Tuesday, March 13, 2012

SOLSC #13 Where does this little guy fit?

Still thinking about those darn alphabet assessments - and what they miss, what they don't show. 

One of my three year olds simply won't or can't name any alphabet letter other than the first one in his name.  He loves the first letter of his name!  

I know he is very intelligent.
I think he has keen spatial intelligence.  He loves to build.  He loves to rearrange things.  He's the first to notice any change I've made to the room - shifting the puppet theater to a new location, setting up a center in a new way.  

He loves to draw.  When he draws, he works his first letter into all his artwork, no matter what he draws - almost a "Where's Waldo?" abstract image. 

Leave a pencil laying around, this little guy will find it.

(That's why I stash clipboards and pencils throughout the room, throughout all my centers.)

The other day, I found him staring at an old Morning Message, a page that was turned over in the pad, and upside down on the table.   I had left the flip chart laying about.   I had left my marker out as well.  Yes, careless me.  There was this little guy totally engrossed, like a scientist, 
searching, studying, staring, intently, 
marker in hand:

He was tracing my note from the day before..."Good Morning, Big Cats!..." Upside down, backwards...he was writing.


It is irrelevant to me that he can't name his letters. He likes to draw letters!  
He knows the letters on a much more intimate, visual level.
This juxtaposition is fascinating to me.  Not going to name them, but really wants to draw them.

This little guy fits so well in my class.  I'm so, so glad that I'm not looking simply through one lens: does he know his letters?


  1. What a great observation. I wish we could grab the popular media by the neck and make them stop with this early letter learning stuff. What if kids could draw first? If they loved to listen to stories, sing songs, make rhymes? What if they didn't learn to name their letters until they were 5? I just wonder.

  2. Wow, such an insightful post! He is lucky to have a teacher like you to notice what he CAN do instead of just what he can't or doesn't do!

  3. I love teachers who look beyond the data, look at what the child is so capable of and praise it! Love that you see the good in your students and accept them where they are in their own journey, cause whether we like it or not, everyone is on their own path!

  4. Well said! As we deal with M-class and Daily 5 and technology and test after test it's lovely to acknowledge the individual child for their unique gifts. Wish the "powers that be would too."