Are your kids having a hard time learning how to write? If so, a kindergarten writing rubric can help them build confidence and an understanding of what is expected. Additionally, a rubric will help you assess their progress and help meet their individualized needs.


In this blog post, we will discuss when to teach writing, and highlight a first grade and kindergarten writing rubric to help transform your kids into successful writers.

When to Teach Kids How to Write

Before we go any further, I want to emphasize kindergarten kids should not be pressured into writing if they are not ready.

During kindergarten, kids should focus on playing and interacting with peers, problem solving, exploring interests, and so on.


With that being said, some kids show interest in writing, and can be guided along with your help and encouragement. Over time, we want to encourage all kids to love expressing their thoughts – whether through writing or drawing.

If your kids demonstrate the following skills, they are ready for writing:

  • They scribble on paper, attempt to draw basic shapes, or mimic writing motions
  • They ask how to spell words
  • They have letter and sound awareness
  • Concepts of print are present
  • They have strong fine motor skills

Kindergarten Concepts of Print 

Early literacy encompasses not only writing but also a solid understanding of print concepts.

The Concepts of Print Writing Rubric plays a pivotal role in shaping young minds’ grasp of print conventions. These developmental writing rubrics help the kids understand what is expected.  

Grab the Concepts of Print Rubric HERE or on TPT

The Rubric Breakdown:

This rubric zeros in on foundational print concepts like understanding the front and back of a book, recognizing words, and knowing the relationship between spoken and written language.

By assessing these basic kindergarten skills, you can lay the groundwork for successful readers and writers.

Grab this Concepts of Print Rubric HERE or on TPT


Why a Concepts of Print Rubric Matters:

  1. Building Strong Foundations: A solid understanding of print concepts is essential for kindergarten students to transition into reading and writing confidently.
  2. Early Literacy Success: By addressing print conventions early on, kindergarten teachers set students up for success in decoding text and constructing their own written pieces.
  3. Holistic Approach: Integrating this rubric into teaching ensures that print concepts are woven seamlessly into a child’s literacy development, promoting a well-rounded education.

Kindergarten Writing Rubric (K/1)

At the heart of literacy development is the ability to communicate thoughts through writing.

The Journal Writing Rubric in our Little Learning Corner store is a powerful tool for teachers to assess and foster young students’ writing progress.

Grab this K/1 Writing Rubric HERE or on TPT

The Rubric Breakdown:

This rubric comprises clear criteria that has important writing aspects such as letter formation, spacing, punctuation , knowing sentences start with a capital letter, and sentence structure.

By assessing these elements, you can gain insight into a child’s writing journey and can tailor instruction to meet individual needs.

Grab this Kindergarten Writing Rubric HERE or on TPT


Why It Matters:

  1. Targeted Feedback: The rubric empowers you to provide specific feedback that helps young writers understand their strengths and areas for growth.
  2. Individualized Instruction: With a structured evaluation, educators can create personalized lesson plans to address each student’s unique needs, whether they’re excelling or seeking additional support.
  3. Growth Tracking: By consistently employing the rubric, you can monitor progress over time, identifying trends and celebrating advancements in writing skills.

Things to Consider When Using a Kindergarten Writing Rubric

Teachers and homeschool parents can begin using a kindergarten writing rubric as soon as students start engaging in writing activities. Here are some key points to consider:

1. Introduction to Writing:

As kindergarten students are introduced to writing, teachers and parents can start using a simplified version of the rubric to provide basic guidance and encouragement.

This initial introduction helps set expectations and familiarize students with the concept of assessing their own work.

2. Emergent Writing Stage:

Once students progress to the emergent writing stage, typically midway through kindergarten, educators and parents can implement a more comprehensive rubric.

At this point, the kids are forming letters, attempting complete sentences, and gaining a basic understanding of print concepts.

3. Regular Writing Activities:

As students engage in regular writing activities, such as journal entries, short stories, and descriptive sentences, the kindergarten rubrics are great for assessing and providing feedback.

Teachers and parents can use the rubric to highlight areas of improvement and celebrate achievements.


4. Differentiation and Growth:

The rubric should be used to support differentiation. Some students may be ready for more advanced skills, while others may need additional guidance.

The rubric helps identify each student’s level of proficiency and allows educators and parents to tailor instruction accordingly.

5. Ongoing Assessment:

Throughout the kindergarten year, educators and parents should continuously use the rubric to assess growth and development.

These ongoing assessments provides a clear picture of each student’s progress and informs instructional decisions.

6. Transition to First Grade:

As students approach the end of kindergarten and prepare to transition to first grade, the rubric can help ensure that they have acquired foundational writing skills and concepts of print.

It serves as a valuable tool for evaluating readiness for the next academic level.

7. Self-Assessment and Goal Setting:

As students become more familiar with the rubric, encourage them to participate in self-assessment.

These rubrics empower them to take ownership of their learning and set goals for improvement based on the rubric’s criteria.

Empowering Kindergarten Writing Instruction

Utilizing these rubrics as tools for assessment and guidance amplifies the impact of kindergarten writing instruction. They provide teachers with a structured framework to evaluate and nurture essential writing and print concept skills in their young learners.

These rubrics transform writing assessment into a holistic journey of growth and exploration, setting the stage for lifelong literacy success.

For educators dedicated to fostering a love for writing and reading from the very beginning, these rubrics are indispensable companions on the journey to empowering young minds.

Explore the Journal Writing Rubric and the Concepts of Print Writing Rubric  and embark on a path of effective and impactful kindergarten writing instruction.


In summary, educators and homeschool parents should start using a kindergarten writing rubric from the moment students begin engaging in writing activities.

By introducing the rubric early and consistently, it becomes an effective tool for guiding instruction, assessing growth, and fostering a strong foundation in writing skills and print concepts.

Before you go, here are more posts you’ll enjoy:

25 Printable Kindergarten Vocabulary Activities

Kindergarten “I Can” Statements to Support Learning

30 Popular Nursery Rhymes for Kids

Kindergarten Writing Rubric