Memorization Promotes Understanding

Kindergarten is all about exploration, play, and discovery. As they say, it is not really about the destination as much as it is the journey and all those amazing things you learn along the way.
I, like most teachers, strive to provide my students with all the tools they need to develop meaningful learning and understanding. In this way, memorization plays a huge role in kindergarteners success. There are certain skills that kindergarteners need to be able to do automatically and fluently. In kindergarten-speak, these skills need to be quick and easy for kids.
Some skills that need to be automatic in kindergarten are:
Counting to 100
Numeral recognition
Numeral writing
Letter recognition
Letter sounds
Letter formation
Reading and writing sight words
Blending and segmenting sounds to figure out words

Here are some pictures of the kids building their automaticity with letter formation. They are playing a great game called “brain and pen”. Ask your kindergartener to teach you how to play!

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What do you think we should say more often?

In our class we are interested in making our classroom a more wonderful place. We are also quite certain that we can make the whole world more wonderful. That’s just how kindergarteners roll. And I egg them on shamelessly. I want them to feel powerful and their enthusiasm and innocent faith in me makes me feel powerful too.
Today we watched Kid President’s video, 20 Things We Should Say More Often. It is the perfect blend of inspiring yet silly so we actually had to watch it twice. Once to laugh excessively and once more to think a bit deeper.
Then we made our own list of things that we think people should say more often.
Our list is also the perfect blend of inspiring yet silly.

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We would like you to try out some of our ideas. Feel free to comment on your experience. Also please comment to share any additional suggestions you have. What do you think we should say more often?