Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Writing to Communicate

This week we were using crayons and paper to draw. I was surprised that the preschoolers in my room were so engaged with the "simple" materials. As I sat there, we had some great conversations about...well, all kinds of things (and not much of importance).

For some reason, the conversation shifted to Christmas. The children were talking about getting things at Christmas, in a general way. "I got a lot of things from Santa," one said. "But I didn't get one thing."

Another said, "Yeah. He brings a lot of things, but he doesn't bring what you want."

I kept listening. I said virtually nothing beyond "Really?"

The first child said, "I'll let you know what I didn't get." He began writing on a piece of paper. He wrote some letters on the page. He showed me the words.

He drew a few marks around the page. He experimented with drawing with multiple crayons.

He drew with two the same time! I kept trying to get a shot of what he wrote. Finally I could capture it.

Can you read it?

I love when children begin to use writing to communicate. They write words or notes. They make cards to give to all kinds of people. They "get it." They know they can communicate their ideas and thoughts to someone else by making marks on a page.

In this case, my friend chose to use writing to tell me what he wanted instead of saying it. That's what we want children to choose to use written form to communicate so their ideas will be preserved and can be shared with many people. I could have told you what my friend said. But this way, he can tell you through the photo of his writing.

That's excitement and joy in what he's doing. (And no test can measure it.)

BTW - His words? Cotton candy machine.

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