Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Little Peanut Learns to Write
In September, he was struggling to hold a pencil. He had very little muscle tone in his hand and didn't really understand what to do with pencils and crayons. During writing workshop, we spent our time telling oral stories and learning to expand our stories to include important details and information.
In October, we made the shift from telling oral stories to writing them down. Little Peanut began his writing journey by drawing a "collection of colors" (aka scribbles). He could tell an oral story "with prompting and support" and could tell what each color meant in his story.
In November, things still looked the same, except the pressure he was able to use when coloring was better. He had gained a little muscle in his tiny little fingers!
While I was pleased that he had come this far, the road ahead still seemed long for Little Peanut. I decided the next step/teaching point that would benefit him most was a few more drawing lessons.
I began by asking Little Peanut about his story. It took a little while for him to understand that I didn't want him to orally label his picture (this is the sun, this is the water, this is the sand, etc.). Once he did, he was able to tell me his oral story: I went to the beach with my mom.
Next, we talked about how important it is to be able to see the things in his picture that he is talking about in his story. I used a sticky note to demonstrate how I would draw the picture of his story (based on what he had told me about already).
We talked about each element and I asked him to draw the picture again himself. Little Peanut picked up a brown crayon and got to work drawing the sand. I walked away. At this point, I wanted Little Peanut to be independent again so that I could see how much learning he had taken on after our work together. I may have watched over his shoulder from time to time as he worked, but he didn't know that. :)
When he finished, he proudly raised his hand and showed me this masterpiece:
I asked Little Peanut to read me his story again. I was curious if he would tell me the same story or if he would alter it. He said:
Little Peanut still struggles but he is making great progress and he has such a good attitude about it! Today, I had the opportunity to do some planning with him before he began to write a new story. We talked about remembering to draw all the important things so the reader could understand the story. Because he still needs support with his drawing, that is what we did. He told me his story and what he wanted to draw and I drew it on a sticky note.
It looks like he's off to a great start!