Writing in Kindergarten
I love watching kindergarten learn to write! They come in knowing how to write their name and possibly a few other words and leave able to write a topical paper of a few sentences. What a difference a year makes! But it isn't always easy to get them to that point. These guys have so many great ideas that it can be hard for them to pick just one and to stay with that idea until they finish their work. Most entering students are just not ready to sound out words and form complete sentences. And some are terrified to stand in front of an audience and present their work. From the beginning of the year we work on creating weekly "papers" by following five steps: brainstorming, rough draft, peer editing, final draft, and publishing, or presenting, our work. With enough repetition the class becomes very comfortable putting their ideas down on paper and sharing them with each other. One of my favorite things to see is our "peer editing" day where the students work in groups to critique their papers. The suggestions are almost always helpful and the students are learning how to respectfully work with others to make their work better. Then on presentation day everyone is excited to tell about the suggestions they made if their partner used those suggestions. Such great collaboration going on in kindergarten!