C is for Cars… or Capital Letters

I am participating in the A-Z Blog challenge this year. I will write each day in the month of April with the prompt of the next letter of the alphabet. This year my 4 year-old and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

Today Marlowe chose to write about cars! Look at these awesome sentences she wrote!

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They moov. Pepl drive them.

Marlowe has been really curious about writing lately and has started to read like a writer. When we are reading she has become very interested in the “dots” at the end of some words. She wanted to try those “dots” out in her writing today. I also noticed that when she thinks she has all of the sounds in a word, she asks if she needs a space. She is starting to use lower case letters more consistently in her writing too. One good thing about having her home with us is her daycare can’t teach her uppercase letters.

I HATE when early childhood educators start by teaching kids to write with capital letters. How often do you use a capital letter? RARELY! When we write, we use mostly lower case letters so why do they focus on capitals? Is it simply to make a Grade 1 teacher’s life more complicated. I spend most of Grade 1 nudging my students to use lower case letters when they write. What I need to learn is how to nudge my daughter’s preschool teacher and those around the world to STOP with the CAPITALS!

So I guess this post isn’t about cars after all…. C is for CAPITAL LETTERS!

(Please note I actually love preschool teachers! It is my one and only frustration, I promise!)

B is for Bubbles

I am participating in the A-Z Blog challenge this year. I will write each day in the month of April with the prompt of the next letter of the alphabet. This year my 4 year-old and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

 

Marlowe chose bubbles for our second letter of the alphabet. I asked her to help me brainstorm some things that came to mind when she thought of bubbles and we wrote them all down. Then I put this poem together from all of her ideas.

Bubbles

dip

dip

pull

blow

watch

the colourful ball

float by

up to the sky

twirling

reflecting

in the sun

landing

slowly

POP!

 

You have to shout the POP part. She loved our creation and asked me to read it again and again. I think we might even put it up in her room, before long she will be reading it to us! Poetry with emergent writers is my favourite. It is such a great entry point for them to feel successful. If it wasn’t nearing bedtime, I would have had her take part in writing down the ideas. I believe that coming up with ideas is just as important as putting those ideas on paper.

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A is for Airplanes

I am participating in the A-Z Blog challenge this year. I will write each day in the month of April with the prompt of the next letter of the alphabet. This year my 4 year-old and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

Airplanes

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“ArPLAN”

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THAy FLi SM HAv wiNdOs

Marlowe is just 4.

She knows airplanes

She has flown in 29 different airplanes

to be exact

Most of those before her second birthday.

She knows airplanes

The outsides

The insides

The ups

The downs

She knows airplanes

No

She doesn’t live an extravagant life

But it is certainly unique

Hong Kong born

An American Dad

A Canadian Mom

That is rare to find

Working in Asia

With family around the globe

We traveled

a lot

Family is important

Then we found an in between

Not too close to either family

But a good place for us

Hello Alberta

The 16-24 hour plane rides, now just 4-5.

She knows airplanes

The signs

The voice level

The entertain yourself moments

The airplane bed routine

She knows airplanes

Marlowe knows airplanes.

Lessons learned

Slice of Life Day 31

I am participating in the twowritingteacher.org Slice of Life Challenge where I write each day for the month of March. This year my three-year old daughter (now 4 year-old) and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

 

We made it! 31 one days of writing together. It is the best thing that has happened during this confusing time. Marlowe and I have both grown as writers. In years past, my slices have been mostly poems. This year, I have been forced to write in a narrative form to share Marlowe’s writing journey. It has been really great practice for me. Marlowe used to throw herself on the floor a lot in frustration when she couldn’t get her letters to look like the letters in books or in my writing. We have been trying to support her through some of her perfectionist tendencies but what helped more than anything we have done in the past is write each and everyday. She still gets frustrated every now and again when writing (who doesn’t?) but more than anything, I see her confidently carry herself as a writer.

 

Today we decided to write what we learned this month. Here is what we came up with! Marlowe’s lessons are in black and mine are in pink.

 

 

What did you learn this month?

A Moment of Weakness

Slice of Life Day 30

I am participating in the twowritingteacher.org Slice of Life Challenge where I write each day for the month of March. This year my three-year old daughter (now 4 year-old) and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

 

Parenting is wonderfully exhausting. It comes with so many gifts and treasures but also lots of challenges. Lately, I have found it far more exhausting than usual and for that, I am blaming the mistake I made today.

Before I could realise what I was saying, I suggested that we put the tent up in the basement and have a pretend camping trip.  This suggestion was of course met with cheers and smiles from my four year old, followed by gasps by me. It occurred to me that it meant, that I too would be sleeping in the ice-cold basement on the paper-thin, excuse for a carpet.

It was too late, I couldn’t take it back. When you make an offer like that, there is no way that you can unmake it. So, I decided there was nothing else I could to except, go ALL in!

It was going to be a movie theatre tent and a camping tent. Marlowe has been talking a lot about Finding Nemo, so we rented Finding Nemo on the computer and made popcorn, lots of popcorn. Marlowe made tickets for the movie and a sign so we would know what movie was playing at the theatre. She also made a ticket for the popcorn. According to her, we only needed one ticket because we were going to share. She is good at sharing.

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The movie theatre part was fun, but I don’t have high hopes for the camping part that is soon to come though.

Cookie Day

Slice of Life Day 29

I am participating in the twowritingteacher.org Slice of Life Challenge where I write each day for the month of March. This year my three-year old daughter (now 4 year-old) and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

Today seemed like a cookie kind of day. I love cooking and baking but sometimes I find it difficult to muster up the motivation to get started. I knew if I told Marlowe of the cookie idea, she would force me to follow through. Kids are good at that.

 

I let Marlowe choose the kind of cookies to make and she picked Oatmeal Chocolate Chip. She and I have the same taste in cookies. My husband was really rooting for chocolate-peanut butter no bake cookies, but he was out numbered this time!

We got out all of the ingredients and set to work. Ingredient followed by ingredient, spills here and there. It is a lot slower and messier when you are baking with children but it is always more fun too. My favourite part is noticing when they sneak a little taste here and there, thinking we aren’t watching.

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Marlowe said she wanted to write about making cookies today. She made a recipe for her cookies to share with you. I nudged her to add labels but she wasn’t feeling it and I know an important part of teaching emergent writers is to know when not to push too far. Today was that day. It was nearing bedtime and there wasn’t a lot of space left to squeeze in her words. So we left it as is and ended our writing time with giggle and smiles instead of frustration. It was the right choice today!

img_6744Can you find all of the ingredients hiding in her recipe?

 

If you want the real recipe, you can find it here. They were pretty tasty and not too tricky either!

Doughnut Drive By

Slice of Life Day 28

I am participating in the twowritingteacher.org Slice of Life Challenge where I write each day for the month of March. This year my three-year old daughter (now 4 year-old) and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

Doughnuts and familiar faces, what more could you ask for? A couple of friends sent a message to our “lady gang'” chat group saying that they ordered doughnuts and were going to be dropping them by with a smile to all of our houses! Our chat group is a mix of friends and friends of friends and friends of friends of friends, all strong, amazing women in our area! I am a newly added member to the group and it has been the source of a lot of goodness these days!

If you have been reading my blog lately, you will already know that doughnuts are a source of excitement in our house. I told Marlowe about the plan after her nap and she jumped up and down and sang, “DOUGHNUTS, DOUGHNUTS, I LOVE DOUGHNUTS” on repeat for a while. Then said, I think we should write about it. I said, “Ya I was thinking that maybe we could write a thank you card for the people bringing the doughnuts.”  To which she said nonchalantly, “Ya, That’s what I was thinking ’bout too.” Apparently my 4 year old writer, doesn’t think my ideas are all that original.

We got out some special watercolour painting paper and got to work!

 

239561f4-dbd3-47f9-975d-fa106aaae721Look at that awesome doughnut painting. She added the lines around the doughnut in case they wanted to connect the dots!

 

Who made your day today?

How my little writer has changed…

Slice of Life Day 27

I am participating in the twowritingteacher.org Slice of Life Challenge where I write each day for the month of March. This year my three-year old daughter (now 4 year-old) and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

 

It has been 27 days of writing for Marlowe and I. I didn’t know what this would look like when I decided that I would have her write alongside of me this month. It has been so much better than I ever could have imagined.

“Time to write mommy!”

“Can we have a writing party?”

“I have an idea, let’s write!”

“I have a surprise for you!”

I get to hear little phrases like these ones each day as she eagerly chooses to write everyday.

I made a list of changes I have noticed in no particular order:

  1. Her letter approximations are becoming more letter-like.
  2. She chooses to write and draw independently more often.
  3. She can write her name.
  4. Her confidence as a writer has grown dramatically, no more throwing herslf to the floor shouting,  “IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE A _____”
  5. She is starting to listen for sounds in the words she wants to write.
  6. She is adding more details to her pictures.
  7. She tells everyone we talk to (on video chat)  that she is doing a writing challenge.
  8. She is coming up with new ideas on her own.
  9. Her stamina as a writer is growing each day.
  10. She genuinely LOVES to write, almost as much as reading now.

 

Here is a book she wrote today…

I am not a fan of giving emergent writers lined paper but Marlowe found some paper with lines from my recycled paper from school pile. Of course there was only one and I was instructed to make lines on every other page for her book. She said she wanted to write “This is Mommy.” I nudged her into stretching out her book by asking, “That sounds like a great start to a book about our family. What else could you include in your book?” When I helped her to stretch out the word This…. she said “I hear the sound that t and h make together.” I was pretty surprised that she internalised that so quickly. The other thing I noticed today was after the word ‘this’ she said “Do I need a space now?” It is neat to get little tiny insights into what they are thinking about as emergent writers.

 

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Family By Marlowe

 

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This is Mommy.

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This is Daddy.

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This is Marlowe.

Puddle Jumping

Slice of Life Day 26

I am participating in the twowritingteacher.org Slice of Life Challenge where I write each day for the month of March. This year my three-year old daughter (now 4 year-old) and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

 

Pedal, pedal, pedal

Splish

Splash

Pedal, pedal, pedal

Splish

Splash

Swerve

Splish

Splash

Hop off

Drag

squelch

ooze

Stuck

Yank

Free

Pedal, pedal, pedal

Splish

Splash

Never ending puddles

Today was the last day of the Cross Country Ski season where I live, so I went out and enjoyed a 3.5 hour ski in the beautiful foothills of the Rocky Mountains. When I arrived home, Marlowe was just awaking from her afternoon nap and eager to get outside with me. We packed a picnic and parked ourselves on our driveway on a perfectly placed picnic mat facing the sun. It was delightful. It was about 8 degrees Celsius outside and it was a welcome change from the subzero temperatures of earlier this week. Once we finished our last picnic bite, Marlowe requested a bike ride adventure. I am the kind of person that is eager to partake in every type of adventure that takes place outside. You ask, I am there! I got my bike and bike trailer out and pumped all of the tires as quickly as I could. I was desperate to hit the trails.

It felt so good to have the wind and sunshine on our faces. I was still wearing my winter gloves and coat but it felt delightful nonetheless. When I got to the fork in the path that allows you to choose the short or the long loop, I couldn’t help myself but take the long route. At first, I was happy with my choice but before long, I had major regrets.

There were puddles. Not just a few puddles. Never ending puddles that were many meters long and many feet deep. I kept telling myself that they would end soon, it wasn’t worth turning back. They did not!  They continued and continued. By the time we got past the seemingly infinite puddles, the bike trailer was soaking wet, Marlowe was spattered with mud and I was so exhausted, I could barely make it up the hill back to our home. I may be exhausted but I am definitely going on another bike ride tomorrow, maybe a bit shorter this time though.

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“Pudl jump with yoo”

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Unrelated but how cute is this little hand person Marlowe made while I was making dinner?

Doughnut Decorating Party

Slice of Life Day 25

I am participating in the twowritingteacher.org Slice of Life Challenge where I write each day for the month of March. This year my three-year old daughter (now 4 year-old) and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

My husband has the best ideas. He can make the most monotonous things into the most creative games. I love listening to him play “pretend” with Marlowe because the conversations they have are hilarious. She is a really lucky kiddo to have such a great Dad in her life. It is weird though. She would always choose to play with me.

Last night, Andrew went to the grocery store and sneakily put a container of old fashioned doughnuts in the pantry without Marlowe noticing. He whispered to me, “I have a plan for those tomorrow!” When Marlowe went to bed he shared his secret plan.

Doughnut decorating party! 

When everyone was awake this morning, Andrew got out the doughnuts, found some glaze recipes and dug out all the sprinkles in our pantry.  Andrew and Marlowe went with the chocolate glaze and added a few sprinkles. I went gourmet with my vanilla glaze and added a drop of lavender oil and shredded some basil and topped it with white sprinkles.

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I will be the first to admit that I am way less fun than him. Don’t get me wrong, she loves her Dad and enjoys spending time with him, but if she were to choose, she would always choose me. I don’t get, but I won’t complain either!