I'm sure by now you recognize just how much we love having kindergarteners at Fairville! One of our goals for this group of emerging readers and writers is to give the children opportunities to share newly acquired literacy skills. One way in which we do this is by hosting Publishing Parties. At a Publishing Party each of our young authors has the opportunity to share a recent piece of written work with members of the school community. The students take drafts of their work, "fix and fancy" them up, add covers and "About the Author" pages, then read their work in front of families, staff and other children at Fairville. The celebration of writing ends with a special snack prepared by Judy, sometimes with assistance from the children.
On a recent Friday, this year's Kindergarten had a Publishing Party as the culminating activity of their winter unit on Space. Each child choose a planet to research, made a list of facts about his/her chosen planet, and then used the fact sheet to create text and accompanying illustrations for a book. Decorative covers were drawn and "About the Author" pages were created, followed by several days of practice in which the children learned to read slowly, loudly and clearly, turn the pages of their books quietly, and share each illustration with the audience. We couldn't have been prouder of our Kindergarten students when they shared their written work in front of an audience of their parents, siblings, teachers, and the children in the Fun Friday class. Each child's pride in her/his accomplishment was evident! The readings were followed by a snack of homemade pudding and fruit kabobs (served sticking out of an orb made from a honey dew melon). It was clear to me that we are giving our Kindergarten children a gift that cannot easily be duplicated in a larger school setting. Through individual attention and encouragement, our Kindergarten students are developing confidence, finding their voices, and becoming independent learners---bravo, Kindergarten!