Scribble, scribble, scribble…. That’s what some of my preschoolers do every time I ask them to draw a picture or write their name.
The above picture is the monthly journal provided by Mother Goose Time. I love these journals because they not only give the students writing practice, but it also helps reinforce the skills we are learning throughout the month. These journals were really frustrating for me to do, at first. I did them with my students the first week, then realized that they weren’t able to draw all the things that I wanted them to draw. For example, for the cover, I wanted them to draw a picture of themselves and their family. Some of them drew awesome pictures of themselves. But a few of them just scribbled on the page. I thought, “I can’t give this paper to this child’s parent with all these scribbles!” And it was frustrating for the child as well. I heard, “I don’t know how to do it!” a lot.
A few weeks ago, I watched a video from Mother Goose Time. It was called, “What’s behind the scribble?” There were some insights I had never thought of before. Scribbling is okay. It’s part of the early stages of writing. Given multiple opportunities to practice writing (or scribbling), children are learning fine motor control and developing eye-hand coordination. It’s not always easy to remember this when a child hands me a drawing of scribbles and tells me it’s a picture of his family. But, hey… at least they are trying and taking risks. It’s all part of the learning process.
After 2 weeks, and watching the above video, I decided to give the journals another try. I had an open mind and decided that it was okay if they just scribbled because they are still practicing and learning. I made sure to give support to those students that needed a little more confidence to take risks and be creative with their writing. I reminded them that it was okay if they didn’t know how to draw something and encouraged them to try.
They surprised me and did an awesome job. I noticed that they were excited to write and draw in their journals. If I keep giving them opportunities to practice these skills, they will soon be writers. And that is exciting!