“See the Braille, the little bumps, on the letter? Can you find the Braille on your letter?”
I love working with administrators who are committed to a project and who are supportive of their teachers. The work moves so much more smoothly and children are so much more likely to succeed. A rhetorical statement for sure…but when you see such a situation in front of you there is a healing energy that counters the times the picture is broken.
The school today was beautiful in talent, spirit, and leadership. From the toddler class through the four classrooms to the pre-kindergarten class, the rooms were filled with happy, eager learners. Teachers demonstrated their creative exercises with Souns, in each case drawing from the environment: books in the little reading corner, text on the walls, and letters on T-shirts. Their positive attitudes influence every little mind wanting to learn to write and read.
What I saw were children appropriately progressing through letter-sound knowledge with exploration and play. Their bodies were moving, their hands were examining letter shapes, and their faces reflected engagement.
This is the first year for Souns for this preschool, and, indeed, the letter-sound associations are being learned. As is typical, the teacher is the primary learner for a new program. In subsequent years implementing the program will flow more naturally . It takes at least the experience of that year to realize how easily the child learns when their hands are involved and the lessons are daily, incidental, and playful. When comfort with the easy style of Souns is attained, the children will progress faster than most teachers expect.
For instance, the children surprised their teachers today. They knew more than the teachers thought they knew. In the pre-kindergarten classroom, children were ready to build words with the Souns letters. They did not want to stop…and they learned two new letter-sound associations in the process. Children are more ready than we think. Pushing does not teach; however, kids thrive on trust… ”Do you think you are ready to do this…? “ Ask them; they will tell you. Then make certain they succeed. That is the fire that builds.
Thank you to Rotarians from the Rampart Range Rotary Club of Colorado Springs for initiating this effort.