Mrs. Spotswood (the kindergarten teacher and my partner) was away this week. We are a pretty tight group and as the children dealt with the change in the room you could feel Mrs. Spotswood’s absence in the air. You could see it on some faces, feel it through some very tight hugs, and witness it through some behaviors. We all miss her.
Emily writes to her teacher asking for advice on how to care for a whale that she’s discovered in her pond. I’m proud to say the children in my class know it well. It’s brought up discussions regarding imagination and whale facts etc. But this time, after reading the story, I pointed out to the children that it takes place in the summer.
“Would Emily see Mr. Blueberry in the summer?”
“Because there’s no school.”
“Why do you think she might be writing to him?”
“Because she misses him.”
So on a large piece of paper I wrote, “Dear Mrs. Spotswood” and I put it on our word wall.
The letters and the pictures started streaming in. “Dear Mrs. Spotswood, I miss you.”
“Dear Mrs. Spotswood, I love you.
P.S. When are you coming back?”
The next day we read the very funny DEAR MRS. LARUE by Mark Teague. http://www.amazon.ca/Dear-Mrs-LaRue-Obedience-Paperback/dp/0545315204 about a dog who writes persuasive letters home to his owner trying to get her to spring him from obedience school. Again I drew the children’s attention to “Dear Mrs. Spotswood” still on the word wall. Some children tried their hand at letter writing for the first time. Others were working on their second or third letter or picture.
I’ve seen some terrific evidence of literacy throughout the week. The children understand the format of letter writing and have had lots of practice creating their own letters. But more importantly, they’ve learned that when you express your feelings through written words and with pictures, it can help you deal with those feelings.
“Dear Mrs. Spotswood. We miss you and we love you!”