Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Adjectives, Contractions + Self-Esteem

We have our growing + amazing collaborative blog over at PreK+K Sharing: YES!!!!!
Brilliant minds from across the ECE (Early Childhood Education) community: YES!!!!!

Jennifer Kadar, a Kindergarten teacher from Arizona, has written a recent article there from her perspective of being mandated by her state toTEACH grammar to her K-kiddos, many of whom are currently learning the English language under her wing. She asked for others to chime in with their experience and suggestions. So I went off to sleep thinking about children of Arizona and adjectives.

I woke up remembering an amazing moment that happened during my author illustrator school visit in Phoenix several years back. The teacher introduced me to her mature first graders by saying,
"This is the woman who wrote the book on CONTRACTIONS."

FLABBER-GASTED!!! Jumpin' Gee-Whilerkers!!!!
Up to that instant, for years I thought that I'd written a song and created a book about self-esteem, but low and behold she was using my book and its song as a means to teach all about contractions! By jove.

My book is filled with CONTRACTIONS!!!
Why hadn't I ever thought of that?

  • I think YOU'RE wonderful.
  • You think I'M wonderful?
  • That means WE'RE wonderful!!!!!!!
I have come to think of myself as the contraction QUEEN!
That's what I call a pretty brilliant example of "teaching-to-the-test."

Jennifer, from Empowering Little Learner's Adjective Igloo, posted on PreK+K Sharing
Jennifer had asked about adjectives specifically and had shared her awesome adjective igloo as a way to have fun with grammar. Guess what I realized after about 14 years and 14 hundred, thousand hundred thousand times of singing my song?

IT'S FULL OF ADJECTIVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is this why it has been used in California to teach English and reading to Mommies?
Because it has so many adjectives? Oh my!

So now........... the very same book can be used as a vehicle for addressing the issues of self-esteem, contractions AND ADJECTIVES!!! Who knew?

Original Kindergarten Writing: Reflecting the Vocabulary in the Picture Book "You're Wonderful" by Debbie Clement

Here are the hand written 'vocabulary' words --ADJECTIVES one and all written in the 'invented spelling' of Hajar the kindergartener in Michigan.
Her brilliant teacher did indeed use my book, "You're Wonderful" with her classroom of children learning to speak English. So many children, so many different languages. She envisioned my text as the bridge and common denominator between the many different cultures in her room. Her vision proved successful.

We became Facebook friends and by the end of that year because of our continued connection teacher Kristen was able to send me the message of what had happened on that pre-printed work sheet.

Hajar had responded to the prompt,
"If I had a pet it would be a ________________ ."
And in her own invented spelling she had described her pet with ADJECTIVES!!!!!
People!!! Continue to be filled with kroste (curiosity.)
Learn much.
Blog on.
Teach me new things about my own work.
Thanks for the prompt, Jennifer!

-- Debbie --
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Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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