Did you know that the Kindergarten students at Keeler School are amazing authors? Over the past several weeks these young learners have been hard at work creating books of their very own! The amount of hard work, dedication, deep thought, and Mastery that has been put into this project is exemplary, and all of these students should (and do!) feel very proud of themselves.
This book-writing project started by doing research about bears using informational books and videos. Students were then given the tools and support to start creating a book that showed what they had learned about the lives of bears. Students were put in the driver’s seat, and were given complete creative control over their own books. They made their own decisions about how long the book would be, what would be on each page, and what details they felt were important include. As they worked, the students engaged many conversations about real authors, and the types of choices and practices authors take part in. Lexie says, “I know that authors always sit down lots of times to work on their book, and they also write lots of words because books are really good for people. It’s a really good experience to read books. They have to use lots of research and remember what they see so that they can make a book about their life, they can make a book about things they know about.”
The Kindergarten teachers, in collaboration with Ms. Lunnin, one of our school learning leaders who is focusing on effective and meaningful task design, were blown away by how excited and engaged students became with this project. The level of commitment and excitement grew and grew as they continued to create their books. Students were happy to work on them for long periods of time, and shared their progress with each other along to way. During the working process teachers sat alongside students and made their own bear books. This was a great opportunity for teachers to model skills and assist students at their individual level.
The students became very good at giving each other positive and constructive feedback during ‘Author Share’ time. After sharing their book with the class, their friends would tell them what they liked about the book, and would give them ideas for how to make their book even better! Students decided that all good books have a few things in common: detailed pictures, meaningful words, and are coloured and completed carefully. They started using this criteria to determine whether or not each of their pages was finished, or if they should keep working on it. Maximus says, “I like my bear book because it has good pictures and it’s very important to me. My favourite part was colouring bear books, and they are very interesting.” When asked how he knew he was showing Mastery Diego said, “I drawed. I add words and details. I colour slowly and I took my time.”
Want to know more about the Kindergarten Bear Books? Just ask a kindergarten student. After all, they’re the experts!