with my daughter!

  • Reply
    Celine
    January 11, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Hi!
    I’m not sure of my english translation… sorry I’m french and I don’t know if I can participate but I would like say that I’m really interesting about this ‘concept’! and artfulparent is for me a really good source of inspiration in my own life .
    My daughter (who will be 3 years old) is already interested in the writing, the letters… Is there a French translation of this book? Thank you for all this creativity! ;-)

  • Reply
    Vinesinthemountains.blogspot.com
    January 11, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Reading and writing have always been a huge part of my life and I love the idea of a book for children to start their own love of letters too. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Sara McClelland
    January 11, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Love the ideas….perfect for a Montessori class like mine! :)

  • Reply
    Jo Ann
    January 11, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    I would love to get this book!! I run a Montessori School and I am always looking for new ideas to encourage the children to write. I am really excited to have found your blog. Thanks so much :)

  • Reply
    Renee
    January 11, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    This was a great interview! Would love a copy of the book.

  • Reply
    Vera
    January 11, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    fantastic!

  • Reply
    Vera
    January 11, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    [email protected]

  • Reply
    Jami Larsen
    January 11, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    I’m a fan of the blog and so excited about the book!!! I’m anxious to get more ideas for my two little scribblers!

  • Reply
    Katy
    January 11, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Thanks for the great interview! I have one little boy on the cusp of learning to read and write and am interested in these unique ideas!

  • Reply
    Marilyn S
    January 11, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Wow…this would be a great resource in my ECE classroom… my high school students are earning their CDAs by teaching our class of preschoolers. This is one area that they have a hard time teaching and understanding. Thanks!

  • Reply
    ondrejka
    January 11, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    What a wonderful book!

  • Reply
    Leah
    January 11, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Sounds like a great book. As a Montessorian, I’d love to know what her views are on cursive vs. print as first writing choice.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    January 11, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Great interview! Would LOVE a copy of this book!

  • Reply
    Pamela
    January 11, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Lovely, as always! Am finally starting a toddler art group with a few folks I know; and I’m so grateful for your stream of creative ideas and promptings. peace

  • Reply
    Susan ULrich
    January 11, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Love the part about journaling for young kids…even with scribbles. Can’t wait to try that!

  • Reply
    Lori
    January 11, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Thanks for sharing such an inspiring book.

  • Reply
    darcy
    January 12, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Great interview, great information! MUST HAVE this book. :)

  • Reply
    Gina
    January 12, 2011 at 12:14 am

    Hooray for making writing a fun and everyday occurrence!

  • Reply
    Lynn
    January 12, 2011 at 12:28 am

    I have a 2nd grader that needs to slow down, so any idea to give her a love of writing is appreciated!

  • Reply
    diane sloss
    January 12, 2011 at 12:44 am

    I will never look at my little one’s scribble marks the same way again – thank you so much for the valuable information.

  • Reply
    sharon
    January 12, 2011 at 12:54 am

    I learned so much from this interview! Thank you both so much. Our children deserve the best start in life from us, and I so appreciate smart ideas like these to help me do right by my child.
    And now I’m entered in a desirable giveaway? Bonus!

  • Reply
    Holly
    January 12, 2011 at 1:41 am

    Oh what a wonderful book! My (newly) 4yr old does have a little scribble journal that we have used. She scribbles and also cuts and pastes pictures in her book. I am going to try having her scrbble/write in her journal more often. Great interview!!!

  • Reply
    Jus
    January 12, 2011 at 4:18 am

    Thank you for all those activities and tips! I’m really inspired, and would love to read the book to learn more!

  • Reply
    Anna Lloyd
    January 12, 2011 at 5:33 am

    This interview was fascinating, I can’t wait to try out her ideas!

  • Reply
    Jeannette
    January 12, 2011 at 12:42 am

    Oooh! Pick me! *fingers crossed* I really love this interview, and I’m so excited about reading this book. It just seems to tie together so much of where my thoughts are anyway.

  • Reply
    Nikki
    January 12, 2011 at 8:08 am

    This is my first time posting here but I’ve been a reader all year 2010. I am a homeschool mom of 5 children. I also work at our local elementary school. My son has been struggling for years at writing. In testing he was on the edge of having dysgraphia and they didn’t diagnose him as such. Yet he still at 10 struggles terribly with writing. I was have been searching around for ideas to help him and today I read your blog. Thank you for the interview and the website. Hopefully we can find something that helps. :)
    Nikki

  • Reply
    Pumpkinbear
    January 12, 2011 at 9:15 am

    I am in love with those monogrammed rocks! We have tons of moveable alphabets in our homeschool, but nothing so nature-oriented as those…I hope there’s a tutorial in your book, because I really want to make them now!

  • Reply
    lj
    January 12, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Where can I get good, tablet-sized chalkboards? All the ones I’m finding online (amazon, Discount School Supply) have terrible reviews. Apparently the surface is not really slate or good for chalk– more of a plastic-y material that chalk doesn’t adhere to. Any specific store suggestions? Thanks so much! The book looks amazing!

  • Reply
    Allison
    January 12, 2011 at 9:55 am

    I LOVE Jennifer’s Blog. We have made the letter rocks and have sand for writing in. My 3 year old carries around a little note pad and writes notes all the time. Over the last couple of days we have been learning about snail mail and sending letters to our friends. Thank you for all of the inspiration.

  • Reply
    Theresa
    January 12, 2011 at 10:55 am

    What a lovely giveaway! I have added this book to my wishlist, my little one is already playing around with scribbles (she is 1!)

  • Reply
    Jenny
    January 12, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Great interview! I love her blog too!

  • Reply
    Kath
    January 12, 2011 at 11:26 am

    As a pre-school teacher I’m always looking for ideas to build foundation skills for writing. I’d love to read all these ideas!
    Kath

  • Reply
    Melanie
    January 12, 2011 at 11:44 am

    My son is in 1st grade and really trying, but feeling frustrated by the writing curriculum. I can’t wait to try some of these ideas to make it more fun for him!

  • Reply
    Stacey
    January 12, 2011 at 11:50 am

    I would so love a copy of this book! Sounds fantastic!

  • Reply
    Jessica
    January 12, 2011 at 11:57 am

    ooh, I would love to win this book! Thanks for a great giveaway! I want to go make a writing center right now! :)

  • Reply
    joy
    January 12, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    I love the ideas suggested in the interview. I look forward to checking her book and blog out. Thanks for doing the interview!

  • Reply
    Susanne
    January 12, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Great post…validates what I do in my preschool classroom and gives me ideas of how I can further enhance the writing of my young students!

  • Reply
    Natalie
    January 12, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    This book looks amazing. Great interview!

  • Reply
    Booga-loo.blogspot.com
    January 12, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Thank you for showcasing this book! I’d LOVE to win it as I’m currently working towards my diploma in Early Childhood Education!
    Such a wonderful blog. Thank you :)

  • Reply
    Kathleen
    January 12, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Oh, I love her blog. I can’t wait to get my hands on this book. Thanks!

  • Reply
    barbara
    January 12, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Great book and wonderful interview.
    I’m Italian and adapting to the American way to teach to children. There so much to learn and love how to push and inspire your kids. They are really there always looking at you as a model. Would love to be a ggod one for them. I have a 5 years old who loves letters and learn how to read few months ago. And a 2 and 1/2 who is following the big brother.
    Much affection and I’m so happy to have met you in this blog. :)

  • Reply
    Alissa
    January 12, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. Sounds like a wonderful and informative book.

  • Reply
    Carla
    January 12, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    What a wonderful interview! So excited about her book. What a great resource it will be as I embark on homeschooling my girls!

  • Reply
    Amy Fields
    January 12, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Looks really interesting! Thanks for another great interview!

  • Reply
    Michele
    January 12, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    I’m interested in reading this book for my 4yo homeschooled son when the time comes!

  • Reply
    Jen
    January 12, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    I use to teach kindergarten and first grade and I loved writing with my little ones. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book! I’m headed over to check out her blog too! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Julie
    January 12, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    I would love a copy of this book. We are always looking for ways to encourage writing in our house.

  • Reply
    Connie
    January 12, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    I really hope that my children grow up to love writing. It has brought me much pleasure throughout my life, and I hope it could do the same for them. I would love to own this book!

  • Reply
    kia
    January 12, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    oh my, this sounds like a must read and a must own! i can’t wait to get my hands on this…

  • Reply
    molly
    January 12, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    great interview, so inspiring!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Planeta
    January 12, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    What a fantastic post and a fantastic woman! So informative and inspiring! Thank you.

  • Reply
    Amy
    January 12, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    Thanks for the great ideas – I’m curious about this book!

  • Reply
    Catherine
    January 13, 2011 at 3:45 am

    I’m a new follower, I just found your blog about 15 mins ago and was reading through some of the recent posts. I would love this book, I have a 2 year old daughter and I’m always looking for new fun things to do with her!
    Cat
    http://www.nowoodenspoons.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Jessica
    January 13, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Oh my, this would be so awesome to have for my 3 and 8 year olds! My oldest is on the autism spectrum and writing has always been a challenge for his fingers.
    My youngest is a prolific artist-in-residence and I would love to have more tips and ideas for encouraging both of their varied abilities!

  • Reply
    Meg
    January 13, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    My friend just recommended your blog to me, and so far, I love what I’ve seen. I’m a grade one teacher on maternity leave so your blog serves two purposes for me. I would love to read this book, too!

  • Reply
    Juanita
    January 13, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    I love these ideas! As a mama with three little ones, this book would be an invaluable resource!

  • Reply
    Carrie S.
    January 13, 2011 at 11:39 am

    The Write Start is one of my favorite blogs and I’ve been so looking forward to this book! I requested it at the library, but it may be a while until it enters circularion. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for this giveaway! (Or for my husband buying it for my birthday next month! I told him about it!) :)

  • Reply
    Seda
    January 13, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    It seems to be a very inspiring book, thanks for sharing it!

  • Reply
    cindy
    January 13, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    what a great resource for me, mom of an 18 month old. Can’t wait to read this.

  • Reply
    Catherine
    January 13, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    This looks perfect for me. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m off to check out her blog now.

  • Reply
    mbc
    January 13, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    wow! i loved this interview! i feel energized. it’s all stuff I can easily do to help my little one. thank you!

  • Reply
    Elissa
    January 13, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    I love the idea of starting scribble journals for my young sons. Thank you for the idea!

  • Reply
    Elissa
    January 13, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    I live the scribble journal idea.

  • Reply
    abi
    January 13, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Yay! I followed a link from Hawthorne Threads to you and found TWO awesome new blogs!

  • Reply
    ginger
    January 13, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    This book sounds absolutely wonderful!

  • Reply
    Shirley T
    January 13, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    WHat a great resource, than you for the chance to win it.

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    January 13, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    wow, this sounds like a wonderful book. thank you for interviewing her, and i am going to go check out her blog!

  • Reply
    Monica
    January 13, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    This sounds like a fabulous book: my oldest just turned 2 and I want to arm myself with useless and delightful activities and growing tools for her – this would be perfect!

  • Reply
    kim
    January 13, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    looks like a wonderful book w/ great ideas!
    Kim

  • Reply
    Alice
    January 14, 2011 at 2:11 am

    Wow, I love your passion and enthusiasm! Your book would be a wonderful addition to our group homeschool library to inspire our collective of wonderful creative, free-thinking children and parents!

  • Reply
    Brigette
    January 14, 2011 at 2:42 am

    Wow, I’m so happy to find this blog and find out about this book. As a occupational therapist I heartily agree with everything Jennifer said, and I love the idea of the letter store!

  • Reply
    Janna
    January 14, 2011 at 6:39 am

    A great resource. Would love to have one.
    Etsyteachermom at gmail dot com

  • Reply
    Sara
    January 14, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Great ideas! As a teacher, I always loved seeing kids develop a love of writing but it’s not something I’m doing a great job of as a parent. I’ll start by digging the chalkboard paint out of the closet…

  • Reply
    rkokes
    January 14, 2011 at 10:07 am

    GREAT information!!!

  • Reply
    Monique
    January 14, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Wow – I am so intrigued and need to get my hands on a copy! I was a Middle Years ELA teacher and now stay home with my kids and feel at a loss some days on how to encourage writing at their young ages. Thanks for the ideas in the interview!

  • Reply
    kaley
    January 14, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I love the idea of this book and can’t wait to read it!

  • Reply
    amy
    January 14, 2011 at 10:35 am

    This book would be perfect! We had an art holiday with paint, crayon, and easel gifts – very fun. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Reply
    Cara
    January 14, 2011 at 11:01 am

    This book looks amazing and would be very helpful in my kindergarten classroom.
    Thank you for the great giveaway!

  • Reply
    Deborah A
    January 14, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Wow, thanks for introducing me to Jennifer … this book looks amazing and once finished posting this I am heading over to check out her blog.

  • Reply
    Rachel
    January 14, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    what a great post full of ideas!

  • Reply
    Lyudmyla
    January 14, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    I’m a mom of 4 years old and a 1 y/old baby.. They both are facinated with letters and scribbling. I didn’t know though how to nurture this interest.. I’m happy that I found this article, so I will be more prepared now. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Heather Green
    January 14, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Wow, I am so excited to find this blog-and what a great interview. My fourth child is 5 and a reluctant writer. This book looks like it will be a great resource. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Erin Louis
    January 14, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    What great ideas! My son is in first grade and these activities would really push him forward with his writing….and let him learn while having fun…brilliant : )

  • Reply
    tiffani
    January 14, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    I would absolutely love to win this book; it seems to be packed full of wonderful info for us to pass on to our girls,(who happen to love their ‘journaling’ and all arts and crafts)!

  • Reply
    Jane
    January 14, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    As a mama now, and kindergarten teacher in my “before” life, I am a huge fan of the Write Start. Thanks for sharing this great resource for parents!

  • Reply
    Krista
    January 14, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Great interview! So inspiring. We are skipping pre-school for our kids and trying to do as much as we can on our own. This book looks like a fantastic resource!

  • Reply
    Amy Fields
    January 14, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    What an amazing interview! Thanks for the great ideas. I would love to win the book!

  • Reply
    Kelley
    January 14, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    I would love a copy of this book! I love what she says about scribbling. I work with children and always need to explain to parents that scribbling is not bad!

  • Reply
    Andrea Jett
    January 14, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    What an amazing book! I cannot wait to find out more projects and you can bet I am getting a sandbox ASAP!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    January 14, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    I love your ideas. I am going to start a scribble journal for my 1 year today!

  • Reply
    Marykay
    January 14, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! With a 1 and 3 year old I get lots of opportunities to appreciate the scribble phase! I plan to get my hands on this book (even if I don’t win) :) thanks again

  • Reply
    gisa
    January 14, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    This looks like an amazing book. Just reading the interview and looking at the pages up above have inspired new ideas for my preschool classroom. I hope i win a free copy!!!!! thank you for posting this.

  • Reply
    gina
    January 14, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    I want to win! I’ve been a fan of her blog for a long time. The book looks great!

  • Reply
    Katie Lake
    January 14, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    What a wonderful resource!

  • Reply
    welcome to our wonderland
    January 14, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    I’d love to win one of her books I love her blog so I know I’d love the book

  • Reply
    Sara R.
    January 14, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    Wonderful ideas! I has hoped to become an occupational therapist…someday I will. Thanks for sharing these!

  • Reply
    stephaniefromtexas
    January 14, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    i have been following The Write Start blog and so want her book.
    fantastic give away!

  • Reply
    vildkatten
    January 14, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Great ideas.

  • Reply
    Emma
    January 14, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Oooh – what a great resource! As a mom of 2 (ages 5 & 2 1/2) this is right up our alley. I also use my personal professional library to guide what I do in my 2’s classroom. I have a friend whose child is a resistant “writer” & I can’t wait to point her in your direction (for both this interview & the book!) I can’t wait to expand my library with this book (hoping we’ll get a book through this drawing, but if not I already know what my next book purchase will be!!) Thanks for offering this up :)

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    January 14, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    I would LOVE to read this book! I’m a former English teacher, but my focus was on secondary. I often find I am at a loss for promoting writing with my own children (6 and 3). I suppose they see me writing articles (I’m a freelance writer) but I haven’t thought about good ways to promote the daily joys of writing.
    Fantastic interview. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Jill
    January 14, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Love all the pics, what a great book!

  • Reply
    Sally stanley
    January 14, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    This was a wonderful article!!!!! As a Special Education teacher your book would be a wonderful resource!!!!!

  • Reply
    Marina B.
    January 14, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    I WANT this book!!!! I have a reluctant writer and don’t want to have two!!! I’ve been looking for a book like this one!!!

  • Reply
    Jennifer S
    January 14, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    This looks like a great resource. I am always looking for ways to immerse my kiddos in language and writing.

  • Reply
    Christy @ cat fur to make kitten britches
    January 14, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Thanks for introducing me to this inspiring blogger/author. Loved reading this interview.

  • Reply
    Janelle
    January 14, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    My daughter is in kindergarten. I’m a little concerned that with all the other things they must learn, handwriting isn’t receiving as much focus as it did when I went to school. It sounds like the kind of book I’ve been looking for to help me assist my kids with some of the basics.

  • Reply
    Hilary Sunderland
    January 14, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    So glad to learn about this book. Can’t wait to buy it to use with my grandchildren!

  • Reply
    katy
    January 14, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    You always have such great information on your site. Love it!

  • Reply
    Christy Jordan
    January 14, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    I would LOVE to have a copy of this book for my 2 children, 5 yr and 1 yr.

  • Reply
    serena
    January 14, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    What a wonderful and unique book! I would love to win!!!

  • Reply
    Sharon
    January 14, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Looks like a great book! I have 4 little ones that would benefit from this!!! :)

  • Reply
    Katherine
    January 14, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Fantastic interview – I would love to read more on this. It’s on my list.

  • Reply
    Cassieblanca
    January 14, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    I, and my 4-year-old champion scribbler and budding writer, would love – LOVE – a copy of this book. We have been looking for some inspiration for when the need to write strikes, and this sounds like it might be just perfect!

  • Reply
    june fisk
    January 14, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    I’m a first grade teacher and I love anything that encourages writing at an early age. This looks like a great book and it needs to site on my professional shelf.
    June

  • Reply
    Erin
    January 14, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks for the chance to win! I would love to have this as a resource in helping my own very reluctant 4-year-old.

  • Reply
    Kiasa
    January 14, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    This book sounds so fun and amazing. It would be perfect for me and my 4year old.

  • Reply
    Carla
    January 14, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    This interview was so encouraging. I don’t consider myself a very artistic or creative mom (I really want to be though!). So, I am so worried that my son will never show an interest in art. Well, I’ve been inspired by reading this interview and by reading both blogs. I can’t wait to try out a few of the activities. I especially love the idea of the scribbling journal. My son is 18 months old but he just loves to scribble on “mama’s” paper. He likes imitating me when I write out a grocery list. I will take that as a good sign : )

  • Reply
    Liann S
    January 14, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Definitely want to add this book to my library.

  • Reply
    Lynn
    January 14, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    I have a kindergartner in occupational therapy to help him develop stronger fine motor skills and this post is just what we need – great timing. I would be thrilled to get the book to use with both my 5 year-old and 2 year-old.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    January 14, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    What a great resource!

  • Reply
    Melissa Awad
    January 14, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    I think the sand idea is fab!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    January 14, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    This book sounds amazing. I am always looking for fun and creative ways to nurture Emily’s reading and writing skills!!

  • Reply
    Mandi
    January 14, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    Awesome resource for helping spark the writing fire in our little ones! I can’t wait to read it, and implement the ideas within!

  • Reply
    Callie
    January 14, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    This looks like a great book! My 4 yr old recieves OT and I really needed to hear this…what great ideas! Thanks for the givaway!

  • Reply
    LInda BOlz
    January 14, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    THis looks fabulous!!! I hope I am one of the lucky ones to receive these books.

  • Reply
    Lesa
    January 14, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    Thanks for sharing some great ideas.

  • Reply
    Christine
    January 14, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    As a teacher and a mother of a two year old, this book looks amazing! Thanks for sharing, ladies!~

  • Reply
    Jaime Compton
    January 14, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Wonderful ideas! I want to try & incorporate them all!

  • Reply
    youclevermonkey
    January 15, 2011 at 1:55 am

    My youngest daughter has had a scribble book for use in the car mostly (we live at least 15mins from anywhere)since she was 18mths old. Her pencil grip now is perfect for writing and will even self-correct it if it’s not right.
    I love the shopping for letters – might try that with Miss nearly 5 as her letter recognition has been a bit sketchy and she won’t persist with things that aren’t fun.

  • Reply
    Jo
    January 15, 2011 at 2:33 am

    this would be magical.

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    January 15, 2011 at 2:43 am

    It looks like I missed the deadline for this one, but I want to thank you for drawing our attention to this book and author. I will have to get it!

  • Reply
    merril
    January 26, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Thank you for this great interview and resource. I am a pre-k teacher, in a public school setting, and couldn’t help but link this interview on my classroom blog for our parents to read. In the Race to The Top era we live in, reminders about remaining developmentally appropriate in the way we support writing is vital. Here is my post about your post! http://missmerril.blogspot.com/2011/01/soap-box-of-sorts.html

  • Reply
    Barb E
    December 27, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Where can I find the letters that you used on the rocks? These would be fun in my classroom. I use most of these ideas in my classroom already but you also have some other great ideas as well! Can’t wait to try them!

  • Reply
    Mike
    October 16, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Very cool. I never thought of the game scrabble as a game that trains child to write better. I always thought the best way to get better at writing is to write. I would assume exploring more ways to engage your imagination would help both kids and adults with writing.

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