The more you practice anything in life the better you get. You learn the trade and what it takes to make you better. You build confidence and overtime even stamina. Writing is no different in this way.

However, writing with 4 year olds seems like a foreign concept to unbelievers. Those who haven’t stepped foot in an early childhood classroom, or those who haven’t spent any time with young children learning to read and write, often have difficulty believing it is possible. My students surprise me constantly with what they are able to do. This week I witnessed an increase in confidence and stamina. My students were writing all over the classroom every time I turned around. If they were in a center that didn’t have paper they were asking for some so they could write. There is no question in my mind that this is exactly what stamina looks like in 4 year olds.

So many positive inspiring moments came from my students this week. I hope you will share their joy as you witness their growth and excitement in learning to do something new. If you remember Lilly from last year my student who struggles socially I know this will touch your heart. Lilly created a book in the writing center independently. She sat cutting her own paper, flipping and folding the pages just right until she was finally happy with it. She brought it to me with illustrations on every page and wanted it to be stapled. She said “I gotta make book little red riding hood”. She worked intently for 30 minutes and the read me her finished product. Lilly couldn’t have been more excited to share her story of little red riding hood with her peers. The book had no words, but as I mentioned last week that’s not what is important. Before you view the video allow me to preface it with telling you that one of Lilly’s goals is that she will be able to answer questions and retell stories. This is a goal that we have been working toward for a year and a half now. That’s all you need to be inspired!

(video password 1234)

I want to end my recount of this week in the kitchen center. Imagine two children, Daniel and Abby pretend playing restaurant together. They are cooking me food and as I ask for a menu they tell me they will need to make one. They immediately get to work creating menus of the food they will serve. I did not help them with the invented spellings at all, these menus were created completely independently. I was making a menu of my own while they were writing and you will see on Abby’s she copied the word egg but everything else they wrote. You will see the words toast, mustard, green beans, pickle, apples, bean, grapes, and oranges. I was mesmerized by their writing and found myself snapping pictures and asking questions when all of a sudden Daniel spoke up and said “wait let me smile”. I took the picture he wanted and he immediately said “will you please send this to my mom so she can put it on Facebook? I want everyone to see how good I am getting at writing”!!! Brings tears to my eyes to watch them light up with pure joy just by learning how to do something “adults and big kids” do.

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4 thoughts on “Facebook Worthy

  1. I love how your pre-school students already view themselves as writers! I enjoyed hearing Lily read her Little Red Riding Hood story. Her willingness to read her story in front of the class says a lot about how she views herself and it says a lot about you as a teacher and how you conduct your class.

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  2. I love seeing how happy Lily was reading her story! She was proud of that book and I am sure that 30 minutes of working on one task was a big deal for her. I can barely get 25 good minutes at this point in kindergarten. I like how she made the book how she wanted it to be, you said she cut and folded it until it was right. What a great way to have her take ownership in her book.

    I also adore how your students were making their own menu. It looks like Abby knows many letters. I had a student just last Thursday write a shopping list in the kitchen center. She showed it to me asked me if it was okay that she did that with the paper and pencils that were in the center, I was like, “Yes! That is something I was hoping they would be used for.” I told her I always make a list when I go shopping and she told me her mom does too.

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  3. Brandi
    You know how much I love the work you are doing in your classroom. It is simply remarkable. Lily won my heart this week with her reading. I’ll have to come over and get her autograph! She loved telling her story and I loved hearing it. I can see the confidence and the stamina growth. Good job to you and your young writers.

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  4. What an extensive menu! The fact that you sat and started writing a menu too is a small but significant teaching decision. You created a space/time where children were writing alongside you rather than being explicitly directed by you. Perfect reminder that teaching takes on different forms in different moments as we work to meet children where they are.

    Daniel’s request is a reminder that all writers desire audiences for their writing–and that with new technologies and tools, we can help children take their writing (and writerly identities) public! Hanging things in the hallway just isn’t enough for the child who knows the power–and importance to adults–of Facebook/social media. It also demonstrates that children see writing as something that has significance and value outside of the classroom. 🙂

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