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"Kindergarten teachers get to do art and playtime; the upper grades are more academic." If I had a nickel for every time I heard that, I'd have an incredible listening center! To outsiders, Kindergarten is filled with playtime, painting, and learning to write the ABC's. However, Kindergarten is packed with reading, adding, and writing several sentences on a focused topic—how the times have changed! Many state-adopted curriculums link a child's ability to print letters to his or her ability to "write" a sentence. I want to step away from this criterion by allowing my students to begin the writing process where it is developmentally appropriate and where written language has historically began—in drawing pictures.
As Kindergarten is often a child's first academic experience, I want my students to develop an enthusiasm for and confidence in their ability to "write." They need to understand that drawing pictures is a great way to share their ideas and that it is historically how many forms of written language were created. With this knowledge, they will feel a sense of pride in the work they create and will be eager to take the next steps in the writing process.
(Developed for English Language Arts-Writing, grade K; recommended for English Language Arts-Writing, grade K)