This week my dramatic play center is a post office and while observing my students during center time I over heard the following conversation:
S: How do you spell 'happy?'
T: I don't know.
S: /h/ /h/ /h/ /a/ /a/ /p/ /p/ /e/
T: Why can't you just use a different word?
S: I want to write my mom a Valentime (yes, this is how she said it) card and inside I was going to write 'Happy Valentime's Mom!'
T: Do you know how to spell merry?
T: Just wish her a Merry Valentine's Day instead.
Later that day, in the same center, J. created a Valentine for me. She gave it to me after center time and when I opened it this is what it said:
Roses are red
Violets are blue
You have pretty eyes
Because they are blue
This was so sweet but the only problem is, my eyes are brown. When she noticed this she said, "Oh! You're eyes aren't blue! Whatever, just take it. It rhymes."
I couldn't help but giggle at my students in both of these incidences. These students are developing foundational literacy skills. One child is listening to the different phonemes in a word and trying to write that word. One child is recognizing that poets use rhyming words when they write. Regardless, these students and all my students challenge me daily. It is hard to meet each child's academic needs, especially in the area of literacy. So much of a child's readiness to read and write is dependent on their prior experiences and exposure to literacy.
That being said, it disappoints me to read an article (N Is for Nonsensical) by Susan Neuman, where she states that a child's lack of exposures/experiences and a low socioeconomic status will set that child up to not, "fare well in our society." I agree that students who enter into school without previously attending a high quality preschool need more support than those students who did however, isn't that the job of a Kindergarten teacher?
Even though I have students in my classroom with varying socioeconomic status, I try to connect to each child and create an environment where they are set up to learn, much like S. and J. were in learning centers this week.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Posted by Blair at 2:15 PM