Writing is both an art and a craft. Kindergarten writing for teachers is an exercise in patience. When Kindergarten teachers meet to talk about writing, there is quite a bit of consoling going on with a smatter of celebration. As the year progresses, more celebration than consolation occurs. Kindergarten teachers from across my district met yesterday, mid-January, to talk about the progress of their students in writing.
The samples shared by teachers were stories of children — not the stories written or drawn on the pages, but the stories of the learning occurring in those individual children. There was not a single journal shared, though, that did not have cause for celebration. Kids learn so much in just a few months of intentional and proactive instruction.
The first journal page of one student, written in August, was a series of horizontal scribble lines all in yellow crayon across the middle of the page. As weeks go by, the scribbles change in size and color, but all still scribble. Until one week, a single circle appears — the circle that represents the kid in his own drawing. Soon eyes and protruding sticks around the head appear. As the months go by, two more circles with eyes show up in his writing — the representation of his family. The most recent journal entry included a scribble of green along the bottom and sides of the paper with the three heads in the center — his family walking on grass.
What a miracle the learning of writing is! The expression of ideas and thoughts and story begin with pictures. Even if those pictures are horizontal scribbles, or a single circle or a trio of circles, our kids are writers….if we give them the opportunity to write.