But I’ll try…
This year, after many years in grades 1 to 3, I decided to teach Kindergarten. I made a promise to myself that literacy for our youngest learners would be as much about discovery as Science is and as much about problem solving as Math. It would be as much about creating as Art is and as much about community as Social Studies. It would not be systematically delivered; letters first, then sounds, then words, then sentences. No.
Where is the wonder in that?
Today you would have seen a child (who has yet to know all her letters) write a prescription in the hospital center before moving on to work with a peer to craft a thank you letter for a class visitor. You would have seen a group working on a sign for our fire station. You would have seen tracings of flowers, labeled sketches of tomato plants, and pencil rubbings of nasturtium leaves “Look Mrs. George, I drew a nasturtium. Mrs. George, how do you spell “shum?”
Today in Kindergarten, you would have seen invitations to write in every corner of our space, a topography of sorts Gk. Topographia, from topos “place” and graphein “to write.” Because when students have something real, worldly and relevant to write about, the “shum” in “nasturtium” matters.
Jennifer George (@firgeorge) is a Learning Leader at Evergreen School. She is passionate about literacy and learning spaces that inspire.