Wednesday, May 21, 2008
This Sunday I was reading an article that I linked to after reading Growing Bookworms , a newsletter published by kid lit blogger extraordinaire Jen Robinson. It was titled The Journey to Literacy: Priceless. One of the biggest reminders I took away from this article that I knew I would use at next year's open house are the words Kathleen Hayes mentions in her interview that is featured in this article. "People mistakenly think learning to read is only about seeing things in print and decoding them. Literacy is about speaking and listening and reading and writing." These words reminded me of the balance my students need in reader's and writer's workshop. Kids need opportunities to talk about books with me and each other. They need time to listen to children's literature and books they've created. They need experiences independently crafting books and building strategies for understanding and reading on their own. To me these 4 ingredients seem to be the keys to a successful recipe for literacy learning. I thought further about the speaking and listening pieces. I began to think about how speaking and listening are huge life skills. My students this year have needed to think out loud, they've needed me to listen to them and they've needed practice listening to each other. I have had to be patient with them and there were days when I wasn't but I was aware that they all needed to heard. This week they have come together. This week all the speaking and listening practice has paid off because they are finally hearing each other. I was so worried I would never get that end- of- the- year -feeling of "they're ready!" Today I knew that they are ready.