I get to teach phonics in kindergarten this week. Any time I get to spend with Kindergarteners is a dream come true for me, even if it is just waltzing in for 15 minutes to do some reading routines with them.
I’ve trained people on this specific reading routine program, and I’ve taught a handful of lessons, but this week I get to go every day.
“I’m just learning these routines,” I remind the kids.
I figure I may as well be transparent in my non-expertise. They know the routines much better than I do, so I get to learn too. They do such a great job, I have them give themselves a round of applause after each routine. (A round of applause is where you quietly applaud yourself while moving your hands around in a circle.) And then, I ask them to give me a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs to the side for how I did with the routine.
The first day, I got a bunch of thumbs-up, several thumbs to the side, and a few thumbs-down. A boy in the back gave me two thumbs down for some of my routines. I mean, he wasn’t wrong – I did struggle through a few parts.
“I see thumbs down again,” I said. “You’re right. I really do need to practice my blending routine!”
Today I got almost all thumbs-up, and a few to the side — and one still some thumbs down from the boy in the back, but not for every routine. I’m improving!
At the end of the lesson, I told the kids they needed to give themselves 3 rounds of applause.
“Threee?!?!?” someone said like I had told them they could have three cupcakes.
After their rounds of applause, I asked for one final assessment of the whole lesson and looked around the room at their thumbs.
I said “Wow! two thumbs-up from some of you!”
The boy in the back said, “I’m giving you two thumbs-up too!” Then he held up his foot and said “I’m giving you three thumbs up!”
We dismissed for recess and I followed the kids out to the hallway, feeling that lovely feeling of bonding with kids. A girl walked up to me, looked at me so sweetly, and said. “Who are you?”
I told her I’m Ms. Thought, but she can also call me Ms. Ona. I explained that only the kindergarteners call me Ms. Ona, so when she gets to first grade she’s going to have to switch to Ms. Thought.
“Ms. Ona,” she said confidently like she knew that all along. She laughed and went outside with the rest of her class.
Tomorrow’s my day. Tomorrow they will remember my name, and I will get all thumbs up!