Sparkly Gingerbread Houses #slice2013

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 Every Tuesday, Ruth and Stacey, host Slice of Life at their blog, Two Writing Teachers. If you want to participate, you can link up at their Slice of Life Story Post on Tuesdays or you can just head on over there to check out other people's stories. For more information on what a Slice of Life post is about, you can go here.  (I stole this paragraph from Jen Vincent's blog)

Every Tuesday, Ruth and Stacey, host Slice of Life at their blog, Two Writing Teachers. If you want to participate, you can link up at their Slice of Life Story Post on Tuesdays or you can just head on over there to check out other people’s stories. For more information on what a Slice of Life post is about, you can go here.
(I stole this paragraph from Jen Vincent’s blog)

My son read at a very young age. At three he was reading many picture books independently. We read to him a lot, but we didn’t really do anything to teach him how to read. Somehow through us reading to him he just figured it out. It was like magic.

Our middle child entered kindergarten in September not reading. She knew all her letters and pretty much all her sounds, but she didn’t pick up reading as easily as our son. This has never worried me. I am confident that she will figure things out.

The thing that has been hard for me to watch is her reluctancy to write at home. My son is always writing stories in a notebook. Sometimes it is a video game he is designing. Other times it is his latest graphic novel adaptation of Captain Underpants. My daughter orally tells us stories all the time, but putting them down on paper makes her nervous. She tells me that she doesn’t know how to read, so she can’t write. This makes me so terribly sad.

I don’t know a lot about what writing looks like in kindergarten, but I do know that if you know some sounds, you can do some writing. Over Thanksgiving break, I was determined to help her see that. The day after Thanksgiving I stopped by my classroom and picked up each one of the kids a new notebook. When we got home my daughter opened up her notebook and stared at the empty pages. I knew that she wanted to share her story, but she couldn’t figure out what they looked like.

I asked her to tell me what she wanted to write about. She told me a lovely little tale about our family. When she was done I asked her what sounds she heard in the first word. She was able to name most of the consonants. With each word she gained confidence, and before I knew it she was off.

I’ll never forget the Thanksgiving that I showed my daughter that she CAN share her story. I’d love to include a picture of the first story she wrote on her own, but her notebook is with her in bed, nestled tightly in her arms. It seems to have taken the place of her teddy bear. However, I can share with you the words from her first story. I’m not sure that I will ever forget them.

I love gingerbread houses. They are really sparkly.

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23 thoughts on “Sparkly Gingerbread Houses #slice2013

  1. Love reading this. I am a K/1 teacher and helping a student find their words drives me more than anything. It is the BEST feeling for the teacher and the learner. What a great experience to cherish.

  2. My eyes are filled with happy tears. As a K-3 literacy specialist, I work with the kids who find it a bit challenging, at first. When they “take off” as readers or as writers, it is the greatest of highs a teacher (and a parent) can experience! I just LOVE her first sentence and can’t wait to hear the rest of her stories!

  3. This post just makes me smile. After teaching fourth grade for many years, I moved to first grade eight years ago. Like you, I had no idea how young children learned to read and write. To say I was terrified, was an understatement. :) And like you, I found the magic in helping students find their voices as they put their thoughts on paper. I’m back to teaching fourth grade again and my writers can get lots of words down. There are days, though, that I miss my time with the little ones and the joy I felt as I watched them blossom as readers and writers. Your daughter is so lucky to have you as her dad. You gave her the tools she needed and now she is a writer. :)

  4. Beautiful and I love she is sleeping with her notebook. I hope you make gingerbread houses with her now or maybe that is a tradition. Just get a kit from a local craft store. My girls are still doing them and it’s funny to watch how the decorate them year to year.

    I like the phrase, if you can say it – you can write it. Keep empowering her as a writer and accept all those spelling approximations to build confidence. She is on her way!

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