Monday, September 26, 2011

Writing with Kindergartners and overcoming fears

This year I volunteered to take over the Writing workshop with the kindergarten class. Despite the excitement I found myself surprisingly nervous on the days leading up to the first class. I had pretty much conjured up every terrible scenario you could think of relating to trying to get a bunch of reluctant kindergartners to not only write, but to also enjoy writing. I blame part of my self doubt on  the teacher who taught creative writing before me.  Imagine taking on a new venture wich you have no experience, but also you are following after God;s gift to Creative Writing. :-) In all seriousness, she was amazing, and it made doubtful old me intimidated by the shoes (er... journals) I had to fill. 
Fast forward to Friday morning the first creative writing workshop class. Um, I know it won't be always this seamless, but I cant express enough how different it went than my negative nelly self thought it would. We began by reading  Miss Nelson is Missing. I mainly chose this book because it shows children and teachers relationships , which is always good to discuss at the beginning of the year. Truthfully though, the real inspiration behind that book choice is  because the Orlando Shakespeare theater will be showing this book as a play and I thought it would be a wonderful experience for all the kindergartners  to meet at the play on a Saturday. 
After we read the book we talked about writing, and how they would become authors and how they are very capable I  Instantly saw hands  raised and I was told, "Mrs, Manthe, I don't know how to write" This one was one of my fears, that they would not be able to overcome the perception that unless you know how to spell every word it isn't good writing. These types of apprehensions were squashed way  easier than I imagined. After discussing that these are their journals to write about all the wonderful ideas and thoughts that go on in their brains and all they have to do is  just sound out the words as best they can and just try, They believed me when I told them that they can write, with or without perfectly spelled words. Within minutes we were off and they all were focused and enthralled with the writing process. And to prove myself completely wrong, the one child that I really felt was going to be my most reluctant writer was the one that wrote almost two pages, and even took it back to class to write some more, All in all I would say it was a complete success.



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