This week we looked at literacy and the common traits in language. I noticed how the structure for language curriculum has changed quite a bit since I was an early childhood student learning in elementary school. The kindergarten document outlines that literacy behaviours in students are “the various ways they use language, images and materials to express and think critically about ideas and emotions, as they listen and speak, view and represent, and begin to read and write” (Ontario Ministry of Education, p.64).
The article talks about how experimentation and creative nature of writing dates back to when people drew images as communication (Giudici, 2011, p.5). During my last practicum I noticed students are very interested in learning letters and trying to create words. if they couldn’t remember exactly how to draw a letter they would create their own version; they still seemed very pleased with the result. The students were communicating in a way they felt comfortable and happy with, who am I as the educator to come in and tell them no your doing it wrong over and over. I helped guide the students but didn’t want to interfere in that would affect their self esteem in learning letters.
There is a lot we can learn from students who creatively communicate through lines, pictures and their own idea of letters. I hope I can learn to accept rather then always wanting to “fix” their ideas. In my practicum one student loved to write her name on everything, she was very proud that she could write her name and wanted to write it at every chance. She also communicated with drawing lines and rainbows on everything, to her this was comfortable and appealing. No matter what we always knew what piece of work was hers.
The kindergarten curriculum states that a child should be interested in writing and writing for a variety of means (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2016, p.197.) this does not state it had to be correct or even that it had to be words. Just purely that the child is interested in picking a writing tool and using is to communicate.
These documentations of children’s written code and pictures within the article reconfirms the need of educators within the classroom who will be engaged in their students learning, who will ask questions and prompt further learning. The article talks about what can happen before formal instruction even begins in our children’s learning and how interacting with written code builds creative invention, experimentation and thinking which is exactly what the the inquiry process is all about. Allowing our students to explore will engage them in a way to moving in the direction of formal literacy learning all on their own. Theres no point in putting this pressure on young learners. If the student is meeting the curriculum expectations then, why should be worry so much?
Giudici, Claudia. (2011). The enchantment of writing: Approaches to literacy development in the experience of the Reggio Emilia Municipal Infant-Toddler Centres and Preschools, and with the Primary school. Innovations 18(2), 1-20.