Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I can always count on my kindergartners to keep me in line. Today, I went off on a tangent. Yes, a tangent. You know those things where you completely stray from your original purpose in conversation and dive into something completely off topic? Trying to place it more under the "teachable moment" category, that was me today. It went something like this:

"A, B, C, D, E, F.... What comes next?" I asked. "Yes, G! This is the letter G. The letter G makes two sounds. Can you say /g/ /j/?"

The class gladly repeated "/g/ /j/."

At this time, I recognized that the second sound came out more of a "dgsh" from one of the boys. I gave this young Russian student some additional assistance. I had not planned on talking about the various languages spoken at home, but when recognizing that the Russian sounds he was speaking at home was mixing with our English sounds, I found it the perfect opportunity to bring up the subject of the diversity in our class. This is where the tangent began.

"How many of you speak a different language at home?" I asked.

Nearly all the hands were raised. This took a minute to clarify that we all speak English, but that some of us speak another language. I found it very exciting that our class varies in different languages such as Cantonese, Russian, and Korean, but apparently I'm the only one. After a couple minutes of setting each student apart and excitedly sharing about each language, I was abruptly interrupted by Daniel with a "You've got to be kidding me" look.

"Can we get back to the ABC's now!?" he shouted.

With a smile I replied, "Of course," and we continued, "A, B, C, D, E, F, G....." If he hadn't have stopped me then, I'm not sure we ever would have finished. These little "reminders" are in my class every year. I'm actually quite thankful for them, because honestly, I don't know what I'd do without them.

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