Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Free Expression

I love having a writing center in my kindergarten class at church. In this center, kids have total control of what they draw/write. I add words or pictures to supplement what they are doing - to help them think about the particular focus for the week or month. But they choose what to draw or write and the final result.

Why do I like this so much?

I came over to the center to see what was happening one week. I saw one boy drawing this.

We talked about what he was doing. I say things like, "You are drawing lots of lines" or something like that to get the conversation started. My favorite starter question: "Are you drawing a picture of something or are you just drawing a design?"

In talking with him, he explained what he was drawing - this:

The pattern on his friend's shirt.

I would have never thought to draw my friend's shirt or the design I saw there. I have seen lots of creative thinking and ideas through this center.

I often look for ways to supplement what happens in the writing center. For example, we put staplers there or pre-stapled blank "books" there. Maybe paper strips and glue sticks. I recently added some envelopes for kids to use. (No one touched them last week.)

But I would never want to put too much there - to take away from the creativity that they do. (And now I notice designs on shirts much more frequently than I did before.)

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