Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Approximating Small Moments

Meron adding details to her book.
Next month in most kindergarten classes, the unit of study is going to be Approximating Small Moments. So far these children have been launching their writing workshop. This meant they were telling stories and listening to stories and doing some writing. Some of the writing might have been in journals. Some of it might have been on single sheets of paper. Still, they were learning that they could be authors, too.

Now it is time to bump up their writing and go to new levels. They will be writing a story over a day or two. They will be invited to choose books that have been stapled together and placed in a tray, basket or shelf. The books might be various sizes. They might be stapled on the side or on the top. Those are choices the little authors will make. But the biggest part is telling their stories.

Telling stories is an important part of kindergarten. As I have been working with Meron, four-years-old, she would tell me lots of stories. They would be about going to the zoo with her family. Or what her older brothers did at breakfast. Or how her older sister broke her arm. She is full of stories! This was a perfect set-up for me to get her to do some writing. I had a basket of various sizes of blank books that I made. She would choose a book, we would tell the story she decided to write. We would touch each page as we planned what it would say.

One day she wrote about how Lane, her brother, threw a tomato at a squirrel in the yard. It was a very funny story. Another time she wrote about how she and her little brother, Bamlaku, played house in a big refrigerator box. That was a very inventive story.

She knew right away what she wanted to write. We talked about each page of the story. The first page would say: "Meron and Bam play." The next page was to say: "Meron and Bam make a house."  The last page was: "Meron and Bam play with a big box."  At first, the last page didn't seem to fit the story, but after talking it over, she let me know that the big box was the house! She drew the pictures on each page along with an M for Meron and a B for Bam...labels!

Yes, she is approximating small moments! Happy Writing as  you start your next month's new unit of study!
Meron and Bam play with a big box.

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