Children want to make their mark - on paper, on any surface, in life. But the difficulties of transferring words to paper can be daunting enough to drown out even the most enthusiastic voice. Enter interactive writing, a new instructional approach in which teachers and children collaborate to produce a written text. Just as Fountas and Pinnell did in their best-selling Guided Reading, the authors offer powerful first teaching designed to accelerate and support children's critical understanding of the writing process. Interactive Writing is specifically focused on the early phases of writing, and has special relevance to prekindergarten, kindergarten, grade 1 and 2 teachers. In a clear, step-by-step format, the authors show how teachers can use interactive writing to teach a range of foundational literacy skills by sharing the pen with young writers: letter learning phonological and orthographic awareness learning the nature of words building a writing vocabulary learning concepts about print organizing and composing narrative and expository text. Important features include a rich array of examples of children's writing, down-to-earth practical advice, suggestions for using children's literature and art in the writing program, numerous photos of children's work, and suggestions for professional development. Additionally, there are thorough descriptions of how interactive writing can be used as a tool for inquiry across the curriculum - in content areas as well as in literature. With this kind of broad application, children can grow to see writing as a lifelong tool for learning - and see themselves as writers, right from the start. The book is filled with practical information on how to get started with interactive writing, with explicit details from specific materials to fine teaching points.