I’ve been up since two snooze alarms, dressed and emptied the dishwasher.
“Why am I tidying up the house for the plumber to come in and work?” I wonder vaguely. Mostly I notice the sound of words crashing around in my mind, half formed words. It reminds me of the way the blood hits your feet when you first put them on the floor boards after a hard sleep.
Instead of fussing with my makeup, which is pretty pointless anyway and instead of getting to campus early to tidy up my hopeless desk, I’m planted to write my Tuesday slice early instead of after the closing time tonight.
Yesterday I taught two kindergarten intervention groups at once, because after lunch I needed to be setting up for my G.A.T.E. student presentations in the cafeteria. So, both bundles of kinder buddies and I headed out of the D pod for the A pod with extraordinary exuberance. They bounced along and babbled. Their excitement was palpable. I heard one, Ariel, I think say, “We love you, Ms. Brown,” as we steered through the cafeteria and headed to pick up our writing books and converge around the horseshoe table where the re-reads were waiting.
Six at once is quite a handful, especially when they ALL want to read for YOU. I felt as if I were listening and smiling underwater while their words and comments swirled and rushed around and around.
Interesting to note the readers at lesson 25 really wanted to try the books at lesson 40. They were immensely curious about the other reads. Their unmasked, unfiltered human nature akin to competitive shoppers at a sale at a mall. And who cannot find them funny?
My serious reading teacher had to get something done, however, and we shifted to writing. I asked them to picture something they had just read and said we’d draw it. “You don’t need to write a sentence…no words, please.” Thumbs went up indicating they had a picture in mind and the group that had hopped along in the hallway and bungled through the re-reading, suddenly settled. The calm.
Each started somewhere with the fat pencil to paper and dog shapes emerged…stick people with extravagant hair do’s. The little heads bent over their writing books and I gently reminded them that in two minutes we’d put the pencils back.
I squeaked a rubber duck which made them jump and laugh, practically dropping their pencils which I deftly collected into the holder. I indicated partners and how to say “thank you” after the partner had talked about her drawing.
They had so much fun sharing about their drawing and saying “thank you” that they’d say, “Let’s start again,” but I ended it to introduce their new books. We only had five minutes until lunch. At the Farm was a reminisce for the advanced group, but they got Making Pizza which made the other group want their book. I wanted lunch.
I share this moment, not only because it was a high point of yesterday, which was chock full of moments, but because I am reminded how important it is to let young children — especially struggling readers — draw. I am flummoxed with the amound of time in kindergarten they are being required not to write — but to copy — copy things which they cannot even read. Surely that can’t be called writing?
The thinking and engagement in drawing and talking about the drawing is what we ought to be after.
And yes, I can end a sentence or an entire post with a preposition, if I want. 🙂
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