In the beginning of the school year I spend lots of time modeling and giving my students lots of opportunities to read and write in meaningful ways. My students begin with real experiences so that they are able to express and share what they are observing and noticing.
Through our study of the Monarch Butterfly my students began making predictions about what they thought would happen, creating hypothesis, creating drawings that reflected what they were able to explain and talking in partnerships and large group discussions so other could make connections with each other. Some of my students used letters, symbols and detailed illustrations inspired by the many texts we read by Gail Gibbons.
As I am observing and listening to my students I am amazed at the what I am hearing and the almost seamless and authentic conversations that my students are having. Right away I begin to ask my students if they can think of other ways we can share our work together that we are creating. I am begin hearing my students respond, we can email our pictures, take pictures with an iPad, blog about what we are doing and make a podcast! So that is what we did!
Through our explorations together I noticed some of my students creating scientific drawings with the date written numerically! When I asked what the numbers represented, one of my students responded;”It’s the date” like what we do when we write and do # corner. Wow! A great example of what happens when a child is able to transfer what they have learned in a previous learning experience to a new experience!
My students are beginning to develop an understanding of how technological tools can enhance, engage and reflect about what they understand and experience. As young writers and readers my students experience many strategies that both writers and readers do, rereading to understand. By experiencing this strategy my students begin to think about the what and how they are writing and reading. They construct meaning from their work and develop higher level thinking about what they have created. iPads, blogging and other technological tools help my students rethink and reflect about their literacy experiences.
I am so excited by what I am seeing and hearing in Kindergarten. My students through their beginning stages of reading and writing are beginning to experience how blogging, podcasting and iPads can be helpful in regards to their learning.