Developmental Writing Stages
Scribbling is the first developmental stage. It looks like a random assortment of marks. Sometimes the marks are large, circular, and random, and resemble drawing. Although the marks do not resemble print, they are significant because the young writer uses them to show ideas.
The next stage is when letter-like forms emerge. Sometimes the forms are randomly placed, and are interspersed with numbers. The child can tell about his/her own drawings or writings. In this stage, spacing is rarely present.
Strings of letters is the next stage. In the strings-of-letters phase, a child writes some legible letters that tell us they know more about writing. The child is developing awareness of the sound-to-symbol relationship, although he/she is not matching most sounds. Students usually write in capital letters and have not yet begun spacing.
The next stage is when beginning sounds emerge. At this stage, a child begins to see the differences between a letter and a word, but he may not use spacing between words. The message makes sense and matches the picture, especially when a topic is chosen.
Consonants represent words is the next stage. A child begins to leave spaces between her words and may often mix upper- and lowercase letters in her writing. She begins using punctuation and usually writes sentences that tell ideas.
The last three stages are the more advanced developmental stages. They are initial, middle, and final sounds, transitional phrases, and standard spelling. Students in these phases are spelling words correctly, their writing is readable, and they are developing an understanding of root words, compound words, and contractions.