Once again I am surprised at the minds of children!
Recently, I was surprised with the use of the vocabulary words we had been learning by one kindergartner. We were reviewing vocabulary words after reading the book, Planes. I read about Tara the Tiger, Vets, and Planes to my five- and six-year-olds. We had moved on from the vocabulary words pounce, wild, tame, and assist to land, depart, cargo, and flight attendant. I had written the vocabulary words on the board so they could see them, read them and/or use them if they chose to do so. There was no suggestion on my part that they use them in their writing.
A few of my kindergartners had shown an interest in learning about whales; six of them were reading a page out of a nonfiction is book titled Predators. Motivated by what they read, the kindergartners asked if they could write about what they learned. It is always such a delight to read what they write and get a glimpse into their minds. With excitement, I read their writing and was surprised by the vocabulary words one young man chose in his writing about whales. I didn’t insist or even ask the students to include our vocabulary words in their writing; that is why what Tomi wrote was so special. It was his idea, not mine. The students are always so motivated when they have choice!
I was like a very proud mother. I showed everybody on campus! At times I find myself saying too much or over-scaffolding while trying to “help” children learn. This experience reminded to celebrate daily what happens when children think for themselves and process on their own without our interference.
Read more blogs about the importance of providing time and choice to inspire writing in your students.