Monday, October 13, 2014

Kindergarteners Can Write! Proof from Emerson.

Tomorrow, I'm heading to New York for the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Coaching of Writing Institute.  Needless to say, I am beyond thrilled!  Over the past couple years, I have been both a student and an advocate of the Lucy Calkins Writing Units of Study.  I believe in the lessons, used them with fidelity as a teacher, and I am now so very excited to study them as a literacy coach this coming week.

Since I knew I was going to travel to New York for the week ahead, I decided to attach a long weekend to the trip to visit Robyn, one of my dearest friends in the world.  She and her family moved out to New Jersey from The Bay Area a little over a year ago.  What's really exciting is that her son, Emerson, started kindergarten a month ago.

As you know, I am a huge proponent of kindergarteners engaging in the reading and writing workshop as soon as they start school.  I've seen wonderful kindergarten teachers in my home district implement the writing units of study with fantastic results.  And now,  I've seen the other side!  I've seen what it looks like at home.

Emerson was so excited to share his writing with me.  It just so happens that his school also follows the writing workshop model.  When I asked him about his writing, he talked about how pictures come first, then labels, and then the sentences on the page.  The smile on his face grew as he talked about his writing workshop in kindergarten.  He also talked about telling his stories across pages (well- he tried his best to describe this!).  I knew exactly the lessons to which he was referring.  It was so exciting for me to see the lessons in place outside of my usual school context.  He has internalized the work.  He is a writer at only five years of age!

So, once again, I have to say, kindergarteners can write.  It is challenging at times, it is developmentally appropriate, and it is what will help our kiddos blossom and grow.

What's even more exciting is that Emerson chose to do the writing shown below at home, outside of his teacher's writers' workshop.  Out of every activity he could do at home, he chose to write.  I wish I could thank his teacher for the great work she's doing!  Nothing else is needed to prove that kindergarteners are ready to write.  All we have to do is show them that they can- just like Emerson's teacher has done.

This is how writers are born!  Pictures and labels are the start of writing in
 kindergarten. They eventually grow into stories. "Sun, tree, klawd (cloud),
haws (house)."  This makes me so happy & proud!

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