I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March. You should do it too! Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing!
I’m ready for Kindergarten.
Thanks to help of another coach, I have an interactive writing lesson planned for this morning. Thanks to a kind kindergarten teacher, I have a bunch of kids to practice with! Thanks to my love of sticky notes, I had just enough to cover my mystery pictures.
Last night I practiced with Mr. Thought. I needed to make sure I had the flow of the lesson down. As we peeled sticky notes away, he wasn’t as excited as I hoped the kindergarteners would be. But, he cooperated as we labeled a few important parts, and came up with some sentences to go with our eagle picture.
“That was a little boring,” he told me.
“Maybe that’s because you already know how to read, past a kindergarten book!” I said and I scowled a little, hoping the kindergarteners won’t think it’s boring.
Despite my boring practice session last night, I am ready for kindergarten.
As I sit with kindergarteners, I can’t help but think, “How lucky am I?”
We do so much in our small group meetings. They are definitely more excited than Mr. Thought was.
I knew we would guess what pictures are, label important parts, analyze the details, sound out words, write sentences, count words, sound out more words, and read our pages. I wasn’t planning on kids saying they want to label the fish “prey” not just “fish,” and those who add, “Well, then we need to label predator too.” (That’s a hard word to sound out cold with kindergartners…)
I knew I’d be trying to get them to see what our whole book was about. I wasn’t planning on the boy saying after the first look, “This must be a book about the Food Chain!”
I knew we would need to go over some norms for talking. I wasn’t planning on the girl saying emphatically, “So we will take all our ideas and work together?” (“Yes, please!”)
I knew they would want to make decisions about what we put on our page. I wasn’t planning on the group who brought their pencils and are so disappointed that I am holding the pen today. Their disappointment quickly turns to excitement when I give them each a small yellow sticky. At first this causes a chorus of “How do you write….” but as soon as I remind them to use kid writing, they are on a roll. Of course, I do smile a little when the kids who wrote “nachur” and “tlug” (tongue) insist that their friend add the ‘k’ to “roc.”
I knew that kindergartners were brilliant. I wasn’t planning on the group with a different perspective. Their first page includes the sentences “The fish are swimming away from the whale shark.” and “The whale shark is determined to get the fish in his mouth!” They want each page to have a sentence from both the prey and predator perspectives. “Determined?” Way to go with the vocabulary! Later, another group will insist on the word “pouncing!”
I knew there would be kids who interrupted me with things like, “I got this new bracelet, do you like it?” I wasn’t planning on the boy asking, “Which mommy are you?” I remind him that although I am a mommy, I’m actually also an Instructional Coach. Then, I thank the group for letting me come to practice in kindergarten today.
“Am I doing okay so far?” I whisper.
They all lean in, and nod. One child whispers back, “You’re doing great!”
I knew I loved Kindergarteners.