Friday, May 05, 2006

Excerpts from my favorite writer

When Bud started Kindergarten in August, he could write his name in block letters. With direction and effort he could make assorted other letters, but he avoided the process whenever he could.

Throughout the school year, Bud has developed an increasing interest in letters, reading, and making words. In March, he started clicking letters into the TiVo to record his favorite shows. That quickly progressed into typing favorite words into the computer. But this week I was astounded to see it evolve even further into handwriting.

We've been playing a game recently in which I write out three-letter words and Bud sounds them out. He and I have both been thrilled with his success. This weekend we put a new spin on it when, after he sounded out the words, he copied them in chalk on the driveway. Later, he wanted to add another step. When I wrote a three-letter word, he took the pen from me and added a fourth letter:

Then he read his new words loud and strong:



That gave me an idea. I tried writing the first two letters of a word to see what Bud would do. That experiment yielded:

"Bib" (which was a surprise. I'd expected to see "Big," as in "Jack's Big Music Show.")




The next night, I thought we'd try to play the game again and I thought it would be wise to start with a word he'd already done, so I wrote "ca" expecting him to write a "t" or possibly an "n."

To my surprise, he wrote an "i" and then two lines that looked like the makings of a capital H. He's not interested in playing tonight, I thought. But he kept writing. When he stopped, I looked at what he'd written:

Caillou. The children's cartoon on PBS. Of course.

He asked if he could do another. I wrote a "t", and he added:


Then to my "b" he added:

Boohbah. (Also on PBS, and by the creators of Teletubbies.)

He got so excited by this new-found ability that he ran to get his prized Teletubbies CD so he could copy down some of the track listings:

Teletubbies Say Eh-Oh.

And he continued transcribing, song after song, diligently consulting the track listing and copying each letter on to his page:
Dipsy's Fancy Hat.

All penned by Bud's own hand.

The finished products are remarkable, of course, but they weren't the highlights of this project. The highlights were Bud's enthusiasm, his confidence, his sense of competence, his pride; these were the things that showed me that this year in Kindergarten has been an unqualified success. He's come so far so quickly. And he knows it.

Way to go, Bud.

And thanks, Mrs. H.


Camille said...


emily said...

Oh this is great!
I LOVE how he decided what words he wanted to write, what matters to him.
My son has started to type words into google to search for images of his favourite trains etc.

gretchen said...

Super excellent job Bud! This is encouraging to me. I will have to try this with some high interest words for Henry (Disney titles or something) and maybe he will be as motivated as Bud to write.

Mamaroo said...

Way To Go Bud!!!! And Way to Go Mom-Nos!!!!!

I Love how proud he was of himself!

Wendy said...

Way to go indeed! What a smart little boy!

Bonnie Ventura said...

Kids are so much fun at that age when they are learning to read and starting to feel confident about their ability.

Yay for Bud! And you're doing a great job of encouraging him!

Tera said...

Awesome job, Bud! (And Mom, too, of course).

My favorite is "Cailllou"--I've always spelled by sounding out words and would never have figured that one out.

Kristina Chew said...

And writing in une autre langue too-----

Big Orange said...

all I can say is "wow!" Wanna know somethin'? I've got NT 3rd graders who cannot copy words as well as Mr. B! Beyond the enthusiasm, beyond the Grand Stuff likes a MOM-NOS who is doing everything for her kid. Bud is gonna go far in this world, and not only because of his own desire and curiosity-- he'll go far because of YOU. I could name at least 40 parents of Kinder kids who don't even do 1/3 of the experiments you're doing with Bud. You should be given an engraved plaque for Mom (NOS) of the Year!!

Big Orange said...

Uhhh, that was supposed to be "LIES a MOM-NOS..." You knew that, right? I guess there was a sale on Freudian Slips in the Ladies Dept. today...