I like the shoes.
I like the coat.
I like the socks.
I like the shirt.
I like the pants.
I teach preschool; I have a class of 14 students ranging in from 'just turned 4' to 'just turned 5'. Yesterday, a little girl that I sat down with learned to write the word "the" and put it into five blank spaces on the paper. Before we wrote it I told her, "This is one of the most common words in the English language. That means, when you read a book you will see this word more than any other word." I couldn't tell what she thought of that so we worked on writing the word.
At the end of each sentence, on the paper, was a picture of the item being talked about. Once she wrote "the" in the first sentence and heard me (and saw me point to each word and read it) she saw the pattern and read through all of them. At the end I was so happy, my heart was bursting. I gave her a high five and said, "You now just read your first sentence. This is the biggest step in learning to read a book." The look on her face, the wide eyes, the proud smile is THE reason I love teaching. It clicked, the words make up a sentence and describe something. When I told her to put it in her bag and read to her mom and new baby brother, she was so excited.
I then pulled a little boy in and had him do the same thing, except he kept saying the word "love" for "like". So, we did a quick lesson on how the two words are spelled differently. He cocked his head, looked at the words and went "Hmm" and the wheels were turning. You could see he was looking at the difference, how two letters can change the meaning and sound of the word. He finally understood we were reading the word "like" and breezed through the sentences.
Earlier that day, two students who reflexively answer "I can't", when asked to write their names, did. Granted if you didn't know their names and looked at the paper, you'd see letters that weren't in a line and were backwards but it was their name. And I almost cried, I was so proud. High fives, huge smiles and me practically yelling in excitement about how happy I was for them made for a fantastic day in preschool.
We do so much writing and reading and looking at words, making up rhyming words. I love reading and try to instill it in the children as well. I even have the children bring in their favorite books and we read them to the class. Even if it's a Power Rangers book I didn't like, I couldn't follow, it's that child's favorite book and we read it together.
I can't wait to see what the next few months bring with these kids. They are just sponges wanting to learn so much but they don't know yet what they want to learn...and I'm honored to show them what they need and want.