Friday, April 16, 2010

The Wisdom of Waiting

We tend to rush children along down the road to writing and reading as if there was some benefit from shortening and abbreviating childhood.

I really don't understand why we do that. Childhood could easily be expanded and a whole bunch happier if we adults—and national educational policy makers in particular—just took a deep breath, relaxed, and trusted kids more.

I do everything I can to keep my instruction in reading and writing skills wrapped up in happiness. Our writing center is as interesting as I can think to make it.

This time around, we're using tools—REAL TOOLS, thank you very much—to crush and bend and cut paper clips.

It's fun. And then we write about it.

Look how good the writing is!

Their skill and pleasure in writing is not accidental. And it's definitely NOT because we got a head start on these skills. Quite to the contrary, my students' writing looks this good, and the students take pleasure in writing, because I waited until near the end of kindergarten to ask these skills of them.

And, what's more, because of the Soundabet, the students can READ, that is, sound out what they've written with only a little help, if any.

I'm proud of them and pleased with their work.

More important, so are they.


Anonymous said...

lovely kids, lovely exercise Dan!!!

Barbra Stephens said...

Excellent activity, Dan! I will do this in the classroom. Kids love tools! What a great way to incorporate them!