Tuesday, November 13, 2012

First Day of Conferences

In kindergarten we're seeing some interest in writing arising among the students. Here are some chalkboards as they appeared at the end of centers this morning.

Some of the words are copied from words posted in the room. Other words emerge from the children themselves like William's terckee. At this point is kindergarten it is very encouraging to see children spontaneously use what they know about the letters and using that knowledge to write down words.

I am often asked whether to correct spelling on words like terckee. The short answer is "no" not yet. Writing practice is helpful in strengthening the brain connections needed for reading.

The time to zero in on conventional spelling is later, not now. Now is the time for practice and play with the letters and their sounds. You want to encourage practice going from letter to sound (reading) and sound to letters (writing).

The only exception I would make at this point in learning is if the child asks for the conventional spelling. In that case, I would provide the correct spelling.

In math today we used to calculator to come up with the total number of laps we did on the walk-a-thon, almost 400. Way to go, kindergarten. Strung end to end, our walking would have stretched 59 miles—more than enough to go from here to AT&T Park, Giant's stadium. That's quite a lot of walking. Way to go kindergarten.

Today we welcomed Maranda back to our classroom. Her classmates were very kind and helpful in trying to make her feel at home and comforted.

We had the first day of conferences today and they went well. I was happy to see so many moms and dads together. Well done, all.

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