Over the last couple of weeks in the Prep Neighbourhood, we have been privileged to witness a writing explosion! The authentic provocations provided in our unique spaces coupled with the gentle challenges and support provided by the teachers has created a fertile environment for beginning writers.
It all began with an encounter in the playground when some children noticed a plaque on a bench. It continued with rich conversations about writing in our world, where we see it, and why it is important.
Lucy– I think it is a memory sign
Elena– I didn’t read it
We went and looked at the sign again.
Jessie– It was a sign. I saw those signs at the dog park.
Elena– I think there are signs for memories for the teachers of the first preps here.
Anais– I think when people builded the school they might have written down stuff to remember stuff.
Toby– I thought they were rules.
Max– They could have written down preppies from last year and then they know who they are.
The children are being encouraged to be brave writers and ‘have a go’. We, as the educators, are stressing the importance of this bravery and that it is OK to make mistakes. Furthermore, we learn from our mistakes.
Authentic writing experiences are being matched with targeted learning in workshops on initial sounds as well as blending of these sounds to make words.
In the studio, children are exploring details through a variety of art provocations. Children have readily accepted challenges, with increasing initiative, to add writing, such as labels, to their artworks. An inquiry into maps and the continued exploration of facial details have provided motivation to write.
The construction area and the garden have gifted us more authentic contexts for writing and we have observed some enthusiastic and brave writers. Children have been deeply engaged in the process of writing labels to attach to their city constructions, create posters to help keep our garden growing, and signs to help everyone navigate the courtyard. We are curious as to whether this exploration may grow into roles of Neighbourhood reporters who can share their observations and learning.
A little while ago, some children were curiously enthralled by the change of colour when food dye was added to water. This prompted us, as educators, to guide students through some science experiments. The structured approach to these experiments has provided a context for children to maintain their focus and curiosity while learning about and documenting the scientific processes of prediction and observation. The experiments also prove to enrich and build scientific and descriptive vocabulary.
The Learning Commons has been a central hub for burgeoning story writing. Children have been illustrating stories with a beginning, middle and end. As the weeks progress, children have experienced opportunities to develop independent writing. With a focus on opening sentences (once upon a time, in the beginning, etc.), character or setting details; as well as including a title and author to their story.
I like the letters in the writing. I like to write ‘I love you mum’…because I love my mumma, so she’ll know that I love her! The best thing about school so far is writing. I have learnt how to write lots of things like ‘to’ ‘love’ ‘you’. Chiara
I like making books at school. It is fun because I can take them home and share them…I am collecting them…I have the same character,Yoshi. I need to practice writing. I only know how to write, ‘the’. Matilda
This exciting ignition of writing has us wondering, could this be an important inquiry pathway to create a sense of belonging in the childrens’ new learning environment?
Everyday, do we still get to do writing? Chiara